ADVANCE REVIEW: Man Plus #1

Writer: Andre Lima Araujo
Artist: Andre Lima Araujo
Colors: Arsia Rozegar
Letters : Tom Williams
Publisher : Titan Comics
Release Date: Janaury 20, 2016

Set in Olissipo City, a Portuguese silicon valley of the near future, Man wastes no time throwing readers into the action. There are a few setup pages that not only display Araujo’s and Rozegar’s artistic ability, but a, well, forward thinking view of what a city may look like in 26 years. Granted this particular city is being funded by a major multinational biotech firm, so maybe that’s why the architecture looks as technologically transcending as it does…that’s not a knock, not really anyway. I was just blown away by the level of tech expected by the year 2042.

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It’s possible I guess, so we’ll just have to wait and see where we’re at in the 2040s.

The artwork in the book is hands down amazing, and easily the most appealing thing about the comic. The story itself is good, but falls just sort of being great; that has more to do with the subject matter than the execution. Though you’ve no doubt seen something similar, sometime, somewhere, Araujo and his team still manage to breathe a little life into the cyberpunk genre with this comic, while still staying true to the  . One of the cops in the story, Josu, looks sort of like an adult Kanneda (of Akira fame), so that helped to endear me to the book a little more than I think I otherwise would have been.

Man Plus combines traditional elements of the genre – corporate corruption, advanced personal tech, government overreach – with police drama and crime procedural details that make the book feel fresh. It’s not as philosophically heavy as Ghost in The Shell, nor is it as depressing as Law and Order: SVU (at least not in the first issue), but it has the potential to be something of a bridge between genres in way that’s accessible, fun and anything but boring.

The comic is currently available online here.

Print issues will be available from Titan Comics on January 20, 2016!

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