Clean Room Vol. 2: Exile by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt
Published by: Vertigo on January 3, 2017
Review Source: Personal Copy
Genres: Graphic Novel, Slight Sci-Fi, Horror
Plot: We return to the Clean Room with volume 2, in which s*** hits the proverbial fan. (Collecting issues #7-12)
Review: I love this comic so hard, I almost can’t. even. If you missed my review of volume 1, you can catch up here. There is no way for me to review this without major spoilers, so if you don’t want to know just take my word for it that this series is consistently awesome and go snag it from your local comic shop.
Oh lawd, where to begin?! I suppose the best tactic would be to go through the five emotions I had while reading this:
1. Curiosity: In which we learn a bit more about Astrid’s past. Clean Room kicks off with a young Astrid hitchhiking through the desert to meet a new… we’ll call her a “friend”. The ride there sets the tone for how much of a badass Astrid was / is:
Things take a serious turn for the strange once we seethe Astrid is meeting and why. It goes a long way towards adding yet another layer to Astrid’s organization. Girl’s in deeeeeep.
2. Shock: When family reunions go horribly wrong. We know Astrid has a brother from volume 1, but I didn’t know there was this kind of tension:
Their reunion quickly throws the entire organization into turmoil, and it kept me guessing all the way till the end. Honestly, I still have questions!
3. Panic: Girl, don’t mess with Spark! I love Spark. If you fell for Spark in the first volume, like I did, you will embark on an emotional rollercoaster of epic proportions with this volume. Simone kicked me in feels more than once. Spark had me at:
And feeling a world of heartbreak with:
Who knew you could love a maniacal demon so much?!
4. Discomfort: That time we saw just how evil these demon things really are. I’m not going to show you this one… Let’s let this be a surprise!
5. Longing: When the reality sets in that you have to wait till July for volume 3, because you are too damn stubborn to buy in issue. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to make it until then… Gail Simone, you have my heart with this one! Truthfully, she’s had my heart for way longer, but Clean Room is really highlighting her ability to worldbuild and weave an amazing story. Every character she introduces feels fully actualized and the plot progression is perfection. It takes a lot for a writer to keep me on my toes these days, but by golly, she’s doing it.
We also need to address the stellar artistic team. Jon Davis-Hunt’s work is gorgeous, particularly in combination with Quinton Winter’s color and Todd Klein’s lettering (totally adds some panache to every conversation). Every page is perfectly balanced. It is simultaneously crisp and electric. Let’s not forget that Jenny Frison’s covers are, as always, to die for.
Final Hoot: This might be my favorite thing Gail Simone has ever done. I’ll be waiting on baited breath for volume 3.
Rating: 5 out of 5 hoots
Who Should Snag It: Everyone.