Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Writer: Paul Jenkins
Artist: Andy Clarke
Release Date: 6th April 2016
With part four, Replica started to hit its stride, with the story progressing nicely. In issue 5 we deal with the fallout of the destruction of the Mzultch Embassy and are introduced to Clone number 5 – or “Quasi” as everyone calls him. Clone 5’s creation didn’t go as smoothly as the others and as a result he is pretty horribly disfigured – hence the nickname. He’s also the department’s legal specialist, and a pretty shrewd one as it turns out.
The issue opens with Trevor, Vorgas, #2 and #4 in jail, accused of trespassing on sovereign Scarlet Empire soil after they seized the lands of the Mzultch with the destruction of their embassy (and almost complete obliteration of what remained of their peoples). In steps #5 to bail them out and prepare a case for their defense against the Scarlets. Needing time to work the defense 5 requests that Trevor, 2 and 4 stay out of trouble and suggests they take the day off and play golf. Trevor agrees, planning to do the exact opposite and things get interesting again.
The writing in Replica is really starting to open up now, as these characters are now bedding in the familiarity and relationships of the clones and Trevor’s staff are really beginning to shine through. Clone 2 is starting to flesh out, and Trevor is now calling him Rodger instead of Two, an indication that the clones are becoming real people in Trevor’s world rather that mere copies of himself. The relationship between Trevor and Vorgas seems to be changing too. Vorgas is still an idiot (and still gets some of the best lines), but there is a definite sense of camaraderie between the two now. Trevor even stands up for Vorgas when they are confronted by the Scarlets upon being released from jail.
As with every issue, Paul Jenkins teases the clone he’ll concentrate on for the next issue, with Andy Clarke has drawing him in a manner that suggests the dominant part of Trevor’s personality that this particular clone personifies. Number six is presented as a military-minded individual, in a crisp uniform and beret. Fingers crossed he’s more Che Guevara than Idi Amin. Clarke continues to impress with the diversity he manages to instill across Trevor’s clones, making them all individuals in their own right. This is brilliantly shown in one panel in this issue where Trevor, plus clones 2, 4 and 14 all witness an explosion, each reaction managing to be both the same and different at the same time.
Not wanting to spoil the issue, but part of the story involves Trevor and a few clones having to infiltrate part of the Scarlet compound completely naked, and the way Clarke has drawn this – tying the art into the story – is utterly hilarious. His talent for extending the written humor from Paul’s script into the art of the panel is one of the (many) reasons why I enjoy this title so much.
Replica really has started to find it’s legs and is turning into a great tale. Major credit has to be given to Paul Jenkins for this one. Setting the goal of introducing the clone that matches the issue number and centering that particular part of the story around that clone is no easy feat, and yet he has managed this with aplomb in every issue thus far. Not only has he accomplished this self-imposed dictate, he is also managing to craft a story that is both compelling and entertaining. There is a lot to love about Replica. It’s a gloriously nonsensical twist on a buddy story theme with a bizarrely meta slant. It’s also maturing into quite a gripping storyline, and provides a highly enjoyable and fun read that is currently getting better and better with each new chapter.
The writer of this piece was: Andrew McGlinn
Andrew Tweets from @jockdoom