In Cyberpunk 2077: Blackout #1, the latest Cyberpunk 2077 tie-in from Dark Horse, a braindance repairman (Arturo), has a bad week. Or year. See, braindances are dreams you can buy, and machines deliver them. In a city-wide electricity blackout, the machines are broken, and it's up to our exhausted, indebted, and suicidal repairman to fix them. Throw in an abusive boss, and it's a recipe for disaster.
Artist Roberto Ricci's work reminds me, at least a little bit, of Ronald Wimberly's work. If a reader chooses, there's a fantastic amount of detail in the background to get lost in. The change in Arturo's face in the cliffhanger is a highlight. In that panel, Arturo looks happier than he's seen in the previous 20+ pages.
Writer and CD Project Red Narrative Manager Bartosz Sztybor delivers an exhausting set of bosses for Arturo to interact with and be berated by. (Is Arturo a nod to the Roberto Bolaño character? Don't know.) A credit to Maia Kenney's translation (credited as English Dialogue Adaptation) as well. Arturo's boss using the phrase stitch and bitch to describe Arturo talking to a client in the normal course of the job was a nice touch.
Cyberpunk 2077: Blackout #1 can be compared to the Death card in tarot. In tarot, the Death card doesn't mean death exactly; it represents a significant change in your life. And that's the first issue of Cyberpunk 2077: Blackout. In Cyberpunk 2077: Blackout #2, presumably, Arturo will really have to live.
It hurts. Night City hurts. The suffering runs deep and the deeper one falls, the longer the self-prescribed dreams play. Fortune, hope, love–all made possible by DMS technology. But not everyone desires a happy ending. A braindance repairman discovers the answer to pain . . . comes in a blackout.
* The third comic series from Dark Horse based on CD Projekt Red's hit video game Cyberpunk 2077!