Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Cleaners: Absent Bodies

Written by Mark Wheaton and Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art by Rahsan Ekedal

This is a unique and disturbing comic, not at all what I was expecting.  I thought that this would be a little something like Vertigo's much-missed Exterminators series, except featuring crime scenes instead of bug-infestations.  Instead, this is the bleak story of Robert Bellarmine, a former surgeon who now obsesses over blood particles and their ability to contaminate and propagate disease.

A particularly messy operation leads Bellarmine to conclude that the supernatural is at work - what we would call a vampire, but what he refers to as a 'harvester', collecting the blood of a variety of victims and vaporizing it in a gas mask-type set-up.  This is a very bloody and creepy story.

Some of the finer plot points, such as establishing characters and their relationships to one another doesn't really happen.  I was never too sure of who Bellarmine's friends and colleagues were, or why one of them was collecting hair samples from dancers.  As well, Bellarmine's relationship with the local police was never explained, nor was the reason why he left (or got kicked out) of medicine.  I can tell that the authors were setting things up for future arcs, but a little more exposition would have been helpful.

I've never heard of Rahsan Ekedal, but I do like his art.  He reminds me a little of Paul Gulacy at times, and his cover designs are excellent.

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