Review by Ian Keogh
David Loren may or may not have an IQ of 205, but as someone who’s been designing military weapons since the age of fourteen, his genius really isn’t up for debate. While he hasn’t really admitted it entirely, even to himself, Loren has become extremely uncomfortable with the idea of conceiving more efficient ways to kill people.
In order to demonstrate Loren’s genius, Matt Hawkins, definitely smart, but presumably not a genius himself, has to be consistently imaginative in extrapolating technology to convince us. He goes a long way with a few clever comments in the opening chapter, pointing out that the looping of CCTV cameras so often used as a device in films and TV is a fallacy that would immediately be picked up by any competent security system. Beyond that he delivers just enough scientific explanation to convince us that an invisibility suit could work, or that translating electro-magnetic thought impulses to text is possible. There’s a constant sense of joyous wonder as he drops one device after another, never oversold, but Think Tank wouldn’t work if Hawkins wasn’t also ensuring Loren’s first person captions weren’t building a generally likeable personality. Loren realises he was manipulated at fourteen, seduced by equipment, possibilities and secrets, and is now aware enough to also realise that no-one just leaves a job creating military hardware. He needs a plan.
By the time Rahsan Ekedal began work on Think Tank he already had a five year career in comics behind him, but was still on a learning curve. Comparing the art from the first chapter with that of the last shows the expressions as more natural, the line more confident and a better sense of how to lay out a page. Strong from the start is a work ethic. Ekedal doesn’t tell his story via multiple grimacing faces (although they have a place when needed), but moves the viewpoint out so locations are imprinted, giving us a sense of what Loren is doing and where he’s operating.
Hawkins continues a joyous series of adventures all the way to a good, but suspect ending. For it to be as presented the military mind would have to have covered 100% of all contingencies. Still, Hawkins has been very good so far, so let’s cut him some slack for volume two.