Owen Hardy has now found an exciting life of his own in the carnival in this third issue of Clockwork Angels. Francesca, the tight-rope walker that Owen saw last issue, tosses him some apples due to the nature of his previous job. He can’t catch all of them since she throws three, but they say they could use a juggler. So, that’s how Owen got started in the carnival. Since everyone there is an outcast, he fits in perfectly. Owen and Francesca hit it off and Owen shares his desire to see the Clockwork Angels. To Owen’s surprise and delight, she informs him that the carnival always has counterfeit tickets to see the Clockwork Angels. They go to see the Angels and Owen is completely mesmerized by them. He can’t believe how beautiful they are and seems to enjoy the messages they are saying-which really are just what the Watchmaker is trying to brainwash everyone with. These include “Ignorance is well and truly blessed” and “Everything will turn out for the best.” After seeing the Clockwork Angels, it seems like the Watchmaker has everyone right where he wants them; one man is even seen crying due to being overwhelmed by the Angels. Well, the Watchmaker has everyone where he wants them except for one…
The Anarchist is still running amok as Owen runs into him later in the issue. At one point Owen shares his feelings for Francesca and tells her that he wants to move back home with her and get married. She says how sweet he is but doesn’t take him seriously while saying she doesn’t want to get “trapped” like that since the carnival life is so free. This infuriates Owen and he leaves the carnival. He sees the Anarchist near the train tracks, and the Anarchist tells Owen his plans which would wreak havoc amongst everyone and undermine the Watchmaker’s well-calculated plan of order and civility. The Anarchist even asks Owen to help him carry out his plan. Owen is bound and determined to stop him, but it’s only a matter of time before the Anarchist puts his plan into action.
There’s a lot more going on in this story than I’m letting on, but again this is a book I think everyone should go out and support. There’s a few weird and bizarre things going on here and the Watchmaker doesn’t seem to have everything together like he puts on. For example, he saved his daughter’s life against her will and she now lives as a fortune-teller in the carnival. We also learn that the Watchmaker is over 2,000 years old.
The storytelling is great and translates to a comic book well from the novel, but for me this series has especially shone in the art department. The art in this series has truly been mystifying and really brings the alchemy and secrets of Crown City to life in a unique way. I felt like I was there alongside Owen when seeing the Clockwork Angels for the first time. I think if a creative team can put you right in the story than they’re doing something right, and this issue is no exception.
Writer: Kevin J. Anderson Artist: Nick Robles Publisher: Boom Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/25/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital