When one of the crew at Nerdgeist asked if I would like to do a review of a Vertigo comic, written by Gail Simone the world stood still. In that moment, they realised they had asked an extremely stupid question, whilst I danced an internal Macarena…
For those that know me, you’ll know I’m a fan of Gail Simone’s work, primarily in the DC Universe. She managed to bring new levels to a recuperated ‘Batgirl’, unity to the ‘Birds of Prey’ and diversity in ‘The Movement’ (still haven’t forgiven you for that one DC). In all, she has been round the, preverbal, DC block a few times, and has had a huge influence in the lives of some of its biggest residents. Given this, you can imagine how I felt when I got wind she had started a new series, under the Vertigo banner as well as how quickly I turned the pages of issues 1-7 of the ‘Clean Room’.
For those that haven’t read these previous issues, I recommend you buy them. Although I will attempt to sum up the premise of this series, nothing you read here will prepare you for how truly unsettling but, nonetheless, appealing this series is…
At the centre of this tale is a secret society, led by the mysterious Astrid Mueller. Astrid is a highly esteemed self-help guru believed, by those that follow her, to be the pathway to enlightenment or, in some cases, damnation. She has an ability to see monsters and demons, an ability that is shared, in time, by one of the tale’s main characters Chloe Pier. Astrid has both followers and a task-force, willing to do anything for her despite the horrible things that can happen to them, such as the case of Chloe’s unfortunate fiancé.
So yes, thus far this series has been both shocking and compelling however, I will go as far to say that this issue is possibly the most gripping to date. Things are turned on their heads after a, very unexpected, turn of events. New players enter the fore and one seemingly has a link to the queen bee herself.
Gail Simone has really managed to spin a tale of intrigue that will strike any reader at their core. She has brought to life the human fear of the unknown as well as our underlining instinct to be a sheep to a superior shepherd. In turn, artist Jon Davis-Hunt has brought these characters into a frightening reality. Although his colour palette is somewhat muted, this does not deter him from getting across the blood, gore and nightmares that will long remain in our consciousness.
In all, the ‘Clean Room’ is like nothing I have read before. It’s hard to come up with something new, as well as bring a new story to an oversaturated market, but Gail Simone has managed both, alongside a serving of her usual flair. So, for now, all I can do is wait with trepedation, for my next visit to the ‘Clean Room’.
Score – 8.5/10
Clean Room #8 is available to buy from today by clicking here or by visiting your local comic book retailer.