Review: Unthinkable #1

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There have been many unthinkable acts carried out by agencies and forces bent on instilling fear in their enemies.  But what if the enemy we think we know, is really the friend we thought we knew?  And what if those friends took our ideas and did something unthinkable with them?  That’s the premise behind the latest thriller from Boom! Studios, and darn it, if it doesn’t strike a little close to home.

Unthinkable_01_rev_1.jpgFollowing the events of 9/11, the government hires Alan Ripley and a bunch of other forward thinkers to outline the next possible attack on the United States.  The program, called The Think Tank, doesn’t last very long, but in the time, Ripley, along with others with code names like The Editor, Nuisance, Peak Oil, Outbreak, The Prophet, and Isomer come up with one great outlandish plot that seems so out there, that the likely hood of the doomsday scenario becoming a reality is slim to none.

That is until the events start to play out exactly like the group dreamed up.

What’s worse, as soon as Alan tries to alert the proper authorities, the head honcho reveals the Think Tank never existed.  Uh-oh.  Couple that with the closing panel of the Capitol Dome in ruble, and you have the makings of a really good thriller story.

The thought of these events ever playing out, is quite disturbing as Mark Sable points the finger of blame at the very government we all expect to protect us.  It’s a premise that is sure to cause a lot of tongue wagging among patriots, but one that many conspiracists believe in.  I can’t say I blame Sable for going down this path after the Bush Administration is out of office, as it is sure to cause controversy in this post 9/11 heightened security world.

And ultimately it is Sable’s ability to whip up some controversy, and cause readers to pause and think about how far a government (either ours or one from outside) will go to change our freedoms, that makes this first issue work.  Sometimes getting comic book readers to reflect and analyze what they are reading is better than mindless ‘roided figures beating the poo out of each other – especially if that reflection is grounded in reality, and not something whipped up during some drug induced flashback.

But the premise behind Unthinkable is not an entirely new one.  There have been countless movies of the week, where the instructor of the writing class asks his students to come up with the perfect murder, only for that murder to be carried out in the who-dun-it thriller.  Even though Sable brings a unique twist to the story, it is still one that is recognizable to those tuned in to what’s going on.

The art, or rather the coloring is a little different than what I’m used to, as the use of halftone dots doesn’t fall into the shading or printing category, but falls somewhere in between the two.  I think if the art was presented in a more normal fashion, it wouldn’t have been so jarring and off-putting to me.  That being said, if the story is going to shake people up, the art might as well too.

If Boom! Studios has proven anything in its meteoric rise to prosperity it is the limited run series are a much better way to go than an ongoing.  It is easy to collect them in trades for added profits, and if readers don’t like a particular series, it will be over soon enough.  Unthinkable #1 is a series that is off to a good start, and providing everything ties back together by series end, could be one I’ll be buying twice – once in single issue form, and again in trade to give to others.  Unthinkable #1 deserves a strong 4 out of 5 Stars.

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