Blade Runner 2019: Volume #3: Home Again, Home Again wraps up the complicated plot of Ash and her charge, Cleo, in a way that is satisfying as well as sets up more stories to be told in the dark rain-soaked future of Phillip K, Dick (and Ridley Scott’s) universe. There’s a lot of surprising twists and turns in this volume but I’m glad to say they wrap up most of the plot points so that those wanting a complete story could just stop here.
The premise of Blade Runner 2019 is that Ash is a former Blade Runner who was given a mission to look for a child stolen by a cult of Replicants. Things got much more complicated than she ever thought possible as the child wanted to be with a Replicant recreation of her mother and somehow ended up in Ash’s hands for the better part of a decade. Ash and Cleo took refuge in space and only now have returned to Earth in order to take the fight to their enemies.
Home Again, Home Again is a wonderful conclusion to the three-volume storyline of Ash the Blade Runner. She has gone from being a racist against Replicants and a seller of their organs to collectors to someone who is willing to protect them from persecution. In a LGBT surprise, Ash turns out to be gay and starts a relationship with the leader of the Replicant resistance. I liked that as it was surprise but nothing that contradicted past character interaction.
While I compliment the book in wrapping all the preexisting plotlines, it also lays the groundwork for future installments. Ash is aware the problems Replicants are suffering are systemic and she can do better for them from within the system than attempting to serve the Resistance as just another anonymous nobody. A lot of this is set up for future comics where Ash is once more a member of the Los Angeles Blade Runners.
I think the book suffers a bit from a rather pat ending that separates Ash and Cleo, which feels like something that would be more difficult for the two to do given they have been mother and daughter for much of the latter’s life. Even if she has her “real” mother now, this is something that is not easy to separate. On the other hand, I also understand why Ash believes it would be safer for Cleo to live away from her.
The introduction of the Replicant resistance from the 2049 movie was a good decision and I like the elevation of Freysa (the leader) to main character. Seeing her adventures before becoming the head of the Replicants fighting for their freedom in the sequel is a good decision. Making her a combat medic was also an interesting decision and very symbolic.
The artwork, action, and storytelling of the Blade Runner comics is always top notch. Cyberpunk is a long-overlooked genre in comics despite some big successes like Frank Miller’s Ronin or the Marvel 2099 series. The series successfully captures the neo-noir mood and themes of the movies while telling a wholly original story with new characters. I strongly recommend picking up all three of these graphic novels.