Writer/Creator: Karla Nappi
Interior Art: Marianna Strychowska
Editor Issue #1: Vince Hernandez
Lettering/Production Issue #1: Josh Reed
Lettering/Production Issue #2: Carlos M. Mangual
Covers for Issue #1 and Issue #2: Leila del Duca and Owen Gieni
Content Warning: Rape in Issue #1
Medical advancements happen rapidly enough for us to be optimistic about humanity’s potential to conquer disease and perhaps even death. As evidenced in history, however, we humans inevitably contaminate progress with our own greed and desire to dominate.
In the world of Duplicant, a deadly pandemic of organ failure threatens humanity’s future. The invention of artificial “duplicate” organs by scientist Matt Travers saves countless lives and provides hope for many. Eventually, however, the production of duplicates gives rise to the corporate conglomerate Regenerist, which maximizes profits at such a high cost that those unable to afford duplicate organs must enter indentured servitude. Meanwhile, Travers’s former mentor and a religious fanatic initiate the rise of a black market in human organs. Duplicant #1 and #2 follows Pamela Wilton, a post-surgery duplicant, as she struggles to cope with her newfound life under the abusive employer who has purchased her debt, and Matt Travers as he begins to come to terms with the unintended consequences of his life-saving technology.
Author Karla Nappi’s inspiration for Duplicant comes from tales in the cyberpunk genre such as Minority Report, Blade Runner, and the lesser-known Repo: The Genetic Opera. The plot of Duplicant bears a close resemblance to these stories with its narrative of a late capitalist society where abuse of technology is nested in lost social cohesion and failure to value human life. Duplicant is an engaging story with appealing artwork and intriguing plot development. It is too early to tell whether Duplicant will be primarily a mystery, thriller, cautionary tale, social critique, or meditation on transhumanist questions. Perhaps, like most stories of its genre, it will end up with some combination of those themes. Regardless, Duplicant is a unique and worthwhile read for those who enjoy indie comics.
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