Robert Adler

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: Dust to Dust 5 (September 2010)

d5d.jpgOh, I thought it was a five issue series. It’s an eight issue series. Hmm. Not sure I would have made that commitment after the second issue letdown.

This issue is mostly action. There’s a lot of flashback from the rogue android. They call them rogues, not renegades. There’s a lot more of the Terminator 2 stuff too–I think it’s the pre-nuclear holocaust vibe, it all feels very Terminator 2.

Roberson reveals the mole–the hidden android amidst the heroes (or at least, the protagonists). She’s black. All the primary bad androids are black. I can’t believe no one noticed.

What makes Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? interesting–what makes Blade Runner interesting–isn’t the mythology of their respective futures. It’s the writing or it’s the filmmaking. The first issue, Roberson seemed to get it. But now, with the fifth issue, he’s all about explaining this future.

CREDITS

Writer, Chris Roberson; artist, Robert Adler; colorists, Andres Lozano and Javier Suppa; letterer, Jimmy Betancourt; editor, Bryce Carlson; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: Dust to Dust 4 (August 2010)

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Now I’m reminded of A Scanner Darkly, the film adaptation, I haven’t read the book (also by Philip K. Dick). Something about the colors.

It’s a brave move, to try to continue Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Roberson isn’t failing. The first issue just suggested he’d knock it out of the park, kind of like K.W. Jeter’s sequels to Blade Runner. It’s not a failure by any means.

This issue shows all of Roberson’s strengths–for example, he continues to develop the Dr. Wu character, giving her personality all sorts of lovely facets. He deftly introduces them both in dialogue and in her narration. It’s well done.

There’s just not a story. It’s a prequel in a really general sense (so far), borrowing on some concepts instead of continuing a story. Nice how a prequel continues even though it comes before.

But anyway. I’m glad there’s only one more.

CREDITS

Writer, Chris Roberson; artist, Robert Adler; colorists, Andres Lozano and Javier Suppa; letterer, Jimmy Betancourt; editor, Bryce Carlson; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: Dust to Dust 3 (July 2010)

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With my expectations adjusted following the second issue, Dust to Dust is getting leveling off. Or at least it seems to be.

Roberson has three distinct voices this issue–Reed, the empath, who has a second person narration. The android blade runner talks in the first person. He was a lot more interesting as a narrator during the first issue, before the reveal he’s an android. Then there’s Dr. Wu, who appears to be tweeting her narration, with the too long for twitter tweets.

The story is progressing–the renegade androids are collecting dead animals, Wu is researching the phenomenon of the animals dying–but Roberson doesn’t have a hook. While this issue is superior to the last, it’s superior on a lot simpler terms.

Adler does wonderful design work here, which makes up for the sometimes too sketchy faces.

But it’s not the sliced bread the first issue suggested.

CREDITS

Writer, Chris Roberson; artist, Robert Adler; colorists, Andres Lozano and Javier Suppa; letterer, Jimmy Betancourt; editor, Bryce Carlson; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: Dust to Dust 2 (June 2010)

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Unfortunately, the second issue is not as strong as the first. It starts off with some awkward second person examination of the empath. I can’t remember if I’m supposed to remember his name. The story’s split between three plots–the renegade androids, the “blade runner” and the empath who are pursuing them and a scientist who will probably get more important later. Right now, she’s Roberson’s way of presenting information to the reader in narrative.

What goes wrong is the lack of wow factor. Roberson isn’t showing off how well he can do a prequel to a classic work, he’s trying to tell a story. And a lot of stuff has entered into the cultural consciousness since the novel was published. For whatever reason, I kept getting reminded of Terminator 2 while reading this issue.

It’s still good. There’re some great scenes, but the gilding is chipping fast.

I’m rather bummed.

CREDITS

Writer, Chris Roberson; artist, Robert Adler; colorists, Andres Lozano and Javier Suppa; letterer, Jimmy Betancourt; editor, Bryce Carlson; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: Dust to Dust 1 (May 2010)

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First, let’s see if I can figure out how to describe the comic. Dust to Dust is a prequel to Boom!’s ambitious adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? That novel was adapted into a little movie called Blade Runner back in 1982. The novel’s popularity has never reached the level of the film’s; though Dick’s fan base is incredibly varied.

Ok, wasted half the response on that paragraph.

Dust to Dust has two problems–Adler is better as a designer, some great panel layouts, sometimes the detail isn’t there. But some fantastic visual storytelling. Second problem, though his use of modern (for 2010–remember, essentially a prequel to something written in 1968) technology is fantastic, Roberson’s use of twitter is too wordy.

I can’t believe there isn’t cheering in the streets over Dust to Dust.

It’s an astoundingly well-done comic book.

CREDITS

Writer, Chris Roberson; artist, Robert Adler; colorists, Andres Lozano and Javier Suppa; letterer, Jimmy Betancourt; editor, Bryce Carlson; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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