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Comic Review: Think Tank #1
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Think Tank #1 CoverThink Tank #1
Written by Matt Hawkins
Art by Rahsan Ekedal
Letters by Troy Peteri
Covers by Rahsan Ekedal, Brian Reber, Bagus Hutomo
Created by Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal
Top Cow Productions, Inc.
Release Date: August 1, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

We’ve all probably crossed paths with the type of person who’s an absolute genius who just skates through life. These slack-offs are dangerous friends because they suck you into their whimsical little world filled with awesome, irrelevant distractions. Next thing you know it’s the end of the semester; you’ve goofed off all year and now you have to beg your Geometry teacher not to send you to summer school while Albert Einstein over there inexplicably passed with flying colors. Ahem, I digress. We, the idiots of the world, harbor a little deep-seated bitterness.

For what it’s worth, Dr. David Loren, the main character in Think Tank, likely makes any so-called genius who you know look like a douche. David graduated with a PhD from Cal Tech and is scientist at a DARPA-run think tank. There he dabbles with inventions like mind-reading devices, invisibility suits, and portable EMP bombs. An avowed slacker, David just rests on his laurels after inventing the Predator drone algorithm. Colonel Harrison, David’s gruff, all-business, supervisor, gives him a stern warning to start producing results. After brushing off the threat, David decides to follow-through on one of his half-assed and half-finished ideas. Well, half-assed by his standards, anyway. This invention leads to a great cliffhanger that will definitely hook you in for next issue.

Writer and Top Cow President Matt Hawkins masterfully introduces his main character in this first issue. David is a very likeable character with his smart-ass, flippant attitude. We could only dream of being as dismissive about our own careers. Immediately you live vicariously through this character and sympathize with his hypocritical inner-conflict. He’s trapped in a situation where he must create weapons, but he recently discovered that he doesn’t want to be responsible for killing people.

I had difficulty buying the source of David’s conflict. He seemed to rationalize his career in weapons development by focusing on their non-military applications. Then, one night, he simply watched Schindler’s List and experienced an “I Ain’t Gonna Study War No More” epiphany. Could he really have been that unaware or disinterested in the consequences of his inventions? Perhaps geniuses really are just that weird. I’m fascinated by this character. The storyline is setting up as a WarGames-style plot where the military chases down a slacker-genius who’s one step ahead of the game.

Rahsan Ekedal art is expressive and unique with its dark, thick outlines. The black and white looks cool with its watercolored textures, but this is a title that would greatly benefit from a full color treatment. Just look at that cover. Some stories, especially noir, are enhanced by black and white art. In Think Tank, however, it looks out of place with its colorful main character and high-tech settings.

Think Tank has all the hallmarks of a series that I’ll love: great humor, 80’s movie references, cool t-shirts, awesome character, charming premise, and an alluring fight-the-power theme. I have a hunch that this one is going to make my must-read list. This is the first issue of a four issue miniseries. Here’s hoping that Top Cow runs this one a bit longer. Until the next issue, my mission in life is to find that sweet t-shirt that says, “Fun = Mating X Alcohol.”

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