Think Tank, created by Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal ISBN 9781607066606
Five out of five stars
This graphic novel is futuristic in much of the content and exaggerates the singular mindset of the military and the federal government, but it never goes beyond the boundaries of the incredulous. The creators were careful to keep the content out of the area of the comic books in the sense that while they extrapolated on current capabilities, those extensions are always plausible. There are no superpowers being conferred on anyone.
Dr. David Loren was a boy genius recruited at the age of fourteen by the military. Specifically by an attractive female colonel in the Air Force that offers him a full scholarship to Cal Tech. He now works in an advanced weapons lab and was the person most directly responsible for some of the killing machines, such as the drones, used by the military. He is unhappy with the course of his life, but the military would rather keep him caged and compliant. While the military people will not kill such a valuable asset, they are not above roughing him up and locking him down.
When David goes off script by leaving the base and going to a bar in order to pick up a woman, his actions are tracked and there are control consequences, including with the woman he spent the night with. The main thread of the story from this point is his escape from the research compound and the many ways he thwarts his pursuers, all in a non-lethal manner. Although there is always the potential for a mishap or unexpected collateral damage.
The story is one that uses contemporary and public scientific and engineering knowledge to project the reader behind the scenes to what is the real government capability in surveillance, attacking and privacy invasion. It makes for an entertaining, yet somewhat disturbing story. David is a rebel that is a genius, an obnoxious man with a moral code that has been stretched to the point of being nearly unsalvageable. His goal is to recover some of his independence and control over what is being done with his work and he is forced to battle against what is essentially a small army. His government handlers are portrayed as interested only in what he has done and can do for them. While some of them possess a bit of imagination, most are portrayed as thugs that believe they can shoot and punch their way to controlling David and the world.
This is a great graphic novel, while the main components of the plot are not new, they are used to construct a story containing just enough truth to keep the reader thinking about where the boundary between truth and extrapolation really is.