Think Tank: Creative Destruction #3
Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Rahsan Ekedal
Cover: Rahsan Ekedal
Not only is David Loren a genius but he also has a knack for making a horrible situation even worse. So it’s no surprise that when he’s approached about his recent actions concerning his female coworkers that he tanks it. As self destructive as he is, David’s other problem in this issue is not only the murder that he rationalizes away but the conspiracy taking place around him.
Hawkins takes us inside of David’s head for most of the issue which isn’t new but this is one of the deeper ventures into the motivations of our main character. The sequence in the beginning is written to perfection as Hawkins utilizes some sharp and perfectly timed dialogue making you feel how uncomfortable the situation is. The consistent self talk from David heightens the scenario as you see how he’s taking steps to maneuver through the conflict but it still doesn’t work out in his favor when it’s all said and done. We see this again during the assassination of the Chinese hacker which makes a great sequence even better as we see the amount of empathy and regret David has for the young man. Hawkins also handles David’s depression with much greater respect than I’ve seen in comics. Using it as a storytelling tool that has an organic feel to it instead of just a device thrown onto a character. Not a lot of writers “get it” but the dialogue and actions that take place here (and in previous issues) are spot on. As far as the villains go, they’re a crafty group that may not match David on an intellectual level but their scheming and determination is not to be underestimated. I’m pretty sure that there isn’t a redeemable quality about any of them and sometimes you just need a good old fashioned scum of a villain to help move a story and Hawkins is giving us those.
Being that Ekedal’s artwork has been on point since the series began it’s safe to say that it just keeps getting better as he and Hawkins continue this story. For those that loved his work in black and white you get a taste of that in the beginning which is the sequence that brings a possible new reader up to speed so they’re not so lost coming into the story. Also, black and white is always great when showing flashback scenes. The rest of the issue is just as great to look at in color and a nice thumbs up on the first dream sequence involving the women in David’s life. Ekedal’s visuals always expand on the narrative and he takes things to another level as you read the story. Something that is very noticeable when David is remembering the dream that details his mother’s death. The panel layouts break up the scenes but the last two are connected with the hair of David and his mom. It’s just a strong image and so in sync with the narrative at that point.
What has made Think Tank fantastic is that regardless of how far fetched you think the story can be, Hawkins will give you info in the back matter to show you that most of it could happen. From scary and very real military applications to an ensemble cast of some of the best characters in comics it’s highly suggested that you read Think Tank.