I recently got around to reading a couple of big comic book series, 2010’s eight-part Dust to Dust, an authorized prequel to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? from Boom! Studios, and 2011’s ten-part crossover Infestation from IDW Publishing.
I liked Dust to Dust well enough. It certainly looks good, taking its visual cues from Blade Runner. At first I was disappointed by the story, which is about an agent assigned to track down and “retire” some runaway androids. Hmmm, sounds familiar. As you get further into it, however, it distinguishes itself a bit.
First off, the agent, calling himself “Charlie Victor” is openly an android. There’s a scientist who becomes involved, Samantha Wu, who’s trying to find a cure for the “Dust,” the radioactive waste that has killed almost all animals and is causing plenty of health trouble for humans as well. Exposure to the Dust gave another human, Malcolm Reed, the ability to sense emotions; conversely this makes him able to recognize the void of emotion displayed by androids. The androids themselves are former soldiers from World War Terminus, focused on avenging themselves upon humanity.
Although it inevitably covers some of the same ground, questioning what it is to be human and android, the set up allows for a lot of backstory on the characters and, through them, more details of how the world became of Androids/Bladerunner came to be. There are a number of plot twists, and the action is well drawn. Any fan of the novel or film will probably find it entertaining enough, but it’s not going to blow your mind.
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