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Surrogates (The Surrogates #1)

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,017 ratings  ·  136 reviews
The year is 2054, and life has been reduced to a data feed. The fusing of virtual reality and cybernetics has ushered in the era of the surrogate, a new technology that lets users interact with the world without ever leaving their homes. It's a perfect world, and it's up to Detectives Harvey Greer and Pete Ford of the Metro Police Department to keep it that way. But to do ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published October 2009 by Uitgeverij De Vliegende Hollander (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,557)
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Brooke
My interest in this title was sparked by a trailer for the upcoming movie version. I think a lot of people discovered it about the time I did, since it took a couple months for a copy to make its way to me after I reserved it at the library.

Surrogates is a deceptively simple book. There are no confusing plot twists, no complex language, no overwhemlingly large cast of characters. However, it is a tightly-woven story filled with enough cultural analysis to keep your brain working long after you'v
...more
Joe
I just didn't want to finish the book. Cause that's all folks.

Man, I haven't read a graphic novel this well written in a while. I was a dedicated comic collector as a kid and most of them were nicely done and worth a quick read.

But this drama is not only written extremely well, but it flows effortlessly with the sparse duotone drawings. They don't get in the way, but accentuate the multiple story lines--even with the sublte change in color from scene to scene. Seeing this as a movie would be ex
...more
Joshua Palmatier
I decided to buy and read "The Surrogates" because, of course, the movie was coming out soon and it had Bruce Willis in it, and I've lately been drawn into the graphic novel universe. So I said, why not? I've read a few other graphic novels and the concepts presented in this one were interesting.

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
...more
Steven
The collected miniseries raises some interesting questions about the price of technological progress and of social appearances. Venditti knows when it's necessary to pull back the dialogue and let Weldele's art speak for him. For a story that relies on no captions, the dialogue works well to establish the background and push the plot forward.

Weldele uses an interesting mix of computer-generated effects and art to supplement his scratchy drawings. But art style seems too dark for the story, as if
...more
Robert Beveridge
Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, The Surrogates (Top Shelf, 2006)

It is by now a Hollywood cliché, not to mention a Hollywood truism, that the book is better than the movie. And that is certainly the case where The Surrogates is concerned. That said, in some ironic way, reading Robert Venditti's original source material gave me a slightly greater respect for Jonathan Mostow's bloated, listless adaptation. I can see why he made the changes he made, and some of them I actually agree with. (The tw
...more
Jason
I've thoroughly enjoyed this series. The concept of owning a surrogate and living vicariously through it in your career, relationships, and daily life is equally fascinating as it is horrifying. I loved how much Venditti thought through the implications of this technology and what kind of an impact vicarious living could have on culture, politics, and religion. I was lucky enough to read the collected volumes which included some extremely creative advertising from Virtual Life Inc. It was so bel ...more
Natlyn
Well done mystery/sf thriller with interesting world building. I'm not sure about some of the speculation as to the effect surrogates would have on the populace, but most of it is moderately plausible at least. The pacing is dead on, incorporating the crime investigation, the detective's personal life and background on the use of surrogates in just the right amounts at just the right times.

I would be very interested to learn what happens after the end of this story: however, I suspect the author
...more
Mike
I figured since I worked on the upcoming movie, I should read The Surrogates to get a real sense of the story beyond the snippets here and there that I pieced together. I was pleasantly surprised. The book isn't overly complex, which is good. Instead of bogging down in the science, Venditti lets you get to know Detective Harvey Greer and gives you a feel for what society has become by looking through his eyes.

The storytelling is crisp and compelling, and I liked the inter-chapter sections - jou
...more
erica
Mar 11, 2010 erica rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: comic book nerds
Everything I've read recently has been mutated/adopted by another medium (mostly movies, but Wicked is a musical and icanhascheeseburger is a website...and yes, I 'read' icanhascheeseburger the book).

Thought the Bruce Willis flick looked kinda interesting, so I thought the graphic novel would inspire me enough to finally add the movie to my queue. It has, but it's number 478 or something. There were a couple of cool extra stuff between chapters (brochure from company selling surrogate robot-bodi
...more
Dave Maddock
I loved this book. The writing is top notch and the art, though a bit too scribbly for my taste, worked well with the "sci-fi noir" feel of the story. I think Venditti did a good job of making his social point without becoming preachy, perhaps partly because you get the feeling that he'd like to operate a surrogate as much as most of his characters do.

Reading this off the back of Moore's Black Dossier, I can't help but praise Venditti's intelligent use of the "ancilliary documents" technique tha
...more
Jayme
I'm not a fan of graphic novels. However, if the artwork is good and the story is interesting I'll give it try. The drawing was excellent and the coloring was very similar to the 30 Days of Nights graphic novels which I thoroughly enjoyed. And the story, of course, warning us against the dangers of becoming disconnected from the world...it could have been heavy-handed but it wasn't. The ending was a bit abrupt and, unfortunately, I figured out early on who the "killer" was. Still, I highly recom ...more
Matt
I first became aware of this graphic novel while watching the movie trailer. The trailer had some cool Sci-Fi elements so I decided to check out the actual source material. The graphic novel collects all five of the original issues that were published from 2005 to 2006. Also included are the five comic book covers, original concept ideas behind the characters, how the art was transformed from the script to the page, deleted scenes and a pin-up gallery by other artists. The most fascinating item ...more
Steen Christiansen
In the future, everyone is a drone. Or at least, everyone has a "surrie" -- a surrogate body living up to their self-image. Everyone sees the world primarily through their surrogate's eyes, instead of living through their own bodies. Clearly a wry statement on online living and the burgeoning (in 2006) social media, the comic emphasizes lived relations and the social distance any technology may produce.

The story revolves around mysterious 'murders' of people's surrogates and Harvey Greer and Pet
...more
M
Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele have produced a heady piece of science fiction with their graphic novel, The Surrogates. Set in 2054, most of humanity have opted to trade actual reality for the virtual kind. Using headsets and human-analog avatars dubbed "surrogates," the world is populated with these synthetic beings. When two are "killed" in a alley, police detective Harvey Greer and his partner are called in to investigate. The trail leads to high-tech thievery, a religious fringe society t ...more
Tessa
Something about the art didn't catch me, but it was distinctive and fluid. Something about the concept didn't catch me either--I just couldn't buy into it, and it wrapped up so implausibly neatly. Still, an enjoyable read. I'll be interested to see how they do the movie version.
Kathryn
I liked the main character and his relationship with his wife, otherwise, I felt the story was too simple and predictable. Actually, I was bored. And the art needed something. For an idea that I would normally eat up, I feel disappointed.
Seizure Romero
Not my favorite style of comic art, but it is perfect for the dreary dystopian theme.
Cindy
I really love the concept here: in 2054 cybernetic robot "surrogates" have become the virtual replacement for real people. You stay in the comfort of your own home controlling your beautiful surrogate at it navigates the world at your behest. Work, travel, human interaction all have this surrogate buffer, but you feel all the sensations as if you are really there. The immediate upside is that violent crime and disease have mostly been eradicated. People can do jobs their real bodies wouldn't nor ...more
Trisha
I adore the premise of this graphic novel. The year is 2054 and the world population is primarily living life through androids they mentally link with and control. These "surrogates" are used for more than just entertainment; people use them for all aspects of life including jobs - police forces are now 100% surrogates with the human users for the most part not even physically capable of performing the job. But someone out there isn't thrilled with this virtual way of living, and he is determine ...more
Kate
The Surrogates takes place in a futuristic world in which people live out their lives through "surrogates," advanced robots. These surrogates let them live out the lives of their dreams and protect their real bodies from harm. The Surrogates is a fast-paced, rather messy noir story about a police detective who tracks down the man responsible for attacks on surrogates.

There's nothing really fresh or new here for anyone familiar with sci-fi. The pacing is uneven, and the author never really builds
...more
Marsha
This is a fascinating concept, brilliantly told and illustrated through the tale of a crime and detective story. The possible ramifications are drawn out in ways that make the reader THINK about what it would be like to live in the third person in your own life.

What would you do if you could have sex with anyone you wanted, without fear of disease or scandal? Would having sex through a puppet with someone other than your spouse be considered adultery? Could you live your life without ever seein
...more
Janie
This book is fairly confusing. The plots sort of slowly flow by, and while the stylized art is very well done, I have to admit I'm more of a fan of the crisp, clear lines rather than rough sketch-book-looking design, as well as color beyond shades of brown and black. The reports and advertisement segments for surrogates are ridiculously well done, and they do look absolutely real which was CRAZY cool (though a bit tedious to read at times).

The year is [sometime in the future], and humanity has g
...more
Andy Shuping
I read The Homeland Directive by Robert Venditti sometime last year and I’ve got to admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of the work. It just didn’t capture my attention as much as I thought it would, but I kept hearing good things about The Surrogates and thought I’d give it a try. And wow. All of the good things I heard about it were right and this book now has a place on bookshelf (which doesn’t happen with every book that I read.)

The year is 2054 and android surrogates are a way of life. Only the
...more
Angel
Only thing I will say upfront not so positive is that I had a bit of mixed feelings at the end, which I will not reveal because I think this book deserves to be read. And to be honest, an ending that does make you think a bit is a good thing. It certainly is something you do not get often when you think of graphic novels and comics. So, that out of the way, let's look at the rest of the book.

The book is a nice blend of a police procedural/mystery and science fiction. In a world where humans now
...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

This is a special five-issue comics miniseries from 2006 by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, apparently made into a big-budget Hollywood movie starring Bruce Willis that I have no recollection of ever even being in the theatres (strange for me and science-fiction), which takes as its premise a very Holl
...more
Alan
I just reread this during the week, and I am now struck by the similarities between this and David Brin's Klin People. Oh, there are significant differences. I think both authors hit on some very social aspects of the common use of doubles, but Brin has more faith in human beings being able to stay in the real world than Venditti.

I read this because I just got the DVD from Netflix. In a very short span the writer brings up what some of what the problems of VR and living your life through it coul
...more
Christopher Mclean
One of the best comics I have read it quite a while. Takes the very interesting premise of nearly everybody living their lives through realistic, humanoid robots while never physically leaving their homes. The book does an excellent job of exploring the various different affects, both positive and negative this technology has on society.

Layered on top of this is an interesting detective tale, with a villain who appears to be want to destroy all surrogates in an attempt to return people to their
...more
Rebecca Grace
In this graphic novel, Robert Venditti depicts a world in which people no longer interact face-to-face and instead rely on androids and virtual reality. As the story progresses, the readers begin to realize just how twisted the society is. The wife of the protagonist refuses to be seen by her own husband because she'd rather appear as a young and beautiful android than an aging woman. Mortality and human interaction play a large part in the story and, when his surrogate is damaged, the protagoni ...more
Brandy
Virtual reality technology has come so far that leaving the house is completely unnecessary. Nearly everyone has a Surrogate, an android with a VR link-up to ferry physical input back to the user. Violent crime has been almost completely eradicated. Police officers sit safely in the station while their surrogates walk into danger. All in all, it's a perfectly safe society, allowing interaction without any of the dangers. Except for the techno-terrorist bent on destroying surrogates and forcing p ...more
Danica Northend
This was one of the most interesting science fiction premises I've read in a long time (and even then, the best ones were, of course, from the 70s). I think Venditti sets us up to explore an interesting set of social issues that could, in the context of the story, have run very very deep. The premise cleverly addresses the obvious social implications of our present forms of socializing (the alternatives offered by facebook, etc) and it, along with our contemporary attitudes toward identity - bot ...more
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Robert Venditti is the New York Times best-selling author of The Homeland Directive and the sci-fi graphic novel series The Surrogates, the first installment of which was adapted into a feature film starring Bruce Willis and Ving Rhames. He currently writes the ongoing monthly comic book series X-O Manowar, Green Lantern, and The Flash. His debut children's novel, Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape: ...more
More about Robert Venditti...
The Homeland Directive X-O Manowar Vol. 1: By The Sword The Surrogates: Flesh and Bone X-O Manowar Vol. 2: Enter Ninjak Green Lantern, Vol. 4: Dark Days

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