Review: Clone #14

Clone is an interesting series. Aside from the premise and the way the plot just explodes with sheer craziness, it also manages to keep a non-stop action pace. Even when the story lets up for a second it dives right back in. Personally I almost needed a break from it so that I could catch my damn breath, but really that’s a fantastic feeling to have with a comic; to need a break from reading it because it’s consistently too good. If you’ve been keeping up with Clone then you know this is a doozy of an issue. In the last issue our cloned women arrived to save the day, but they’re not out of the clear yet. A group of the collation rednecks are armed with cleavers and pitch forks and if you thought they were unhappy about cloned men, wait to you see how unhappy they are about cloned women!

Spoiler Luke gets rescued. I mean how could he not at this point? The plot heads back to the farm and we learn that these cloned women are a second batch of clones from Luke’s father and they’ve grown up hearing all about their “brothers.” Now that part I found interesting. Why would his father call them brother and sister? Does Luke have an alpha sister within this pack that he’s never met or is it more of a term to reflect that their creator was the same man?

The leader of the cloned women, Meiko, makes the Luke’s an offer… come live with them on their island and be protected from the hostile threats of their government. This sparks a huge debate and Beta aka the smartest man in the room raises some good points, but ultimately they decide to talk about it as a group regardless of what Luke thinks; which is to instantly take the offer.

Clone-14With Luke finally being home, he discovers that his baby is not! This of course upsets him because what father wants to discover that his wife has given their child away while they were gone? Eric the tattooed clone gets involved in their argument and Luke calls him out on always trying to steal his family. The gloves come off and they get into a huge fight.

There are some pretty big consequences in this issue; for Eric and Luke, but also for the clones as a whole. I’m actually getting tired of Eric, he’s gotten pretty damn annoying and it’s not that he’s wrong it’s just that he wants everyone else to think he’s right. He treats it like a competition rather than life and that’s why no one agrees with him.

It’s still crazy to me that three dudes write this series, but they’re doing a hell of a job. It makes me wonder how many people they’re going to need to write the TV show because if they want to compete with the quality here, they’re going to need all the help they can get. My only gripe with this issue is that the showdown in the beginning was over and done with rather quickly and then we transitioned to something else. It might have been better to trim down the anal probing in the last issue and fit the showdown there so we could have just been on the farm the entire time with this issue. Even then it’s a minor, minor gripe and the rest of the issue maintains the high level of storytelling and dialogue that I’ve come to expect from this series.

Juan Jose Ryp is probably tired of hearing me rave about his style and how magnificent it is. He’s definitely one of my all-time favorite comic talents and the fact that he maintains this level of quality with every issue shows his dedication to the craft and series. People really underestimate the toll it takes on the artist to draw the same character over and over each month, which really means drawing them each and every day on their end of things.  Now imagine you have one character to draw over and over on each page… daunting is the only word I can think of. I also realized probably for the first time with this issue that Ryp must have a subscription to ever fashion magazine possible because he has to dress a ton of clones. He picks some great designs and styles which should be mentioned.

I definitely don’t give enough praise to Andy Troy for his coloring. He plays such an important role in this series by giving life to everything that Ryp illustrates, but manages to keep all of Ryp’s details. That and he too is tasked with the challenge of keeping all the clones the same and yet not have the page just look like a mess of the same color poured on top of it. Seriously he deserves a lot of praise every time there’s more than one clone on the page, because that is likely one of his harder pages to color.

The sad fact is you’re probably either reading this series or you’re not, which is shame. It’s a series that should be picking up more and more people with each new story arc so don’t be afraid to jump on. The clever thing about this series is that for as fast as it moves the plot take baby steps forward. Don’t wait for a TV show to check this book out, especially considering it’s already like a TV show.

Score: 4/5

Writers: David Schulner, Aaron Ginsburg, Wade McIntyre Artist: Juan Jose Ryp Colorist: Andy Troy Publisher: Image/Skybound Entertainment Price: $2.99 Release Date: 1/29/14