REVIEWED: Think Tank #7 and Conan The Barbarian #16
This week, in a new weekly column, REVIEWED offers two titles worthy of your consideration and dollars.
One of our ‘Top 20 Comics of 2012’, Think Tank hit the ground running and hasn’t slowed since. Dr David Loren (maths whizz, indirect mass murderer) has become increasingly sympathetic, while remaining devious, and is certainly my favourite new character, alongside The Will in Saga and the oddballs which inhabit The Manhattan Projects. Each issue has built momentum and delivered a powerful cliff-hanger, it’s a comic writing master class by Matt Hawkins.
In this issue, Loren faces the consequences of his actions. And given he’s created weapons of mass destruction for the governmental-military-industrial complex he faces one hell of a wake-up call. Rahsan Ekedal, with his bold lines and grayscale watercolours, has exploded onto my comics radar – his character facial expressions are perfect, he conveys Loren’s gloom and the tension in Colonel Harrison faultlessly. Hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more of him, and this book, in the future.
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be reading Think Tank. You can read the first issue, for free, over at Top Cow.
This is perhaps my favourite interpretation of Conan; writer Brian Wood’s young Cimmerian is more sympathetic and vulnerable, while tough as old boots. This month, Conan and Bêlit embark on a ‘vision quest’ after partaking in Yellow Lotus, a psychotropic of the enlightened, as “true pleasure can only be found in the mind”, which results in our hero facing many of his demons.
The artists featured in this run of Conan have been stellar, from Becky Cloonan to Declan Shalvey and Mirko Colak each has produced a ‘high water mark’ in depicting the Barbarian. This month Davide Gianfelice enters the fray, with a style befitting the story – sparse backgrounds and horrifying reveals (some of which are Mike Mignola-esque, all with great texture). Disappointingly, one or two of the panels are somewhat gratuitous. The cover however, by Massimo Carnevale, is to die for.
If you’re not reading Wood’s re-imagining of Conan The Barbarian, you’re missing out on great comics.