The Dirty Pair

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Cover to Run from the Future trade paperback. Art by Adam Warren.

The Dirty Pair is an original English-language manga written and illustrated by Adam Warren, based on the Dirty Pair characters created by Haruka Takachiho.

The American comic company and manga translator Studio Proteus acquired rights to create comic versions of the Dirty Pair in 1989; the first two graphic novels Biohazards and Dangerous Acquaintances were published by the since-defunct Eclipse Comics. Later the rights were transferred to Dark Horse Comics. The first 3 series were written by Toren Smith and Adam Warren and drawn by Warren - after that Smith left the project and Warren took over writing completely. These stories have a much more cyberpunk style than the other versions; the later stories, starting with "Fatal but not Serious", move into the transhuman and posthuman subgenre's.

The Lovely Angels

Kei and Yuri are two Trouble Consultants (Criminal Division, Class A) for the World Welfare Work Association (3WA), code-named "Lovely Angels", but known through out the United Galactica (UG) as the "Dirty Pair", a nickname given to them by the press due to their bad luck with their missions, which always seem to end in complete disaster. But they are always cleared of any wrongdoing by the UG's Central Computer because the extreme damage is never actually their fault (though their mere presence has been known to make things worse).

They originally met at Meizuru university for Lucien genetic upgrades around A.D. 2134, although it is not confirmed as canon, one can assume they were both misfits within their year, and so became friends due to nether of them fitting in. Around A.D. 2137, just before graduation from Meizuru university, they played a prank on their friends, convincing them that they were both psychic. Shortly afterwards, news reached the 3WA and they were scouted for recruitment and tested by a parapsychology institute. The pair cheated every which way possible (the really short skirts were Kei's idea), and they tested positive for clairvoyance, the 3WA considered this to be useful and hired them.

Although, outwardly they almost constantly fight and bicker with each other, they are both loyal best friends, always pairing up together to deck anyone that calls them by their "Dirty Pair" nickname.

  • Kei: Born 11/27/2122 Age 19, she is a Lucien type genetic upgrade (although Yuri might dispute this fact, claiming she might be a yamashita upgrade), she has long red hair with large bangs, brown eyes (more often than not green) is 174-cm tall and weighs 59-kg. Kei is the tomboy of the pair, outgoing, loud and boisterous, she has remarked that she is "the exciting half of our team" and that "drinking or sex would be my responsibilities". Although she often fights and argues with Yuri, she has displayed a much softer side to her personality, revealing in the Sim Hell mini series that her biggest fear is that of losing Yuri, and having very watery eye's over the death of the original Yuri during Fatal But Not Serious. Kei has a passion for cheesecake, large firearms and bleeding edge mecha and war-tech.
  • Yuri: Born 3/18/2122 (original) 9/12/2141 (Currant Clone) Age 19, she is a Lucien type genetic upgrade, she has long black hair, blue eyes, is 171-cm tall and weighs 58-kg. Yuri is the more stereotypical retro-feminine of the two, being the more demure, modest, polite and friendly of the two. This appears to stem from her traditional Japanese upbringing, and possibly from her fears of what other people think of her in regard to all the disasters they had been indirectly involved in. During the plot line of Fatal But Not Serious, another version of her was cloned from her stolen personality construct and tissue samples kept on record at the 3WA. The cloned version of Yuri had a "serotinin-based progressive imbalance" set into her neurochemistry, to make her psychotically suicidal, and was tasked with the mission of killing the original Kei and Yuri (albeit that she believed herself to be in a simulation), she was only 50% successful, terminating only the original Yuri. Although she often fights with her partner Kei, she has a deep devotion to her best friend. In Sim Hell while dining with "an old friend" Dan, she spoke of nothing but Kei, and when it was revealed she was in danger, ran immediately to her aid. And in Fatal But Not Serious, Yuri could not bring herself to kill Kei in cold blood, despite her neurochemistry imbalance. It is also revealed that Yuri has a deep admiration for Kei's rebel side, stealing her stuff in Fatal But Not Serious and acting the "Bad Girl", as-well as attempting to act more like Kei after they engaged synchronous puppet mode, taking control of each others bodies and trading perps in Run From The Future.

Story Chronology

The story arcs of each mini series are not released in a consistent order, instead the currant canon time-line is;

  • A Big 'Merci Beaucoup'.' - 2134, 2137, 2138, 2140, 2141 (no exact dates or times stated)
  • Fatal But Not Serious - 12th & 13th of September 2141
  • Run From The Future - during midday of 15 October 2141.
  • Sim Hell - 23 November 2141 (Perhaps in as little a minutes)
  • A Plague of Angels - 24 & 25 December 2141

This presents a number continuity errors and inconsistencies. One of the most notable being reporter Cory Emerson who in 'A Plague of Angels' has not heard of the Angels Reputation, but in Fatal But Not Serious hosts a chat show with Kei and Yuri as guests. This is either due to Adam's distinct versions of the Angels, or his sense of humor.

