A malfunctioning android is on the loose on the streets of Olissipo City, 2042, and it’s a race between a crack police squad and a gang of armed cyborgs to catch up with it. With its main characters in place, this second issue of André Lima Araújo’s comic hits the ground running, giving us some tense action while expanding its world.
As the Special Operations Force investigate both the android and the gang, we get to know some of the team members a bit more, particularly the cynical Rodrigo and the confident young Josu, as they meet with an informant. But Man:Plus isn’t the kind of comic which slows down for long, as they’ve soon got their hands full with a major conspiracy.
This is the issue in which the lines between law and criminality start to blur, as the criminals are linked to a well-known businessman and the cops gather information from the shadiest of informants – and from the downbeat tone of this comic’s world, the morality can only get murkier. Some of the plot elements, such as the corporate conspiracy, don’t seem the most original, and some of the heroes are still lacking definition, but there are hints at intriguing twists to come – this issue will leave you eager to find out exactly what the relationship between the fugitive android and the gang’s victimised techie is.
But the real appeal of Man:Plus #2, as with the first issue, is the depth of the world. The disparity between the rich and the poor is extended even further here, with a brief glimpse into the life of the wealthiest man in Olissipo. Meanwhile, a visit to the city’s Chinatown offers another stunningly wonderful combination of world cultures and future technology.
As it moves forward, we’re really enjoying this futuristic techno-thriller – while some characters can come across as a little simplistic, it has a whole load of interesting ideas and details thrown into its world, and, with shades of Blade Runner and Akira in its visual style, is always a joy to look at.
MAN:PLUS #2 / AUTHOR & ARTIST: ANDRÉ LIMA ARAÚJO / PUBLISHER: TITAN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW