Comic Legends: When Marvel Solved the Mystery of Blade Runner's Title

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and forty-eighth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week's legends.


Marvel actually came up with an explanation for why the movie was called Blade Runner.



As you may or may not know, the classic 1982 science fiction film, Blade Runner, was loosely based on the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Great book, but you could see why you wouldn't want to call the movie that title. So the producers of the film actually went out and bought the rights to a SECOND book just for the title of that book, which was Blade Runner. So they used the title of that book, but nothing else from that book, which is why the movie doesn't actually define the term "Blade Runner" in it (they do reference it a bunch of times, they just never actually say what it means). It's just one of those things.

Marvel, however, did an adaptaiton of the film, both in a over-sized one-shot and then in a two-issue miniseries. Jim Steranko drew the cover of the one-shot...

Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson and Carlos Garzon did the actual adaptation (you might recall the names Goodwin and Williamson from when they had a famous run on the Star Wars comic strips together. Plus, you might recognize their names because they're both very famous figures from comic book history, but hey, six of one, half dozen of the other).

I'm going to be spoiling the end of the film in showing you how Goodwin took it upon himself to define what "Blade Runner" meant.

Here's our introduction of Deckard...

Here he is with his love interest, Rachael...

And here's the ending...

Note that Goodwin ends it with his attempt to define the term...

a "Blade Runner" is someone who runs on the edge, which is certainly something that Deckard did, where there are two sides to the fight and he'll inevitably fall to one or the other. It's a clever turn of phrase by Goodwin.

Obviously, it is not OFFICIAL, but it's still amusing to note that the only real attempt to define the term came from a comic book adaptation!

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed - Which Arrow villain was going to originally be Onomatopoeia?

Part 3 will be up later on Sunday! Feel free to write in with suggestions for future legends to either cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com!

Supergirl Swings Surprise Guest Appearance By Stranger Things Star

More in CBR Exclusives