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First off, the graphic novel is significantly different from the movie, so you should probably read it even if you have already seen the movie. It starts off with the same initial setup--some surries get zapped and detectives are there to investigate--but pretty much from that moment on it diverges from the movie. Characters are the same, but they don't do what they did in the movie, tec. So read the novel, it's worth it.
The storyline is definitely interesting and pulls you along, weaving the actual detective work together with the life of the main detective, Greer. You find out about his relationship with his wife and how the introduction of the surrogates--androids that the user controls and that pretty much act out everyone's daily life for safety reasons--has altered society and interpersonal relationships to a huge extent. The main idea of the surrogates is what kept me interested in the novel, although the plotline about who's zapping surrogates and why also drew me in. The ramifications on every aspect of society if we did ever reach a point where the majority of the population lived their lives through surrogates is . . . astounding. And that's why this graphic novel rocks.
It's also why it's slightly disappointing. There are so many aspects of life that would change that what was presented in the novel seemed . . . limited. I loved the story and the novel, but when I was finished I felt that there was SO MUCH MORE to explore with this concept and I was disappointed that there wasn't more, a volume 2 or something. I know there's a prequel, and I will definitely read that, but I seriously hope that there will be more set in this world in the future because there is so much more left to explore.
Since this is a graphic novel, I must also comment on the artwork: spectacular. The artwork was subtle and appropriate and a perfect amalgamation of art and photoshopping, especially regarding some of the SF elements that were incorporated into the artwork, such as realistic digital screens and such. At the same time, the artwork was extremely simple. The level of detail was appropriate and minimalistic, as well as the color palette. Some panels were sketchy and blocky, others were more finely detailed, and the ability of the artist to convey complex emotions through facial expression and such was astounding.
So, overall a very good graphic novel, the only drawback being that the world created had SO MUCH potential that I felt there should have been much more done in this universe and with this plotline, so was disappointed when the novel ended. I'd love to see more from this pair, and even if you've seen the movie, I'd definitely suggest reading the novel.
Click here to buy The Surrogates, by Robert Venditti, Brett Weldele on Amazon
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