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Clean Room #9 Review

Comic Books

Clean Room #9 Review

Sometimes, you gotta just take a dive and hope a creative team can catch you. No, I don’t mean literally dive on top of them at a convention. That’s nuts! Instead I mean grab a comic and see where it takes you even if you have no idea what the story is about. Is it reckless? You bet. Is it fair? Not really. Is it good? There’s only one way to find out.

Clean Room #9 (Vertigo Comics)

Clean Room #9 Review

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So what’s it about? The official Vertigo synopsis reads:

Enigmatic exorcist Astrid Mueller and her arch-rival Chloe Pierce get locked in the Clean Room as the Windy City meets a blood-starved army of Blue Utopians. But is being stuck in a hermetically sealed chamber far below the Chicago streets with someone who knows your darkest, damaged desires any safer than a city on fire?

Why does this book matter?

Body horror, demons, adult themes and a fascinating take on what the Christian churches have told us. Sounds like a hell of a good ride.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Clean Room #9 Review
You can tell how this page is set up these are bad guys.

This was the type of read where I was confused here and there, but managed to come away wanting to read the whole damn thing. The basic ideas work well as characters fight over allowing a demon/alien thing to do some good. At the same time it has way too many jagged teeth and is frighteningly pink. What good can come from that?

Gail Simone writes strong dialogue that works to express the tension in the room, but also the history between the characters. They’re fighting for their lives, for lives in general, and every choice they make matters quite a bit.

The art by Jon Davis Hunt (and colors by Quinton Winter) is detailed and downright incredible at times as it captures some epic and frankly difficult imagery to pull off. Let’s just say you’ll never look at a forehead the same way again. There’s a full page spread of some kind of organic transport system that’s really interesting to look at. How the wings on it work, or how the tiny crab legs hold up so much weight remains to be seen, but it’s one hell of an imaginative sight.

Clean Room #9 Review
The new skin peel is really wicked!

It can’t be perfect can it?

It’s really just too hard to judge not knowing what is going on in this series, so in a sense you could argue this is not new reader friendly. The tension in the room and the drama playing out was good, but not knowing the histories behind these characters made it difficult to understand what was going on. Come on Vertigo/DC, put summaries in the opening pages of your books!

Is It Good?

There are moments and scenes in this book that are epic and I mean that in the most grandest of scales. There’s a science fiction element to the series that fans should be able to quickly grasp and run with, but most importantly the characters are quite vivid and realistic. It may not be new reader friendly, but this feels important like Planetary did before it.

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