Monday, November 2, 2015

Clean Room #1 Review

Clean Room #1 from DC's Vertigo imprint -

    Chloe Pierce is at the end of her rope. She's lost her child. She's lost her fiancé, Philip, and she almost lost her life through a botched suicide attempt. It all started with a self-help book written by Astrid Mueller, a woman with a troubled past, and a gothic-horror writer turned founder of a cult-like neo-religion. After reading this book and becoming deeply entrenched with Mueller's followers, Philip met a grisly fate which irrevocably shattered Chloe's life and drove her to the brink of insanity. Plagued by horrible visions, Chloe sets out to confront Mueller, to find answers for her anguish and despair...And to see the Clean Room, the mysterious place that might have driven Philip to his horrible end. However, there may be more to Mueller than meets the eye, beyond the power, beyond the mysticism, there just may be something more sinister than Chloe could ever have imagined.

   Gail Simone masterfully writes this gripping psychological/supernatural mash-up, providing as an anchor a strong protagonist, and a very palpable vertical conflict. From her first appearance in the book, Chloe elicited a strong response from me - I felt compassion for her, I wanted share her journey, and I cheered her on when she decided to take life by the throat and get the answers she needed to carry on. She's pushing through her visions, her fear and despair to challenge Mueller, whose social and political power make her nearly impossible to touch at all. Mueller is an interesting antagonist, modeled after famous sci-fi writer turned founder of a neo-religion, L. Ron Hubbard, writer of Dianetics, and founder of the controversial Church of Scientology. The similarities are too many to be coincidence. Besides a captivating story, Jon Davis-Hunt's pencils give us expressive faces, and busy panels - just beautiful.

   This book is a surefire hit, and definitely one to watch.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.



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