“Think Tank” #1 is a comic book about science and scientists, the devices they create and the lives they change. It’s also in black and white and features absolutely no superheroes, fisticuffs or secret origins, but includes a unique act of revenge and an explosion.
Matt Hawkins’ story is delivered in the first-person from the point of view of David Loren. David Loren, PhD, is a burnt-out wÃ¼nderkind tasked with the chore of realizing Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wishlist projects. Loren is haunted by the results of his work on the Predator drone, and hasn’t been able to fully complete another project since. Hawkins crafts believable voices for all of the characters in this book, even though some of them are stereotypical of their position or rank. The important part is that David Loren reads as someone haunted by his accomplishments and can’t quite figure out what to do next.
Rahsan Ekedal’s art is crisp and well defined, detailed without being cluttered. The facial expressions he grafts onto the characters are human enough, but the heavy outlines the artist uses makes the characters’ eyes seem inhuman. In some scenes this visual conundrum is more distracting than in others, but it isn’t a completely impassable obstacle. Color definitely would have helped the appearance here, but it also could have shifted into overkill for a book that is essentially all about talking heads. Ekedal has a strong enough style and clean enough storytelling to make this book a solid read without the aid of color. He uses plenty of shading techniques to convey texture and depth and his characters are wonderfully distinct and diverse.
The breakthrough that occurs in this issue, obviously, sets up future developments, but in the interim provides a bit of humor as well as a success story for readers to celebrate with Loren. The celebration doesn’t last long, as “Think Tank” #1 has a relavatory and surprising cliffhanger ending. Image has another strong concept comic book that just so happens to have very good art. If science is your thing and you’re looking for a comic to enable a scientific geekout, then give “Think Tank” a peek. If nothing else, the four pages Hawkins includes at the end of the issue will entertain and inform.