Friday, August 3, 2012
Review - Think Tank #1
The first issue is written by Matt Hawkins and illustrated by Rahsan Ekedal, with letters by Troy Peteri.
Dr. Loren also happens to be labeled a child prodigy, inventor, genius, slacker and mass murderer. These are the characteristics DARPA looks for in its employees, which unfortunately isn't exactly what the rank and file of the miltary want. The bigger problem is that Loren is bored and boredom breeds chaos typically.
Loren is tasked with finishing one of the projects on DARPA's wish list or he risks losing everything. This isn't quite the driving motivation for Loren, but by the end of the first issue his propensity for tinkering lands him in even more hot water.
Hawkins took the first-person storytelling route and it really works. The reader fully gets Loren, despite there likely being more layers of complexity to him that have yet to be peeled back. He does come across as all of the aforementioned roles above very well.
Loren is so good at what he does, he's built a wall of imperviousness around him, inflated by his ego and cocksure attitude. His decisions all flow from his "holier than thou" attitude, inevitably leading to conflicts and tension. This tension feels organic and helps the book flow, letting the reader know up front that Loren is sort of a scatterbrained genius who really doesn't care.
For all of the characterization of Loren by Hawkins, Ekedal's illustrations are a lot more understated. For one, their in black and white, a motif that keeps the comic grounded. Two, they manage to marry Loren's insecurities with his body expressions, a feat that Ekedal does very well. Ekedal's work here continues to prove why he's fast rising in the illustration business.
The first issue of Think Tank starts and finishes strong. There's a small concern that every issue could end up being Loren being brash and not caring while being "forced" to do the latest project and hopefully it doesn't come to that. The main reason to read the series is likely to find out whether or not Loren does change and does care. Or if he goes insane. There's a thin line between insanity and genius.
Think Tank #1 is in stores now with interiors below.