Clear #1 is a solid start for those who enjoy detective stories

Clear #1

Clear #1 kicked off one of a handful of new series Scott Snyder launched in 2022 in partnership with comiXology Originals and now is seeing a physical release courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

Set in a dystopian future, Clear #1 introduces us to a world where you can purchase “veils”. Veils are basically skins that change how you perceive the world. You can make it look like cartoons, the old west, a utopia, full of zombies, it’s your choice. The vast majority of the people use the technology with those that don’t being “clear”. Detective Sam Dunes is one of those clear.

Written by Snyder, Clear #1 is a fairly traditional detective story set in an atypical world. Dunes’ opening case involves a “cheating” husband who may be purchasing blackmarket veils. It allows him to see someone other than his wife in front of him. It’s a small detail but the type that makes the series stand out as original. Dunes is also a former cop. Then there’s the case moving the story forward. It all comes together for an opening that feels like something we’ve read, but not something we’ve seen.

It’s the details that makes the comic stand out. The world that Snyder is crafting is an interesting one. While Dunes is clear, we can’t be sure of what we’re seeing as readers. A lot of those impressive aspects of the comic are due to the visuals.

Francis Manapul handles the art and color with lettering by Andworld Design. The colors give the comic early on a neon hue of pinks and oranges which contrast the latter part’s cold blues. The visuals play with the veil concept during one action-packed sequence as Dunes isn’t sure what he’s seeing and we the reader get to experience the trippy ride. But overall, the comic has a look that’s familiar but just slightly different, much like we the reader have our own veil as to what this future is like. It’s a comic visually, like the story itself, rooted in traditional detective tropes and styles and it works so well by doing so.

Clear #1 is a solid start for those who enjoy detective stories. It’s an exciting start that blends classic tropes and beats with a look that feels more Blade Runner than anything else. There’s a familiarity of it all while also folding in new ideas and concepts which have potential for creating an intriguing series going forward.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Francis Manapul
Color: Francis Manapul Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.65 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

ComiXology provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchae: comiXologyKindle

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