In Review: Clone #20

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The cover: Baby Eva sits up, crying. She’s on top of an anti-clone poster, featuring the face of her father. A samurai sword pierces the poster, with blood leaking out of the image and onto the white, illustration free ground. This is a horrific image, though the baby is not in any danger and is not being threatened, per se. This is a perfect representational cover for the what the clones, and Eva’s father, have been up against: the anti-clone population and the mysterious Asian clones that are saying they are trying to help them, but there’s this seed of doubt. A stark, simple, striking, superb cover by Juan Jose Ryp and Andy Troy. Overall grade: A

The story: Writers David Schulner, Aaron Ginsburg, and Wade McIntyre wrap things up and leave things with the most scream filled cliffhanger since William Riker ordered the Enterprise to fire on a Borg cube containing transformed Picard. The issue opens with the tattooed clone running into the headquarters of religious extremist and anti-cloner Pastor Wayne to stop the bomb he’s planted in the man’s office. He wants to stop it because he’s seen that Amelia’s baby Eva is in there. Bursting into the room, Wayne pulls a gun, but soon learns of the bomb. What’s the price to stop the device? The clone wants the child. This causes the tyke’s insane kidnapper to flip out, screaming, “She’s mine!” The clock continues to tick down, Wayne tells her all the problems the baby will cause, and she responds with, “I’m prepared to meet my maker. Are you?” The clone adds, “I am. How about you, Wayne?” And then the unthinkable happens. There’s a lot of the “unthinkable” in this issue. Page 8 reveals the continual fall of one new character, and I’m not putting too much faith in his continuing beyond two more issues. Pages 11 – 13 are an emotional high and low. Page 16 was a brutal justification, with the visuals only making things more heated. It was nice to see some optimism inserted on 17, but, boy, if that wasn’t just the set up for the worst/best/horrifying/stunning final three pages of a comic book ever. Everything is going to change when that plane lands. It’s going to be something that cannot be missed. Overall grade: A+

The art: This is something new for artist Juan Jose Ryp on this series. There are no gun fights, battles, explosions, or anything that long time readers have grown to expect with the end of a story arc. This is a quieter ending, instead focusing on the characters’ emotions. Oh, there’s some action in the opening sequence, but things are quieter than they’ve been before, and he rises to the challenge of this story. The first page is a nice layout to establish tension by establishing threat, victim, savior, and timeline, plus an action. Once in the office, Ryp moves the point of view around like a skilled cameraman: Page 2 is action, entrance, isolation, threat, dialogue, escalation of threat, and positioning. I’m always ecstatic to have an artist have at least one panel to illustrate to the reader where all the characters are in relationship to each other. This allows the action that happens in a tight space to be more intense. As always, I love the linework on the characters’ faces to give them depth, and the detail on something as seemingly simple as a floor is staggering (the top of Page 4). Page 12 is a beautiful splash, and the emotions on 13 are heart felt. The final three pages are numbing, because they foretell what is to come. Ryp continues to make this a superior looking series. Overall grade: A+

The colors: A majority of this book is done in enclosed environments or outside at night. Andy Troy uses colors perfectly to establish setting. The beautiful oranges on the first page highlight the impending cool interiors that are about to be entered and foreshadow the twilight that’s coming. When a gun is fired, the panel goes orange, with its sound being bright orange. This is a perfect combination to emphasize the violence and recall the first page’s sunset. Note the calming pink used on Page 5, panel five, to highlight the danger has ended. Page 12 is a really exceptionally well done page of coloring as it’s cinematic with the car’s headlights brightening individuals and framing another. The final three pages are bright as day to show the change in location and reveal what is coming. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Rus Wooton provides dialogue and sound effects. Without the major action sequences, his sounds are smaller this issue, but they are just as important, as Pages 2 and 3 demonstrate. Overall grade: A

The final line: This is the book you should be reading. The drama is always high and the payoff huge. Even if you haven’t been following this series, the final three pages will haunt you. Get this book. Overall grade: A+


Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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