  • Start The Violence is set sometime after 'Fatal But Not Serious' as Yuri's ID card states she is the clone from the FBNS story arc, and the character designs would lend the story to be set around the 'Run From The Future' arc.

Publications

Biohazards

Biohazards - 4 issues, December 1988 - April 1989 (trade paperback TPB, 1989; 1998, reissue, ISBN 1-56971-339-1)

Biohazards is an original English-language manga written Toren Smith and Adam Warren and illustrated by Adam Warren, based on the Dirty Pair characters created by Haruka Takachiho. Originally published by Eclipse Comics between December 1988 - April 1989 and has since been collected into a trade paperback TPB in 1989 and reissued by Dark Horse Comics in 1998.

Plot

The Lovely Angels are assigned to Pacifica: tissue samples and the single surviving brainchip of leading biotechnical engineer Kelvin A. O'Donnell have been stolen by agents of Abraham Streib, a rival industrialist maimed in an accident apparently staged by O'Donnell. Enter the Dirty Pair, who rescue O'Donnell's brainchip, implanted by Streib in a cuddly Pseudo-Fuzzy. Mission accomplished - but O'Donnell convinces the Angels of Streib's traffic in illegal bioweapons, and persuades them to help him retrieve his tissue samples so he can regain his humanity. His consciousness transferred to a synthetic warbeast, O'Donnell leads the Pair to Streib's lab, obliterating most of his cronies - and a sizable section of Pacifica's capital city. O'Donnell assures the destruction of Streib's operation, and of Streib himself, but, en route home, is arrested by Pacifica Security for unlawful bioweapons production of his own.

Publication

  • Adam Warren and Toren Smith - The Dirty Pair: Biohazards. ISBN 1-56971-339-1

Dangerous Acquaintances

Dangerous Acquaintances - 5 issues, June 1989 - March 1990 (TPB, 1991, Soft Cover: ISBN 1-56060-116-7, Hard Cover: ISBN 1-56060-116-9; 1997, reissue, ISBN 1-56971-227-1)

A Plague of Angels

A Plague of Angels - 5 issues, August 1990 - November 1991 (TPB, 1995, ISBN 1-56971-227-)

"A Plague of Angels" is the 3rd original English-language manga version of Haruka Takachiho's Dirty Pair characters, written by Toren Smith and Adam Warren and illustrated by Adam Warren. It was the last Dirty Pair comic that Toren Smith and Adam Warren co-wrote on, Adam going on to handle all future Writing for the series on his own. Originally published by Studio Proteus in 5 issues between August 1990 - November 1991, it has since been collected into a trade paperback TPB in 1995 and reissued by Dark Horse Comics.

Plot

As public outrage peaks, the Angels are restricted to the Kalevala O'Neill Colony to help with local investigations of a technology-smuggling outfit. Meanwhile, the 3WA launches a full-scale public relations assault, commissioning a glowingly positive profile for High Sense magazine. As the Pair turn a routine stake-out into a free-for-all, ambitious reporter Cory Emerson takes the assignment. Cory arrives to find the Pair in trouble with Security for the stake-out fiasco, which nonetheless has revealed the nature of their adversaries: artificial personalities encoded on microsoftware plugs enabling the smugglers to move between host bodies. The Angels, with Cory in tow, go solo to crack the ring, but the smugglers unleash their secret weapon: a robot using a maniacal artificial personality that threatens to blow everyone up using a low-yield gravity bomb! The Pair successfully defeat the robot, but the bomb doesn't seem to be with it anymore...

Publication

  • Adam Warren and Toren Smith - The Dirty Pair: A Plague of Angels. ISBN 1-56971-029-5

Sim Hell

Sim Hell - 4 issues, May - August 1993; colorized reissue, May - August 2001 (TPB, 1994; 1996, 2nd edition; 2002, colorized reissue, ISBN 1-56971-742-7)

Sim Hell is the 4th original English-language manga version of Haruka Takachiho's Dirty Pair characters, written and illustrated by Adam Warren. It was the first Dirty Pair comic that saw Adam Warren handle all the writing, having perviously co-wrote with Toren Smith. Originally published by Dark Horse in 4 issues between May - August 1993, later a colorized reissued version (Sim Hell Remastered) was published between May - August 2001 (TPB, 1994; 1996, 2nd edition; 2002, colorized reissue).

Plot

The Lovely Angels report to the 3WA headquarters for Kei's annual evaluative assessment by the top-secret Central Computer, the 3WA's "chief operating entity." Before any direct examination can take place, Kei must first participate via neural interface in several computer-generated interactive simulations, or "sims." Something goes awry, and Kei is seemingly trapped in a potentially lethal feedback loop with the computers running the simulation. Yuri jacks in to the sim's virtual reality to save Kei, but soon finds that both of them are now stuck in an endless series of simulations. Initially, the Angels struggle through historical sims, set decades earlier during the genocidal "Nanoclysm," a plague of artificially intelligent Nanoviruses that nearly annihilated humanity. They discover that they are trapped in simulations belonging to the shadowy Bureau of Technological Regulation (BTR), a secretive group whose business is the control of certain dangerous technologies. Eventually, Kei and Yuri stumble upon a private sim owned by Kevin Sleet, their obnoxious tormentor from the BTR. There, they find that a rogue faction of the BTR, using supposedly forbidden technologies, intends to seize control of the 3WA's Central Computer and use its formidable powers to help mount a paramilitary coup of human civilization. But worst of all, the Angels discover that Sleet plans on a future where clones of Kei and Yuri serve as his personal harem! Nauseated, our heroines head for a final confrontation with the nefarious lout. They find the Central Computer isn't without its own defenses.

