It has been a while since the last issue of the Blade Runner 2019 comic series was released. It’s been since October that I have reviewed an issue, in that case it was issue # 4. That capped off book 1 and concluded the storyline of Blade Runner Aahna “Ash” Ashina attempting to undo the ‘apparent’ kidnapping of Cleo Selwyn, before she discovered the depth of the replicant conspiracy. Sent on the run by the Tyrrell Corporation because of genetic secrets Cleo has they find life in the outer worlds to be extremely violent.
Blade Runner 2019 issue # 6
And so starts issue # 6. Ash has been left for dead by the replicants that escaped the mining colony. She is rescued by a mysterious Blade Runner named Hythe. Hythe apparently works out of London and is well aware of Ash’s abilities to track down replicants. Hythe is old-school, she uses a Voight-Kampff machine on Ash to determine of she is human. Its a nice reference to the classic Blade Runner movie. However, as this issue is set 6 years after book one it also means we are in the post Blackout period. Tyrell Corporation is gone and all replicants except Nexus 8 have been ‘decommissioned’. Nexus 8 apparently have ‘eye-tags’ that makes them easy to spot.
It is revealed Hythe’s tests have two motives. First, she no doubt wondered if Ash could have been a replicant in the same way Deckard was. After Hythe states she believes Ash not be a replicant she does however know Ash is a liar. Ash’s fake background fails to pass, but Hythe declares little interest in taking in Ash. Instead she pushes a deal on Ash. If she helps Hythe save Cleo from the replicants she is with Ash will get a new back brace that will help her walk. Ash has been in a wheelchair since issue # 5.
Rabbit and Padraic
Meanwhile Cleo is helped by a replicant named Padraic. Using the nickname Rabbit Cleo is pretending to be young boy. Her skills with cracking security is known to the replicants who have commandeered the ship. In return for not throwing her out of the airlock they want security clearances for planets. Instead Cleo plays chicken with them. Forcing them to accept that without her they would never be able to get any clearances at all. She elects Ramanuja as their destination. The replicants will get the clearance code when they arrive and Cleo gets to leave the ship.
This issue ends with Ash donning her new Blade Runner outfit, borrowed from Hythe. It includes the traditional long cloak and blaster pistol. Cleo is seen unfolding a piece of paper. It was given to her by Ash during the beginning of the issue when she was reading it to Cleo as a makeshift bedtime story. It is a description of Ramanuja with vivid Utopian language. No doubt reality will proof to be very different.
I really liked this issue of Blade Runner 2019. It feels as if the story is again going forward. The last issue saw the replicant massacre of the mining ship and Cleo becoming more independent, but plot wise little happened. We didn’t know if anyone was still interested in tracking down Ash and Cleo, or if they had been truly forgotten. Now, we see again Ash making a devil’s bargain. Again with Cleo as a chip. With just two more issues to go for Book 2 there is little wiggle room side plots. I expect Ash and Hythe to also reach Ramanuja in the next issue followed by a showdown thereafter.
The story of Blade Runner 2019 is written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson. The art is by Andres Guinaldo and the coloring by Marco Lesko. The very beautiful front-cover is by Rian Hughes. Don’t forget to come back for issue # 7 scheduled for release on April 1st. If you don’t want to miss any SciFiEmpire.net articles than fill in the subscription form on the right.