What I can only describe as the second season of Clone kicks off with this issue. It’s quite the change of pace from the previous issues and in several ways reminds me of the very first issue of the series. It’s clear that it’s being used as a jumping on point for new readers and I think that it’s very successful in doing that. What that means for current readers is an issue that recaps the events that we’re already aware of and revealing what the new status quo is for the Clones and Luke. The recap begins instantly as we find images of Luke’s face plastered all over New York City. We find a bum that is clearly a clone due to the distinguished mole under his right eye. He’s doing a pretty good job of hiding in plain view, but some cops spot him and begin to check him over. They ask him to raise his sleeve so they can check for a number and the bum books it. As he’s running we learn that the world is afraid of the Clones and that they’re not regarded as humans; this has put a larger target on their heads for Militias and basically anyone looking to pull the trigger. BAM! BAM!! The clone heads down an alley way and he’s suddenly grabbed by Luke and pulled away from the police. He begins to calmly walk him through a maze of kitchens and dressing rooms and carefully to the car waiting for them with Jennifer behind the wheel.
Of course this is Clone so nothing really goes according to plan and the simplest of things can go wrong and chaos will ensue. Not a lot happens in the plot though, but there is an event that steps up some drama for the next issue. Missing were the protagonists from the first two arcs and some of the supporting character. It almost seems as if the cast has been scaled down or people have been switched out in favor of clones. I’m sure we’ll have to wait to see in the coming issues. The writing and dialogue are as good as always. I’m sure some older readers will feel a bit bored with the issue, but it really is a very strong issue. The balance of relationships is definitely getting more and more interesting especially when you see some of the clones that survived the first story arc.
I’m very happy to inform you that artist Juan Jose Ryp is still on the series. To be honest he’s like 80% of why I buy this book so the fact that the story is entertaining and crazy as shit really is the icing on the cake. Ryp doesn’t miss a beat and the writers have thrown a ton at him in this issue. When most comics go to New York City it’s basically empty streets and tall buildings, but when Ryp takes you there… you’re there; crowds of people, trash and tourist everywhere and everything receives his photorealistic details. The man is one of the most amazing illustrates in the history of the industry and he only seems to be getting better.
When I finished reading this issue my initial impression was that it was pretty average, but then I thought about how great it is that the creative team was able to find a new starting point for readers within this complex story. This is factually the first issue that a new reader has been able to jump on to the series and not been forced to go back and read the previous issues. You can actually start here and that’s great. I’m not joking when I say that this series is complex; there are so many characters (and half of them look the same) and several storylines happening all at once that every issue was like walking in on a movie half over. Don’t miss out on this series because who knows when you’ll get another opportunity like this.
Writers: David Schulner, Aaron Ginsburg and Wade Mcintyre Artist: Juan Jose Ryp Publisher: Image and Skybound Entertainment Price: $2.99 Release Date: 10/23/13