Connect with us
The Clock #1 Review

Comic Books

The Clock #1 Review

A chilling imagining of a modern global pandemic.

Using real science, Matt Hawkins imagines what would happen if someone managed to weaponize cancer. Is it good?

Matt Hawkins and artist Colleen Doran introduce Jack, a leading cancer researcher traveling the globe studying various population groups, trying to find a reason why thousands of people around the world are developing and dying from an aggressive form of viral cancer, which doesn’t respond to any known treatments and no one knows how it’s spread. Governments and scientists are aware of the disease, but can’t decide whether to inform the general public. But it won’t stay secret for long.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

The Clock #1 Review

Since this is the first issue of the series, Hawkins focuses on world-building, showing the effect the disease is having on the world population and introducing the politics involved. Most interesting to me, especially because he interviewed several real-life cancer researchers, is how quickly ethics is addressed in the book. In the first scene, Jack tells his assistants to take tissue samples from as many villagers as possible as they give out vaccines, the cover for being in the Nigerian village. The assistant asks him point-blank if that is ethical, and Jack responds:

The Clock #1 Review

The ethics conversation picks up further on when Jack testifies before Congress on his research, and the politicians debate whether or not to publicize the severity of the disease. However, ethics isn’t addressed in his backmatter, but maybe that’s coming in a future issue.

The backmatter shows how seriously Hawkins is taking making the story realistic. He’s titled his author’s note “Science Class” and that’s what the section is — he talks about what cancer actually is, and includes notes from Dr. Paul Dent, a professor of biochemistry at VCU – he even cites scientific journals. That attention to detail is definitely reflected in the book; the story feels chillingly realistic. Colleen Doran’s art sticks to that realism, grounding the story with a muted palette suiting the somber tone. She creates some very arresting moments, despite the colors sometimes getting a bit muddy.

Overall this issue is a solid introduction to the world, with the action picking up in the last few pages, hooking you in for the next issue. I’m very interested to see how the story develops, and how he continues with the education aspect in the backmatter.

The Clock #1 Review
The Clock #1
Is it good?
Overall this issue is a solid introduction to the world, with the action picking up in the last few pages, hooking you in for the next issue. I'm very interested to see how the story develops, and how he continues with the education aspect in the backmatter.
A realistic look at what a modern pandemic could look like, based in hard science.
Solid introduction to a compelling idea.
Duran creates some very arresting visual moments.
The muted palette can sometimes get a bit muddy.
The scientific backmatter is a bit simple. Not sure of the age of the intended audience.
8
Good

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!

Comments

In Case You Missed It

Walking Dead Walking Dead

‘The Walking Dead’ season 10 episode 22 ‘Here’s Negan’ recap/review

Television

Shadowman_01 Shadowman_01

‘Shadowman’ #1 is good when it should be great

Comic Books

'Nocterra' #2 cranks the darkness up to full throttle 'Nocterra' #2 cranks the darkness up to full throttle

‘Nocterra’ #2 cranks the darkness up to full throttle

Comic Books

'King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes' #3 delivers a great Toxin story 'King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes' #3 delivers a great Toxin story

‘King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes’ #3 delivers a great Toxin story

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup