REVIEW: Replica #3

(W) Paul Jenkins
(A/CA) Andy Clarke
Publisher: AfterShock Comics

The third issue of this series from Aftershock Comics continues ramping up the chaos factor.  Detective Trevor Churchill is up to his necks in trouble; whether it is trying to keep a witness safe, DNA to review, various intergalactic parties to annoy and of course, interacting with his own varied personalities in the shape of a number of clones.

As you can probably tell from the introduction, there is a lot going on in this story.  Through it all Detective Churchill is the metaphorical eye of the storm, although with the various clones in play, parts of the storm do manage to break through.  With all the various story elements it can be easy to lose your way, but the core element of how Churchill interacts with, virtually, himself is probably the most enjoyable.

Veteran British writer and series creator Paul Jenkins shows his ability to weave a multi thread story with seemingly great ease.  Despite the idea of multi Churchills, each version has his own demeanour, his own look and own dialogue, in reality with so little obviously in common, there is the risk that they are too desperate to be clones in name only.  That said, the clones allow the main Churchill to star in his own book.  Jenkins gives all the clones the ability to be their own people.  Plot wise, there is a crime to solve with clues that could cause even more confusion.

Fellow Brit Andy Clarke provides the artwork with a very capable performance.  Looking through the book, the art reminds me of Barry Windsor Smith or Barry Kitson, structurally, though maybe a little less cartoony with a stronger line work, along with a structured panel layout, gives the book a mature feel.  Dan Brown provides the colors, creating a dark lived in world.

Replicas is a complex setup, ran through a straight up detective story, the smoke and mirrors in this instance being the clone factor.  The ongoing story is such that this isn’t a good jumping on point for new readers, maybe proving the need for a catch up paragraph.  However, the series is three issues deep so you should be able to pick up the previous issues easily enough for your LCS or online provider, which would make this issue that much more enjoyable.

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