Battle Angel Alita
A female cyborg with no memories of her past becomes a mercenary in Scrapyard, a post-apocalytpic sprawl built beneath Tiphares, a floating city inhabited by affluent citizens. Alita is a master of an ancient martial art, using it to track down renegade cyborgs. As time goes on, she begins to recall snippets of her past and devotes her time to investigating where she came from. A sequel series, Battle Angel Alita: Last Order ran from 2000–2014, and a final sequel, Gunnm: Mars Chronicle, is currently ongoing. A two-episode animated adaptation of the original comic was released in 1993.
Eden: It's an Endless World!
Elijiah is a young man who is trying to survive in an apocalyptic world ravaged by a virus which has killed 15% of the human population. Most of his life is spent fighting the nefarious Propater corporation, which kidnapped his sister years ago. He eventually joins up with other anti-Propater fighters including his father, a powerful drug lord, but feels his humanity is eroding away due to the constant conflict. Later, the virus mutates and Elijiah attempts to stop it from consuming the world.
The social ambiguities of artificial intelligence are explored through the cases of Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cybernetic human and member of the counter-terrorist division of Japan’s intelligence department. Larger philosophical themes of politics and technology are prodded as Kusanagi and her team track down hackers and other rogue elements, such as a renegade AI known as the Puppetmaster. Kusanagi's adventures continued in Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface and Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human Error Processor. An animated feature (adapted from portions of the original manga) was released in 1995, and has since become an influential anime classic. A sequel, Innocence, followed in 2004, as well as Stand Alone Complex, a TV series with its own movies and OVAs. A new take on the franchise, known as Arise - Alternative Architecture, began in 2013 with a manga, OVA, and subsequent TV series. A live action Hollywood adaptation is slated for 2017.
Carl Stelz thinks he leads an average life as a tax collector, but memories of a horrific accident haunt his dreams, all while his family seems to be hiding something from him. It’s not long before he discovers the truth: he’s actually a super-powered robotic assassin named Nixon who is a crucial player in a revolution aimed at freeing robots from their programming. The three-issue series earned both Miller and Darrow an Eisner for Best Writer/Artist in 1991.
2000AD’s long-running flagship title stars a hard-assed law enforcement officer in a sprawling future megalopolis. Judge Dredd steadfastly upholds the law (“I am the law!” is his signature phrase) and protects Mega-City One by making sure criminals and villains face justice. Since its debut in 1977, Judge Dredd has become a British comics institution, with many celebrated writers and artists contributing over the years. The series has yielded two film adaptations, video games, novels, and other media.
The Long Tomorrow
This short sci-fi story first appeared in the French comics magazine Metal Hurlant, and follows a detective through a typical noir plot set in a sprawling and grungy future metropolis. In spite of its brevity, the comic was highly influential, particularly on Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and William Gibson’s Neuromancer, two works which are credited with establishing the cyberpunk genre.
Neuromancer: The Graphic Novel
The comic adaptation of Gibson’s groundbreaking novel which put cyberpunk on the map. After a condition renders him unable to access cyberspace, Case, an out-of-work, drug-addled hacker, is hired by a mysterious patron who promises to cure him. They also enlist Molly Millions, a “razorgirl” with extensive body modifications, who helps them take on entrenched corporate syndicates as well as a powerful article intelligence. The comic only covered the book’s first two chapters before it was discontinued.
The Nikopol Trilogy
A collection of three loosely-related stories that take place in a future Paris after the world has suffered two recent nuclear wars. In the first, a man named Nikopol is revived after 30 years only to be possessed by the Egyptian god Horus, who aspires to overthrow the dictatorial government. In the second, a blue-haired reporter gets caught up Nikopol and Horus's scheme, while also fleeing memories of her murderous past. And finally, the son of Nikopol travels to the heart of Saharan Africa to investigate a weather anomaly. The trilogy was adapted into a live action film in 2004 and a video game in 2008.
One of the US Secret Service’s most guarded assets is NOMAD, a young man who can infiltrate any computer system with his mind. On one assignment, NOMAD discovers he is actually a member of the Tuareg people in Saharan Africa, and makes a break for his homeland. All he wants is a free life, but his captors will not let go of their secret weapon so easily.
Part man, part Xerox photocopier parts, RanXerox is a brutish cybernetic antihero and protector of his girlfriend Lubna from the rank elements of the world. First published in the early 1980s in the Italian edition of Heavy Metal Magazine, the comic was lauded for its visuals and dark humor, but also deemed controversial for its sexualized depiction of minors.
Zaya, a former secret agent enjoying life as an artist and mother, is forced out of retirement when a biochemical monster begins wantonly attacking other agents throughout the galaxy. After neutralizing the threat though, Zaya finds herself in a parallel universe where she doesn’t exist, and her quest to get home broaches questions of who and what she really is.