Blade Runner may have gotten a sequel set decades later with Blade Runner 2049, but the newest extension of the original film is coming in comic book form--and promises to have fans seeing Rick Deckard's adventure in a brand new light.
That seems to be the mission with Blade Runner 2019, the upcoming comic book series from Titan and Alcon Media. But the series won't be telling, or even re-telling Deckard's investigation into a rogue squad of Nexus-6 Replicants. Instead, the story will be following another one of the infamous Blade Runners policing artificial humans in the Los Angeles area. A woman named Ash, who looks to have a completely different perspective on the events of Ridley Scott's original film. And yes, we do mean the exact events of the first Blade Runner movie.
The Titan series may not soothe the pain of Blade Runner 2049's box office disappointment, despite nearly universal acclaim. But with the film's screenwriter Michael Green handling the story with Mike Johnson (artist Andres Guinaldo on interiors) for this comic book prequel--sequel? parallel-quel?--it's guaranteed to stir up some conversation. Not only for introducing a new Blade Runner to the film universe (and a heroine at that) but for all the ways this new series may strengthen the ties between the first movie and it's 2049 sequel.
Whether those ties are plot related or simply thematic ones, they're sure to be of interest to devoted fans. But based on the first issue's cover art by Stanley "Artgerm" Lau, the overlap between Deckard's story and Ash's may be more significant than some expect. Have a look at the artwork below:
Ash's appearance obviously confirms that Rick Deckard's wardrobe really is the go-to uniform of a Blade Runner--trenchcoat, dress shirt, tie--and his famous "2019 Detective Special" revolver is just as common among those tasked with hunting down runaway "skin-jobs." But more important than Ash's appearance is the silhouette being cast by her person if interest. For fans of the original movie, it's the unmistakable hairstyle and cigarette of Rachel, prototype Nexus-7 and the love of Deckard's life (played on film by Sean Young). Presumably, Ash's own investigation will include Rachel, although in what capacity is a secret for now.
The image and premise is enough to interest fans of the existing Blade Runner story, and there are few better to turn to than writer Michael Green for this addition to the Blade Runner canon. The comic is promised to be just one way that Titan and Alcon plan to expand the existing Blade Runner universe, so how the first issues are received could do a great deal to build excitement, provided the series delivers on the existing fandom and enthusiasm.
Those interested can keep an eye out for Blade Runner 2019 beginning its run sometime this summer, with an official release date yet to be announced.