Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Books: The Surrogates

“The Surrogates” is a comic book series written by Robert Venditti and illustrated by Brett Weldele. In the comic, most of society experiences life through remote-controlled androids that were originally designed to help physically-impaired people. When a mysterious terrorist threatens to destroy these surrogates, it’s up to Lt. Harvey Greer to stop him before the world is changed forever.

“The Surrogates” is an example of socially-oriented science-fiction, as it focuses on technology’s effect on society rather than the technology itself. There isn’t much explanation of how the “surries” work, nor is the plot’s dilemma or solution rooted in technology. Essentially, if you take away all the futuristic trappings, you’re left with a traditional detective story - a hard-boiled protagonist, his loyal partner, his irritated police chief, etc.

Despite these stereotypes, “The Surrogates” is entertaining enough to recommend. I enjoyed Weldele’s atmospheric panels (as you might expect, much of the story takes place at night, in the rain), and the story moves along at a leisurely clip. And, at the very least, it's better than its mediocre film adaptation.


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