The Clock: A world like our Own
When I think of viral horror the usual suspects always come to mind: Cabin Fever, 28 Days Later, The Crazies – all movies, mind you. Though most exist in the fantastical world of extreme violence or zombie gore porn. The same could be said for any viral horror that has come across my desk in the comic book medium. Enter the viral horror miniseries The Clock, with Top Cow main man (or madman), Matt Hawkins at the helm. As he explores the political and societal realism of a modern day society where cancer has been weaponised.
Terrified yet? You should be.
Matt Hawkins carves out an all too familiar fictional 21st century earth that bleeds and seethes at the outbreak of disease. So much so, it avoids the pitfalls of world building for half the miniseries. A trap that so many comic book writers fall into. Because who needs to world build when there’s little more than six degrees of separation between this world and our own?
Familiar Issues in a Complex World
While Hawkins’ understanding of scientific technobabble is impressive, its his wielding of complex world issues into a finite horror-driven story line that establishes this first issue as masterful. This isn’t just a mad world – its our world motivated by powerful what-ifs that makes this book so compelling.
Because isn’t the best science fiction/horror just a mirror of the times?
This is a world ravaged by a cancerous strain that’s running rampant on a worldwide scale. A pandemic if you will. Hitting home from the first page with a familiar look at a third world country apparently suffering. Though it’s quickly learnt this is one of the few places left where the people have built up a naturally immunity. An immunity celebrated under a hail of gunfire. A terrible irony.
The Artwork is the Emotional Vantage Point
This is a long suffering earth brought to life by Colleen Doran’s artwork. But it’s the scene where protagonist Jack’s daughter at the funeral that brought a tear to my eye. The innocent look as they begin to process the death of a parent was heartbreaking. It brought a tear to my eye.
The Clock #1 celebrates the arrogance of humankind and pitfalls of modern civilisation. Neatly packaged in a sci-fi end of the world scenario. And although Matt Hawkins could be criticised by going heavy on the science gobbledegook – its appropriately matched by the tension and darker tones that his writing and Colleen Doran’s artwork evoke. A great comic book palette cleanser for nihilists and end of the world enthusiasts.
Out through Image Comics – The Clock #1 is available now.