With so many big names and big events plastered across the shelves of your LCS, sometimes great comics get left behind – buried in longboxes until someone comes along to find these Hidden Gems.
If you’re not listening to the PoP!Cast, you may have missed some gushing going on in relation to Top Cow’s quirky hit, Think Tank. The story follows child prodigy Dr. David Loren; think Doogie Howser meets James Bond’s Q. The young man works as one of the big brains in a government think tank (see what they did there?) developing technological breakthroughs. As he sees his inventions perverted for military use, he becomes disenfranchised and seeks his freedom – something the government is a bit reluctant to provide. Loren’s conscience leaves him no choice but to plot his own escape… and that’s where our story starts.
The real hook to Think Tank, for me at least, is the amount of research co-creator Matt Hawkins has put in to create a grounded reality for this fantastic story. He shares his research with us at the end of each issue, revealing the real world science behind the inventions showcased each month. Add to this a wry sense of humor permeating the narrative and you have the recipe for a thoroughly enjoyable read. Which is to say nothing of the art!
Rahsan Ekedal – who we first encountered working side-by-side with now-DC-golden boy Joshua Fialkov on their hit Top Cow book Echoes – delivers the exact level of immersion I expect from his visuals. The tech is clean and crisp, the characters are expressive and distinct, and the layouts allow the eye to glide effortlessly from panel to panel through the story without pause. That Ekedal isn’t a bigger name in the industry by now is both a travesty and perhaps a blessing in disguise. Finding his name on the cover of a book is like coming home to an unexpected package in the mail; even before you’ve seen what’s inside, you’re thrilled by the pleasant surprise that it’s there at all. I hope he hits it big - as he deserves to – and lands a ballyhooed run a big name book, but until that day comes, I’ll delight in happening upon his work where I find it and playing the role of town crier, letting anyone who’ll hear me know what they may be missing.
For those of you interested in checking out Think Tank, you don’t have too much to catch up on. Originally devised as a four-issue miniseries, that arc is already collected and available in trade and the story has continued on with a “handbook” style “Military Dossier” giving a rundown of the cast and core concepts and a fifth issue that has now launched the story’s second arc. The dossier can be skipped (though there are some genuinely funny bits therein) but not diving into Think Tank proper would most surely be a foolish choice.
Think Tank, in its entirety, gets 5 out of 5 really huge UAVs