By Philip K. Dick (Writer), Tony Parker (Art)

The Story: An intriguing introduction to the unnervingly familiar existence of post World War Terminus earth… This first issue does a great job of introducing the reader to the foundation of what Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is really about, the study of what it really means to be human. Rick Deckard, whose daily grind consists of hunting down androids who manage to make it to earth despite the laws against it, instantly embodies all the lust, avarice, and insecurities that we humans know but seem to downplay in our own lives. His inner struggle to exist in a reality that is dying around him drives his role. J.R. Isidore who lacks the mental faculties to qualify for leaving the planet to join all the happy high living folks in the off world colonies is just as vivid in the presentation of his own twisted life; and serves as the precedent for the true introduction of the religion of Mercerism.

The Good: The greatest thing about this first issue is that it takes the often-times overly complex and intense world of Philip K. Dick’s commentary on humanity in the 20th century and makes it a lot easier to process. Having read the actual novel as a teenager and being a big fan of the film for many years, I feel that even someone who is familiar with the story can really go about enjoying it again because the thoughtful– albeit simple art, really does help to keep the dense amount of information contained in the text balanced. It allows the reader time to let the concepts and imagery of the book’s alien Earth develop before walloping you with the next slab of PKD’s brand of emotionally driven plot.

The Bad: As someone that’s familiar with the story, but also as someone who hasn’t read the novel for few years, I instantly recalled how “abstract” some parts of this story can be, and that can always be kind of a turn off since it can be viewed as lacking in its universal appeal. Especially if your thing is sitting down for a quick enjoyable read, this is by no means any fault of the fine folks who are breathing new life into this intense social melodrama, but rather something that you just need to accept about the writing of Philip K. Dick. There’s not a lot of back story, straight forward explanations, or even any real justification for the detail-oriented science fiction folks either. It’s complex and not afraid to tread into the verbose and obscure within its prose.

Conclusion: If you like Philip K. Dick or dig science fiction that deals less with fantasy and more with social and conceptual commentary, then I would highly recommend this inaugural issue. The fact that it is the actual text of the novel and not an adaptation, it truly immerses you in the world that the author intended. If you are looking for an easy read or another rehashing of the same characters in a different setting then look elsewhere, because everything about this story intense and challenging.

Grade: A

-Raymond Hilario