Everyone knows the noteworthy career and illustrious name of Gail Simone, from projects like DC’s BIRDS OF PREY or arguably one of the strongest runs with the fan-favorite permutation of Barbara Gordon in BATGIRLAlthough some of us may be satisfied with her run of Marvel’ RED SONJA almost two years ago, others are more than happy to ingest something original from the master’s mind herself! And CLEAN ROOM does nothing to disappoint, for a fan or novice reader.

CLEAN ROOM #1 By Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt

Being a horror and mystery girl myself, CLEAN ROOM already had the makings of a comic I would want to pick up to begin with. After getting the opportunity to read the first issue for review, I can’t say I was in any way surprised or disappointed. Gail Simone, as usual, shows her strong storytelling chops in introducing the narrative of CLEAN ROOM concisely and with the right amount of intrigue to keep you hungry for more, as every first issue should. The very first six pages throws the reader into a supernatural conflict that may not be seen by all who are present, setting up for an interesting ride.

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We’re then introduced to our main protagonist, Chloe Pierce, in the middle of letting herself drown, thrown into the emotional turmoil immediately. It’s made very clear that this will not be a wholly happy story. We meet Chloe at a personal low. Now, we wait for the cause and effect of this point of her life.

Gail Simone Interview from NYCC 2014

Now that we’re hooked, we find out that Chloe has lost everything: her fiancé, her baby, and her will to live. On top of all that, it appears that she can see some strange, demonic creatures in her every day routine. We relate to her feelings of loss and necessity for being owed something, while adapting to the strange phenomenon of Chloe’s sight of demonic creatures.

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Her fiancé, Philip, has shot himself after reading an addicting self-help book by a notorious gothic horror writer, Astrid Meuller. Be still my fluttering heart for Necronomicon and similar horrific text! And in case this wasn’t enough of an intrigue, when Chloe goes to talk to Mikey–an old mutual friend of hers and her fiancé–in a terrified craze, he raves about the “clean room,” how it is everything and nothing. Welp. Count me in for the ride!

READ: Reasons to love Barbara Gordon!

Though I’m generally a bit unfamiliar with Jon Davis-Hunt’s artwork, I’m excited to be introduced to him through his collaboration with Gail Simone’s natural storytelling abilities. Knowing myself to be particularly picky about certain artists’ style, I was pleasantly surprised to see that these two worked beautifully together. Jon Davis-Hunt’s clean line work and fun use of color makes for an interesting compliment to Gail Simone’s precise and compelling words. While this series could have taken a darker tone in art, I find that the smart tightness and beauty of both the words and art bring out the best of this horror, mystery story about a very relatable and strong-willed Chloe, looking for answers to the loss of her life, in a world in which she–and perhaps a select other few–can see some pretty horrific things.

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