Written by Matt Hawkins
Drawn by Rahsan Ekedel
Published by Image Comics
One of the more interesting science fiction movies that isn’t always described as a science fiction movie is 1985’s “Real Genius” starring a much younger Val Kilmer. It was about some kids attending what looked to be a proxy for Caltech, the MIT of the west coast, called Pacific Tech. It featured a wide look at all the cool and horrible things that you could do with technology. Some of those things are still cool today if you can ever catch that film on cable, although the laser guided death ray has been replaced by drone strikes nearly all over the Earth. I guess somebody built that mirror, afterall…a joke you won’t get unless you watched the movie. (3:25 in, and this. Now you don’t have to watch…)
Likewise, “Think Tank 1” kind of serves as a sequel to this film in that it features a Caltech hotshot who works full time for DARPA. That’s the government organization that brought you the Internet in case you’re wondering how government spending can positively impact your life. His main job is figuring out mathy algorithm hacks so that our killer drones can kill better. He does have a conscience though so he actually minds murdering people. And hey that’s a relief. Here’s a scene that details his day:
By the way, as far as I can tell as someone who’s read the popular science press for the last 25 years, everything the character says here is actually true. And the writing for Image’s science fiction titles is just first rate. Whoever the Image editor is for their science fiction they’re doing a crack up job. This is just another outstanding science fiction title and it hits very close to home because DARPA is working on all of these things: “solar powered weapons, surface thought reading, tactile reconstruction,” or you can read the full list from Technovelgy.com, where they tie scientific advances to specific science fiction stories.
This issue finds our hero uncomfortable with the people his drones have killed from up on high and you get the impression that he’s thinking of a way to make up for that. The particular tech apps that dominate this issue is a very powerful portable energy supply and mind reading. This wouldn’t be mind reading the way Professor X does it but by doing an on the fly MRI like scan of your neural impulses. I have to admit I’m kind of curious as to whether everyone says no neurally the same way. Obviously, if such a tech was invented you could read other people’s minds which would probably give you more than a small advantage in matters of war, or anything else for that matter.
So obviously our bad boy hero, Dr. David Loren, uses it to pick up girls. It turns out that this actually works so there’s hope for all of us I guess. All in all a well done first issue with art that’s passable but with any kind of science fiction its the quality of the ideas. And these ideas are powerful. People are working on mind reading devices. 4.474 out of 5 stars. The writing is top notch but the art could be better.