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The Surrogates #2

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2005
By: Egg Embry



Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Brett Weldele
Publisher: Top Shelf




The Surrogates is Top Shelf’s first mainstream mystery/science fiction comic book offering a look at the world that is coming – In fifty years 92% of America lives vicariously through their surrogate robots. Man has given up living life in favor of simulating life.

To get you up to speed, Police Lieutenant Harvey Greer has been called in to investigate the destruction of two surrogates. What makes these “killings” important is that they are part of a pattern. If serial “murdering” computers was a capitol crime, the “sicko” that did this would be headed for the chair. But that’s the beauty of The Surrogates, the bad guy is only destroying property! And beyond property destruction, the bad guy, Steeplejack, has an agenda: obliterate the machines so humans will be forced to go back to living for themselves! And it is up to Lt. Greer to stop this “monster”… from forcing Greer to live. I mean, really live his life!

In issue two, Steeplejack shows his hand as he tries to steal the means to wipe out all of the surrogate robots. While the monster moves ahead with his mission, Lt. Greer has no clue who Steeplejack is… and during his first encounter with the bad guy Greer’s surrogate is destroyed forcing the Detective to work the rest of the case in the all-natural, as it were. So, the police officer is forced to confront the world’s best-known anti-surrogate, The Prophet.

First time writer Robert Venditti is a natural. With this book, he is producing nothing short of the finest words in comics at the moment. I stand by that. The Surrogates is that good! With such an economy of words, he conveys so much. And pairing him with artist Brett Weldele (The Clockmaker for Image and Julius for Oni Press) was a well thought out decision. Weldele’s scratchy art conveys the depth of this world in a way that very few artists could manage. Together, these two are making work that just blows me away!

To that point (and the point of the book), you’re reading this review via the internet. Sometimes it is hard to remember how I got information before the information superhighway. I edit and write comics, and I know that 95% of the people I work with in this field I’ve never met face-to-face; I only know them through e-mail. The Surrogates is the most entertaining project I’ve seen that takes up the argument that we will lose ourselves to our own technology. Honestly, this is not a preachy comic, it’s not a tale of caution and it is a look at the future through a crystal clear crystal ball.

Drop the $2.95 on this book, you will not regret it.

For more information on The Surrogates, go to TopShelfComix.com.

For more information on Egg, click www.KamenComic.com.



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