Review of Think Tank, Vol. 1 by Matt Hawkins

cover23990-mediumTitle: Think Tank, Vol. 1

Author: Matt Hawkins

Illustrator: Rashan Ekedal

Rating: 4 star

Publisher: Top Cow Productions


I’m an engineer by trade, so any story that tries to make science cool hits a soft spot for me. So imagine, if you will, that you have an engineer with a 200+ IQ. Remove his pleated khaki pants and plaid button shirt and replace them with trendy lounge wear. Grow his hair long and give him an attitude that extends beyond his own technological prowess. Provide a sense of humor, the kind not adverse to a good practical joke.  And for one final touch, make him skillful with the ladies.

screen-captureThat’s Dr. David Loren, Cal Tech graduate and governmental think tank scientist developing weapons for the military. It seems like for an engineering genius that he has the perfect life, but David no longer wants to design inventions that kill people. The only problem is that the government won’t let him leave — he’s too valuable and he’s privy to classified information.

David was recruited at the age of fourteen and was partnered with his trusted friend, Dr. Manish Pavi. His assistant is loyal, but is growing tired of David’s obstinate behavior. David is no longer finishing projects and the military is running out of patience. After David uses a mind-reading contraption to pick up a woman at a bar (Mirra Sway), the military is on him and David must either cooperate or somehow find a way out. Given that he’s smarter than all of the rest, the choice is easy. Using nearly every technological contraption he’s ever designed, David devises a plan to escape from the government’s hold, save the girl, and escape to live happily ever after. The only problem is that the government has another secret weapon on their side — another genius named Dr. Sejic.

screen-capture-1The nice part about this comic is that David makes for an intriguing character. He fits the mold of nerd wish-fulfillment perfectly — a sort-of James Bond of geekdom. He is witty and his confidence bleeds off the page such that it makes everyone mad but the reader. I reveled in his practical jokes and mayhem as he sought to break the oppressive military stronghold.

The biggest fault, perhaps is that the story seems a bit contrived, taking every opportunity to show off a plethora of inventions that just so happen to come in useful (with exception to an invisibility suit, which David dons just for the hell of it). But as far-fetched as it is, I never wanted to stop reading and was eager to turn the page to see what clever turns the rebellious scientist would make next.

The technology, however, isn’t contrived and there are many interesting tidbits at the end of the volume explaining what similar technology and ideas actually exist. Some of these I was already familiar with,  but there were some gems of information that made the novel more complete.

Really, you can’t go wrong with Think Tank. It’s fun. It’s hip, and while the twists and turns seem a little predictable, there are some that add a delightful spin on the story and the ending left me eager to pick up the next volume.

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