Publication

  • Adam Warren - The Dirty Pair: Sim Hell. ISBN 1-56971-742-7

I Honestly Hate You

First page, from 10th Anniversary special edition of "Biohazards"

I Honestly Hate You - eight-page short story originally published in August 1994 in the (annual) San Diego ComicCon Comics, #3 (reprinted in 1998 Dark Horse Comics reprinted TPB of Biohazards).

The b&w drawing style reminds of japanese manga, with heavy usage of grayscale sheets, panels arriving to the edge of the pages on all four edges, cynetic lines showing movement, and some panels having no borders or being inclinated to a side to show the direction of action.

Fatal But Not Serious

Fatal But Not Serious - 5 issues, July - November 1995 (TPB, 1996, ISBN 1-56971-172-0)

Fatal But Not Serious is the 6th original English-language manga version of Haruka Takachiho's Dirty Pair characters, written and illustrated by Adam Warren. Originally published by Dark Horse in 5 issues between July - November 1995 (TPB, 1996).

Plot

While the majority of humanity still lives in fear of the Dirty Pair and their well-publicized "disastrous proclivities," a surprising number of people have, for a wide variety of reasons, chosen to embrace the Lovely Angels as beloved, if destructive, "idol figures." Recently, the Pair's galaxywide cult following has grown large enough to support an actual convention celebrating their dubious celebrity. In a doomed bid to generate some positive media coverage, the Lovely Angels themselves are attending this "Kei'n'YuriCon'41" as guests of honor... but their enemies are conspiring to derail this ill-fated "charm offensive." Just before the convention, the Lovely Angels defeated a terrorist group in a bloody battle that left Kei with a broken leg. the surviving terrorist sought his revenge by unleashing a tailored "neurovirus," designed to trigger an anti-Dirty Pair hysteria and mob violence at the convention. More ominously, a renegade branch of the 3WA has stolen the Lovely Angel's "back-up copy" personality constructs and tissue samples, generated a memory-intact clone of Yuri, and duped the freshly grown Angel into thinking she's undergoing an interactive simulation, a bizarre virtual reality scenario that requires her to assassinate the original Kei and Yuri. In typical Dirty Pair fashion, she's going to accomplish her mission beyond the shadow of a doubt... by causing the local sun to go supernova! Fortunately, the planetary authorities drew up plans to evacuate the system when they heard the Dirty Pair would be attending.

Publication

  • Adam Warren - The Dirty Pair: Fatal But Not Serious. ISBN 1-56971-172-0

Start The Violence

Start The Violence - one-shot, May - July 1998 (TPB, 1999; also included in Run from the Future TPB)

Run From The Future

Run From The Future - 4 issues, January - April 2000 (TPB, 2002, ISBN 1-56971-577-7)

Fatal But Not Serious is the 8th original English-language manga version of Haruka Takachiho's Dirty Pair characters, written and illustrated by Adam Warren. Originally published by Dark Horse in 4 issues between January - April 2000 (TPB, 2002)

One of the panels, displays a flashback from when the characters were traning with instructor Shasti at a simulator on WWWA facilites.

Plot

Kei and Yuri disguised as a pregnant Shasti and an overweight male model with EPD (Explosive Personality Disorder) Eddie, travel to the covert trade and technology nexus of Nimkasi habitat, where the 3WA have scored a deal with the Black Market habitat to poach 50 of the worst "Crims, Terrs and Pirates" from its megatree branches, in less that 100 minutes. Subduing, Arresting and Battling with a entient Smart Cloth 'Living Leather' suit, a French post-human terrorist leader and his mechas, French "TerrorArtistes", Biotattooed orcas, the blood thirsty Teddy Roosevelt gladiator, Kei's schoolgirl crush, and Binky (Don't Ask). The Lovely Angels may just pull off their first ever 'Collateral Damage'-free mission, but a trip down memory lane for Yuri and Kei's own faith issues conspire against them. In the end, the Angels are successful (if only for a short while), but narrowly miss seeing the real Shasti...

Publication

  • Adam Warren - The Dirty Pair: Run From The Future. ISBN 1-56971-577-7

A Big 'Merci Beaucoup'

A Big 'Merci Beaucoup'. - 6 single pages originally published May - August 2001 in the back of each colorized reissue of "Sim Hell", also in the back of the colorized "Sim Hell" TPB reissue (2002).

The story is drawn on b&w, and the shadings are no longer done using grayscale sheets, like japanese manga does.

External links