Writer: Matt Hawkins, Art/Cover: Colleen Doran, Colors: Bryan Valenza, Letters: Troy Peteri.
The new hard sci-fi Image title The Clock chronicles the outbreak of and fight to defeat a viral strain of cancer that is resistant to any known treatment, and threatens to wipe out half the world’s population.
Issue one is scary as hell, as its characters discuss overpopulation, and a viral cancer that cannot be cured. The really chilling parts are the hard science pages included after the end of the story, revealing writer Matt Hawkins’ (Think Tank) research with cancer doctors and the technical possibilities of weaponizing cancer.
It leads the question that this may be where the story’s cancer virus comes from and its intent, probably by some Thanos-inspired villain to “save” the world by killing off half its population.
I was pleased to see fellow Virginian, artist Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil, Amazing Fantastic Incredible Stan Lee) on the book. Doran’s cover is a beautifully designed and textured illustration, depicting the cancer virus (a biohazard symbol -as-clock approaching midnight) as a vine creeping/spreading over the earth. Her interior art has evolved into a spare style that uses shadow areas and requires a bare minimum of lines to define figures and objects. This leaves Bryan Valenza lots of freedom to interpret and delineate with his colors.
Letterer Troy Peteri makes an unusual choice in omitting a black holding line around his word balloons. While this eliminates visual weight and makes for a cleaner looking page, there isn’t enough contrast between balloons and many of the lighter background colors.
Will scientists beat The Clock and save half of humanity before it’s too late?
Find out in The Clock from Image Comics, issue #1 is on sale December 8, 2020.