The Cleaners

Writer: Mark Wheaton
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art: Rahsan Ekedal
Colours: Jon Graef
Letters: Michael David Thomas

The Cleaners was a book I was interested in when I first came across it in Previews late last year. If you haven’t heard of the book before here is the rundown:

In the dark tradition of Los Angeles noir, The Cleaners is the story of a ragtag team of for-hire trauma-scene cleaners led by ex-surgeon Robert Bellarmine. Contracted with sanitizing some of the nastiest crime and accident scenes in the tri-county LA basin, the team battles against what could only be described as the grim, unknowable face of the supernatural. But by focusing on the scientific explanation, no matter how aberrant or extraordinary, they counteract centuries-old superstition to prove things are seldom what they seem . . . In Absent Bodies, Bellarmine and his crew take on a series of gruesome tasks starting with a bloodbath that covers an entire neighbourhood. This investigation leads them toward uncovering a disturbing mystery involving missing people-mostly children-which dates back longer than the history of the city itself.

I wanted to get this when it came out but due to budgetary restraints I decided to pass on it. With that being said I was sent all 4 issues from a friend of mine with a stack of other books I will talk about later one.

Seeing it in the box I dropped everything else that I was reading to dive into it. This book is a great horror/noir style which had me turning the page and wanting more and more. I don’t know how someone would have been able to read this on a monthly release as I couldn’t wait for the next issue.

That being said it was interesting idea to base a comic on. I had never thought about the people that have to clean up after violent deaths and other such things. This is the idea that originally intrigued me.

Robert is what also could be described as an amateur detective who always seems to be looking for clues at the scenes he is cleaning and also has friends in the police department that he can give tips to.

The story does show some great scenes about how they analyze a scene and also there is a lot of medical information thrown in which adds to the storytelling.

Overall it’s a very enjoyable read.

The only draw back I found while reading the issue was as we get into issue 4 there is a series of ‘thought balloons’ of sorts which I found myself trying to figure out who’s thoughts are being shown to us and even after a reread I’m still wondering that.

It also feels as if there are going to be more stories to be told with there characters and I can’t wait to see more!

Rating: 5/7

The issues came out at the end of 2008 but as of this months Previews the trade paperback collection is being solicited with Previews code JUL090022.

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