ptsd


Think Tank: Fun With PTSD #1 Review

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Release Date: May 14th, 2014

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Publisher: Top Cow Productions

Written By: Matt Hawkins

Art By: Rahsan Ekedal

Price: 4.99

Review:

I’ve been a big fan of Think Tank since it came out and this One-Shot continues in the same vein as the series. If you’re unfamiliar with the book, you should go check out the trade or buy the issue because there is a ton of depth and storyline to Think Tank that I can’t recap easily. In a nutshell though, Dr. David Loren is a young engineering genius who makes weapons for the military and decides that he no longer wants to kill people. It’s only missing a star for the title. Given the severity of the subject and the content of the issue…not fun.

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In this book, David takes himself and his roomate’s pet down a zero gravity chamber for shits and giggles I guess. I assume it was for the cancer patients he gives a preview of the video to on the following pages. He shows these kids the video of him and his dog and then proceeds to tell them about his new weaponized Space Puppy. Sarcastically of course. This issue is full of emotional stuff like this and explores the inherent kindness in the heart of this kid prodigy who ended up making weapons instead of helping people. He gets his chance in this story as one of his only friends in the world show up in handcuffs. One of the Navy SEALS who saved Dr. Loren once in the series had an episode of PTSD due to an actual physical brain injury. He violently killed his wife during a night terror while she tried to wake him up. David identifies the injury and cures the hell out of it like he always does. Using a genetic targeting system he designed to kill, David intends to cure PTSD before Petty Officer Morgan is sent to military prison for life. Specifically targeting people would indeed help with curing all forms of brain injury since everyone’s brain is different in every conceivable and inconceivable way. The ending is an emotional shocker I won’t give away just in case someone hasn’t read it and may in the future. It’s a good one.

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The art in this book is beyond unique. It’s like nothing in my collection, past, present, or future. Even though it’s black and white, the fact that it doesn’t have any color never takes away from the series. In fact, it adds. Especially in military complexes and labs and the like. The stark, emptiness of the backgrounds help illustrate the major differences between Dr. Loren and the military industrial complex. There are also a ton of details and emotions on the characters’ faces. The scene where the Navy SEAL strangles his wife in bed is especially hard to view given the anger and pure rage on his face, juxtaposed with the sheer terror on his wife’s face is chilling. The art style is different from anything on the shelves and I could see this guy drawing cartoons for Nickelodean.

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The tagline at the top of the cover says “Danger: Reading this book will make you smarter.” While I may not have learned a lot of new stuff, I did pick up some info I didn’t know before. Especially in the Science Class section in the back. Catch up on Think Tank. It’s an awesome read.


Wednesday’s Webcomic: Steve Rogers’ American Captain

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Thanks to the most recent installment of Thor, I have the Marvel films on the brain. Since I know  we’ll all be waiting anxiously now for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I am sharing the excellent Steve Rogers’ American Captain to help scratch that itch. Steve Rogers’ American Captain takes place between the end of The Avengers and the upcoming film. As Steve tries to work out his confusion with the new world around him and grief for his friends from the 40’s, he begins to sketch himself interacting with others, all the confusing things that happen throughout the day, and his thought process as he wrestles with the PTSD that comes from going to war, being trapped in ice for 60 years, and being resuscitated and then save the world from an alien invasion. Cameos from his colleagues in the Avengers as they work, hang out and try to relate to him or help work  out his problems are frequent and often hilarious and touching.

A lot of the praise for American Captain has been for the honest and touching ways it portrays mental illness. Captain America, the true All-American, sharing his very relatable struggles with depression and anxiety help shows how very real the struggles can be for such a huge portion of our society.  The comic is all told from Steve’s perspective, in a sketchy pen-and-ink style. They are all hand drawn and scanned, which helps preserve the personal diary feel. It’s also fun to see the characterizations of the Marvel heroes in their casual mode, including Thor on a lunch date, Black Widow talking politics, and Tony Stark bonding with Steve over his father issues in his own roundabout and with-maximum-frustration way. The author, Robyn, is a doctoral candidate from New Zealand. American Captain is currently her only comic.

America Library

I hope book libraries never change, especially not the smell.