There’s an old expression about judging books by their covers. I think it goes something like always do it. When I looked at the cover of Image’s Think Tank and saw cannons and iPads popping out of a guy’s head, I was expecting something like a mash-up of Cyborg and Inspector Gadget. What you get inside is a lot more interesting. This book is a more exciting version of the Val Kilmer movie, Real Genius, with better science.
David Loren is the slacker, genius who got recruited by DARPA (You know, where Al Gore invented the Internet) after graduating from Cal Tech. Since then he’s been working from a lab in Fort Meade designing better drones and other weapons. That is, until he had a moment of enlightenment. So, now he’s a weapons designer who doesn’t want to kill people. On and he has a new boss, a general who is on his tail to finish his projects.
When it becomes clear to the general that David is going to eat Chinese take out and sleep through the day rather than complete his projects, he switches tactics. He instead threatens David’s lab partner, Dr. Mannish Pavi, with being fired and deported. That motivates David into completing a project to create a handheld device that will read the surface thoughts of another person.
Once he finishes the device David takes it out for a test, in the best place to use a machine like that. A bar.
This book is a one-shot to get people interested in following the story, which has been collected into trade paper back. The book is fun and you can see that while David won’t let the insults slide, he’d rather embarrass his enemies until they let him do what he wants rather than attack them in the standard comic book way.
Matt Hawking (Necromancer, Aphrodite IX) and Rahsan Ekedal (Eden’s Fall, The Tithe) have grounded the inventions in real science that is known to being worked on at DARPA which really adds a lot to the story. Their long time collaboration shows in the easy-going manner of this book. It takes a lot of work to make a book as easy to read as this one.
The story is clever and inventive. It is a fun read through for a quick surface reading, but is does pay to re-read while paying attention to the details.
They have succeeded in making me interested in checking out the trades to see more of the story. Although I am still open to the idea of a 21st Century version of Inspector Gadget…
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Rahsan Ekedal
Publisher: Top Cow/Image