Review: Clean Room #1

Clean Room #1 CoverAstrid Mueller is the enigmatic and compelling guru of a giant self-help organization—a devastatingly powerful figure in the industry between psychology and religion. Journalist Chloe Pierce’s fiancé decided to pick up Astrid’s book, and within three months he was dead. Something in Astrid Mueller’s book made Philip blow his brains out all over Chloe’s new kitchen.

Now Chloe is on a mission to find out who Astrid Mueller really is. What is this Clean Room she’s been hearing about where your deepest fear and worst moments are revealed? Chloe intends to immerse herself in the Clean Room and wreak havoc on Astrid’s empire.

Vertigo has given us some fascinating, and classic, comic series that play out in a long form and can’t necessarily be judged by one issue. Clean Room #1 from writer Gail Simone and artist Jon Davis-Hunt is an interesting start of a new series, and it’s a first issue I’m not quite sure what I think.

The comic is a jab at the secretive world (and batshit insane stories) of Scientology. We have a religion with all kinds of weird rules and rooms, and language. And all of that is mixed in with trippy visions that aren’t quite explained.

The first quarter of the comic is a bunch of jumps, that at this point don’t totally make sense. They’re interesting, and I think I know how it all fits in, but it doesn’t quite make sense. Where the comic takes off is the journalism aspect, which is very intriguing…. and also makes a hell of a lot more sense.

Davis-Hunt’s art is solid, mixing in rather mundane settings with small details and at times possible hallucinations. It’s enough to keep you on your toes throughout the story looking for visual clues.

The first issue is an interesting start. It’s enough to get me to want to come back for the second, but I definitely was a bit lost in the beginning. This could be one that’ll play out better in trade form, but we’ll see!

Story: Gail Simone Art: Jon Davis-Hunt
Story: 7 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review