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The Surrogates (Surrogates (Graphic Novels)) by Robert Venditti & Brett Weldele (Top Shelf)

Thought-provoking sci-fi is the best kind. The Surrogates brings online obsessions to its (il)logical conclusion. Imagine if you could imbue your consciousness into a cyborg avatar who would do your “living” for you whilst you stayed safe at home. Talk about the ultimate role playing game! The influences of William Gibson and Philip K Dick loom large and long on this intriguing sci-fi tale as Venditti & Weldele spin a futuristic yarn where the “trouble in paradise” scenario truly boils over as the pro and anti surrogate camps collide.

The Surrogates is basically a hard-boiled mystery dropped into this fanastikal world as two police detectives Harvey Greer and Pete Ford investigate a bizarre crime that threatens their way of life. How the two men deal with this life-altering issue is instructional as both men react radically differently from each other.

The narrative is taut, without too much exposition whilst the art work is curiously impressionistic, reminiscient of the styles of Bill Sienkiewicz and Jon J Muth. There is much interplay between light and shadow in the story presentation which I suppose mirrors the washes of gray that permeate this morality play. There are  no simple right or wrong answers in the Surrogates but the satisfaction is in the examination of the polar arguments.

Whether the upcoming Bruce Willis-starring film adaptation will be able to provide us with equal thought provoking moments remains to be seen… But in the meantime, enjoy the Surrogates in its original form.

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