Clean room is an 18 issue comic book series published by Vertigo Comics and written by Gail Simone.
The fiancée of journalist Chloe Pierce was in a hard place. He found a self help book by the well known self help guru, Astrid Mueller. Upon picking it up he instantly got hooked into it and even started volounteering in her organisation. However, after three or so months he ends up blowing his brains out.
Of course this does not mean that he will leave her alone. A grim figure of her fiancée which is missing half of it’s head is following her as she tries to get in touch with Astrid and expose her for the fake that she is. However, Astrid Mueller is not what anyone expects her to be. We learn that in her early childhood a trucker ran her over twice but luckily she survived.
Her near death experience granted her a special kind of vision. She can see the true face of otherworldly creatures which masquerade as humans. As for the creatures, what they are is very much up to your interpretation. Are they demons? Aliens? Ghosts? Monsters?
At the start, the series was a bit confusing and all over the place but it quickly picked up the pace. The fantastic artwork and interesting premise definitely managed to hook me enough to get past some of the slower parts. But the overall story was very interesting.
(image found on comicvine)
It’s a unique concept with fantastic artwork and I really enjoyed the characters (I’d love to talk about it more but I don’t want to spoil even miniscule aspects of it for future readers). This comic manages to do something which most modern movie studios fail to do. It has great diversity and it really does not feel forced. The characters are all well written, I especially loved Astrid and the best thing was that they weren’t there just to be there and gather points for twitter mobs.
Clean room is full of really unique, disturbing and scary creatures which can keep you up for ages and the world which they were created in is amazing, but honestly, the best part of the series and arguably the main plot of it was grief – dealing with grief, getting over grief and overcoming your fears, it was written amazingly. The author knows what she is doing and does it near perfectly (other than a few issues at the start).
Overall it’s a fantastic comic which definitely is worth reading.
Final verdict: 8/10