In Review: Clone #9
The cover: Why would Luke be under gun from the two women that have been helping him? This is where our hero is at when he first appears. Confused by this interpretive cover by Juan Jose Ryp and Felix Serrano? You won’t be once you start reading. Another great cover with solid coloring. Overall grade: A
The story: Holy crud! In Navajo Land, assassin clone Roy, using a cane because of earlier injuries, learns Luke has escaped him once again; but his parents are still around. The pair are enjoying a quiet evening until Roy breaks through the front door and kills his genetic father. His mother hides under a bed, looking at the face of her fallen former spouse. Ye Gods! Things are only starting! We then move to our cover image and things go quickly! I’m always impressed by the pacing of this book. All three writers, David Schulner, Aaron Ginsburg and Wade McIntyre, consistently do a great job on this title. Just when you think things can’t heat up any more, they do. Page 7 brings in a wheelchair bound individual in a lab that sets up the scientific tension, which has a domino effect on Luke’s wife and daughter. Amid all of this, my favorite two pages have to be 10 and 11: Who knows what this individual will do now that he’s got nothing left to lose? The last three pages all focus on different groups and they’re great! A three-way cliffhanger? Excellent work! Overall grade: A+
The art: He’s sick. That’s the only conclusion I can come to. Or, he’s insane. Artist Juan Jose Ryp puts so much detail into every page it’s stupefying. Let’s start simple, though that’s a word I don’t think one could ever use to describe Ryp’s work, Page 1. A three paneled establishment shot of Roy coming onto Navajo Land. Look how his shadow blends in seamlessly with the cacti of the first panel. As we pull in closer the details in the homes increase as does the realization that the shadow at the bottom is a man. Our viewpoint shifts to Roy with a monstrous gun, though using a cane, against a star filled night. Each panel is stunning on its own. Page 2, look at all the little details of shattered glass and the items on the upset table. How could you not love this? I worry for Ryp’s state of mind for doing so much! My favorite page is 18: I love the point of view and slick details of the first panel, followed by a perfect visual execution of a story–no dialogue is needed to understand what’s happening, but it is oh so much sweeter with it. Ryp is unquestionably a king in the world of comics. Overall grade: A+
The colors: Now I’ve lavished my continual love all over Ryp this issue, as I always do, but Andy Troy proves Ryp would not be as enjoyable without his contributions. Look at the beautiful shades of blue on Page 1: that third panel is gorgeous. I love that Troy isn’t willing to just blanket color something with one shade; things would probably be okay, but by providing subtle shades in skin tone and clothes (such as Luke’s shoulders on his padded jacket) the book seems all the more real. And I’ve got to give major kudos for the camo on the soldiers–perfection! My favorite two pages, which are perfect contrasts, are 20 and 21. Page 20 is a standout for its graphic nature; let’s just say that there’s a lot of red and it’s not all drawn by Ryp. Page 21 is as bright and lush as any painting in a museum. Wonderful! Overall grade: A+
The letters: A great job by Rus Wooten with dialogue and sounds. I really like the font for the individual on Page 7. I really don’t like the tiny balloon for the utterance atop Page 19–Just make the balloon bigger! I loathe this effect in all books. Overall grade: A
The final line: Again and again, month after month, this book proves to be an exceptional experience. One not to miss. Overall grade: A+
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years. He’s since moved to a high school where he taught 9h graders, but currently teaches 10th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.