Review: Clean Room #17

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Walter Geovani

The Entities begin their open attack on the world, an event that Astrid Mueller has been preparing for decades. But Astrid is otherwise occupied, battling with her #1 fan, Artus Greenhand, for control of the Clean Room and to save Chloe Pierce and Killian Reed.

But while Astrid is distracted, her possessed infant niece Derica is freed by Marcus Tyrell, and is now headed to a final confrontation with Auntie Astrid.

Positives
I haven’t been following this series, so I binge-read the entire series in preparation for reviewing this issue. Consequently, some of my observations are more about the series in general rather than this issue specifically.

I am quite enjoying it thus far, and its mix of science fiction and horror themes. We aren’t quite sure if the Entities are demons, aliens, or extra-dimensional beings – or all three. This vagueness allows the reader to interpret the story for themselves.

I also like the audacity of basing Astrid’s group on Scientology. But this is more like Scientology if L. Ron Hubbard’s science fiction actually turned out to be true. The aliens are real, and humanity is their plaything.

In this issue, Astrid both literally and figuratively lets her hair down, and is shown at the height of her power when she wrests control of the Clean Room from Artus. When she lets go, she is a terrifying foe to face, as Artus quickly discovers.

Negatives
The portmanteau “Exoduction” seems a little bit contrived to me. Artus explains that to destroy the threat posed by the Entity-possessed Derica, Astrid must abduct the child, then exorcise her: abduction plus exorcism equal “exoduction.” However, it seems that the exorcism is the vital part of the equation. Abduction is just the way to get access to the child. In fact, Astrid already had the child in her possession until a few pages earlier.

Verdict
This is a very though-provoking series that is on the verge of a climactic confrontation between Astrid and the Entities. If you haven’t been following this series, I highly recommend you hunt down the previous issues before you read this issue.

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.