What I’m Reading: Think Tank: Fun With PTSD
May 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
Work has kept me from posting in a while, but unless you’re one of the few who regularly read Think Tank by Matt Hawkins with art by Rahsan Ekedal, I need to tell you:
Think Tank is kind of like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare written by guys who want to explore the politics and moral issues of destroying your enemies with groundbreaking technology. Though it’s far from Image Comics’ best-selling title, I have to believe it’s one of its best. What makes this one-shot Fun With PTSD essential reading is just how sophisticated, relevant, and poignant the story is.
Without giving too much away, Think Tank: Fun With PTSD is a one-shot comic book about a government scientist named David Loren who attempts to cure the PTSD of a friend who is a Navy SEAL. Loren is the funny and rascally kind of genius, but the seriousness of the situation takes the story into some affecting places.
There have been a few stories in print and on-screen that address PTSD, but Think Tank is unique in that it examines the biological aspects of the disorder. Scientists have known (or at least suspected) for a while that there is a biological component to PTSD. I’m a veteran who doesn’t have PTSD (most don’t), and I volunteered to be in the control group for a study on PTSD’s affect on the physical brain way back in 2007.
Hawkins and Ekedal take time in the story to explain a lot of the science. This is one of the reasons to love this series: it treats the reader like he or she is smart. If we’re honest, most current science fiction treats you like you’re a reasonably intelligent eight-year-old. In explaining the science, these creators take a serious look at the issue and its solutions. And a tangible solution makes for great storytelling because it gives our protagonist a concrete goal.
So even if you don’t want a moving story that takes a serious look at PTSD that’s respectful of America’s veterans, you actually get a quality science fiction story, where real, relevant science fuels the story, as opposed to the science fantasy that audiences usually get. And if you don’t want a quality science fiction story, you get an emotional story about the effort a person will give to save a friend in need. And if you don’t want any of that, Ekedal’s ink-wash is gorgeous.
And if you like ANY of that stuff, well, you don’t enjoy life very much, do you?