2010 – 2013
Drago Bentley: Space Detective is a serialised graphic novel crime sci-fi tech-noir story about a gifted private detective from the early twenty second century made blind when his optical implants are switched off and is forced to reanimate his hated android as his “seeing eye dog” to solve the case of a missing billionaire, in the process exposing the truth behind a militant group of high level androids and a corrupt senator hell-bent on controlling the world. The graphic novel and comics are available through Red Stylo Media.
The first two chapters have been made into a Motion Comics. Joe is currently seeking a producer to translate the rest of the comics into motion.
The comic is based on an original feature script and is being honed and refined. As at 20 December 2013, a screenplay adaptation of the novel was drafted and is being read by a number of producers in the USA. If interested, please contact Joe.
2101. News of a coroner’s inquest into the death of Michael Conroy, billionaire robotics genius, while aboard the Hilton Space Hotel (HSH) and the blame for it put on ROFER (Robots For Equal Rights) wakes Drago Bentley, veteran PI. But his optical implant isn’t working, he’s blind. MediPro, the company financing Drag’s operation, confirms the implant was switched off when Drago defaulted on his repayments. He’s allowed an audience with Richard Conroy, the CEO. Drago, with no option, powers up an android, Frank.
Drago takes his PA, Xi-Ann, with him to the meeting while Frank gets an upgrade. Drago is offered a deal to wipe the debt: find his son, Michael, whom he believes faked his death. Drago’s optical implants are re-activated.
Frank has a virus downloaded in him by a rogue android, mutating his software. He now sympathizes with ROFER’s cause to be recognized as conscious beings.
The HSH. Frank uncovers evidence the victim wasn’t human. Theorizing that Michael is the mastermind behind ROFER they find a money trail leading to the moon colony.
Michael gets word, sends out an assassin robot to kill Drago.
Solar flare activity makes Drago’s implant malfunction. Blinded, Xi-Ann and Frank save Drago from assassination. In the fight, the assassin robot transmits a further virus that makes Frank more fanatical. Drago’s relationship with Frank deepens.
The moon. Frank contacts ROFER. He’s persuaded to kill Drago. Xi-Ann finds out so intercepts Frank. In the fight, she downloads an anti-virus. He wins. Finding Drago blind, Frank readies an explosive. But Drago muses that he will help Frank obtain independence. Conflicted by this kindness, Frank unprimes, leaves and explodes minutes later outside the dome.
Drago locates Michael’s workshop but Michael left days earlier for Earth. With Frank’s remains, they return to Earth and give the parts to a robot repairer.
Meeting Richard, they report their results: Michael is a terrorist. Drago’s newfound wealth – revealed by Frank – establishes him as majority shareholder of MediPro.
The robot repairer contacts Drago. The remains are not Frank.
On the moon, Frank finds Minerva, Michael’s missing android whom he’d fallen in love with. The two return to Earth.
Drago gets a threatening voice message from Veejay, the husband who caused his blindness. Out from prison, he wants to kill Drago.
After Drago’s insulting report, Richard contacts Veejay, tells him where Drago lives.
Oblivious, Drago takes Xi-Ann to dinner, but Veejay ambushes them, shooting Xi-Ann.
Veejay runs, finds his way to Drago’s apartment.
Drago takes Xi-Ann to hospital.
Returning to Drago’s place Frank is attacked and kills Veejay, experiencing remorse.
Returning home, Drago is bewildered by Frank’s remorse and finally accepts his humanness. Frank gives Drago information that flushes Michael out: he has Minerva.
Coincidentally, the leader of a fundamentalist religious order shoots at Minerva but misses and kills Michael. After his death, Minerva in given control over Michael’s company.
Using Michael’s fortune, she overcomes the discrimination against robots with consciousness.
Drago, Xi-Ann and Frank go on to solve more crimes.