‘The Clock #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

In the world of science fiction comics, there are few creative teams that seem to do as much research and put as much effort into the accuracy of their work as Matt Hawkins. In his prior series, he's tackled the worlds of military weapons design and research and even designed utopias; each time, he not only gave readers an in-depth look into the fictional world through the lens of his characters, but through the additional "backmatter" included in his series, dubbed “Science Class.” The amount of content generated by Hawkins in the past several years is incredible, since he not only publishes his work through the Top Cow imprint of Image Comics, but he also runs the company as its president. Such a busy life could seemingly lead to little free time, but Hawkins' new series, The Clock, looks at the incredibly dangerous and deadly disease that is cancer for a fascinating, yet terrifying, new tale.

The Clock focuses on one of the researchers of a sudden outbreak of an aggressive and nearly viral strain of cancer that is quickly killing millions. This series gives an unsettling glimpse into the concept of weaponized cancer (an idea that Hawkins further details in the Science Class segment of the issue). With many dying, including those closest to him, our protagonist Jack is fighting with everything he has to find a cause and a potential cure to this new strain; if left unchecked, the cancer would kill nearly half of the world's population in mere months.

Hawkins is great at serving up exposition in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking, and usually in a way that will shake readers to the core. This series is an exercise in allowing science scare the hell out of you (or at least, it did me), because its real-world ramifications would be world-ending. Each piece of information is checked and left to be as accurate as possible, though placed into a fictional scenario. It's both brilliant and makes me very uneasy given how much of it has a root in reality.

Joining Hawkins is a fantastic group of artists in Colleen Doran, Bryan Valenza, and Troy Peteri, some of which have worked with Hawkins on other projects. The artwork is terrific, with realistic looks at both the world and the science behind the series. The color pallete works well to signify mood and tone, something important in a series like this.

It's hard to really give away how this series is moving, since we're only at the beginning, but the last page left me stunned and eager to read more of this series, even if I might not be totally sure I want to know what's really in store.


Creative Team: Matt Hawkins (writer), Colleen Doran (artist), Bryan Valenza (colors), Troy Peteri (letters)
Publisher: Image Comics / Top Cow Productions
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