COMIC REVIEW: Clean Room #6 – A View to a Kill | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Clean Room #6 – A View to a Kill

By Buddy Beaudoin

COMIC REVIEW: Clean Room #6 - A View to a Kill

Writer: Gail Simone

Artists: Jon Davis-Hunt, Quinton Winter, Todd Klein, Jenny Frison


Vertigo Comics


Gail Simone’s Clean Room wrapped up its first arc in this most recent, the sixth issue. With all of the storylines converging in on this one book, this issue is jam packed full of content and horrific, gory, horrible death.

Clean Room #6 - Page 5

Clean Room #6 – Page 5

From the very minimal, the most most ornate and detailed of pages, Jon Davis-Hunt and Quinton Winter are formidable art department, making each character and each moment feel just as gut-wrenching as Simone’s antagonizing script. Most issues in this run have been brutal, but this one is literal knives-jabbed-through-the-back-of-the-head-and-out-the-eyes brutal. It’s pure insanity. Davis-Hunt is a true master at character acting, and that’s a very important takeaway from this series. With so much depravity in this story, it would be hard to imagine what this series would be, if it were not for Davis-Hunt’s lines and Winter’s palpable coloring.

That’s not to lessen the fantastic work by Gail Simone. Each issue of Clean Room makes you feel like you’re about to learn something really important. Each panel draws you closer, like they’re trying to whisper to you. Then, once you’re within reach, they grab you by the throat and smash your face through a plate glass window.

COMIC REVIEW: Clean Room #6 - A View to a Kill

Clean Room #6 – Page 11

The arc one finale is no different. In fact, it’s the most powerful yet. To start, we’re taken back to the grizzled detectives working the beat that follows the chaos of Mueller’s plans. This scene furthers the tease that we’re left with in the previous issue, promising that we’ll meet “The Surgeon,” whom the detectives hail as the next Jack the Ripper.

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From there, Simone wastes no time in getting right into it. As Mueller’s rook lays dying on the floor of the Clean Room, The Surgeon approaches Chloe’s doorstep. The following scene is a stark look at Phillip’s death, as presented by Spark – the lesser demon possessing Chloe’s friendly yet obtuse neighbor. This scene is a wonderful set up to the following arc. You’re given just enough to understand that Mueller had a large hand in Phillip’s suicide, but it’s left so open ended that what that role could be is anyone’s guess. One thing is for sure, Mueller is the proverbial puppet master in everything happening to every character.

Just as Chloe finishes watching Phillip die, through Spark’s vision, The Surgeon is upon them. Spark takes off as The Surgeon works his magic on Chloe, charming her into believing that he’s been her doctor all along, that it was he that took care of her in the hospital, and that she’d simply fallen off her meds and is having severe mental side effects. At the same time this is happening, Astrid and her people are learning the whereabouts of The Surgeon, and rushing a team to keep Chloe alive.

COMIC REVIEW: Clean Room #6 - A View to a Kill

Clean Room #6 – Page 14

This scene is the most extended in the issue, and is a real standout. The pacing of the script is phenomenal, and there are moments of sheer terror in here on behalf of the art team that are truly cringe-worthy. If you’ve been following anyone working on this book on social media, you’ve no doubt seen posts alluding to how horrific the upcoming books were. This is your payoff. If this isn’t it, then I’m afraid for the future.

Just as The Surgeon thinks he as won, Spark runs in to knock the hell out of the greater demon and help Chloe receive the phone call that will save her life. It would seem that the sex crazed maniac doctor that Astrid recruited earlier in the series has completed his work on the Cloudbuster – a gigantic warship with a cannon the size of California aiming towards the heavens. She threatens to destroy the home of whatever kind of creature that Spark and The Surgeon actually are, and The Surgeon scampers away with his tail tucked between his legs.

Saved for the next arc is what these things that I’ve been calling “demons” actually are. There has been no real assertion as to the proper name for the creatures, but this issue does set up that perhaps they are trapped on this planet, or in this universe, and they’re looking for a way to wherever they belong.

COMIC REVIEW: Clean Room #6 - A View to a Kill

Clean Room #6 – Page 19

The issue ends with Astrid offering Chloe a position as not just a rook, but a queen, in her messed up matriarchal horror show. While there’s no sign yet how that will end up for Chloe, she agrees with the intentions of learning everything she can about how deep the Mueller rabbit hole goes, and that’s going to make for one hell of a second arc.

The “Best There Is:” Every page of this thing is genius – not just in this issue, but in all of them. As far as ending an arc goes, Simone and the crew have nailed it. The mysteries haven’t all been solved, but all of the shadows that stayed in the background in the previous issues are right out in front now. If the escalation of this title has any bearing on where we’re headed, then the second arc is going to be mind-blowing.

The “Not Very Nice:” You don’t even have to wait for months to get into the second arc. Issue seven comes out next month. Oh wait, that’s pretty nice. Never mind.

FBI Score: 10 out of 10. Clean Room is the best horror comic in years. How it’s managed to stay under the radar is anybody’s guess. There’s so much talent on this series, and so many scenes of unsuspended beauty, terror, and consternation that even when this series is trying to make you lose your lunch, it’s an absolute joy.

Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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