The Truth Is Out There: Reviewing ‘Clear’ #5 From Scott Snyder And Francis Manapul

by Olly MacNamee


‘Clear’ #5 shocks and surprises as Sam Dunes learns even more about the technologically addicted world he lives in. As he continues to seek the killer of his lost love, Kendra, the more he learns of the awful truth to the world.


On the hunt for Kendra’s killer, Sam Dunes finds himself in some very deep, dark waters. Literally. And within these murky depths Sam finds some shocking answers. But, as this is, at its heart, a crime-noir caper much like classic movies of the same mould like Chinatown or L.A. Confidential – but given a futuristic neon makeover – a murder is never that simple a case to crack. And, as we have seen in previous issues, a bigger, badder conspiracy is at work here. And one Sam is privy to, thanks to the late introduction to the series of the mysterious Widow. A character who reveals even more to Sam and the reader as the plot thickens in Clear #5, the penultimate issue of this crime-thriller sci-fi series.

With more and more revelations coming with each new issue, it’s another one packed with a good deal of exposition. And in Scott Snyder’s hands the exposition is not your run-of-the-mill explanation but rather a skilfully crafted analogy. An extended metaphor beautifully rendered poetic by both Snyder’s skilful script and Francis Manapul’s striking artwork of this particular scene. In a world of darkness both Snyder and Manapul let in a ray of light with these panels. 

But, it is fleeting, to be replaced by a greyer, washed out colour palette perfectly chosen to illustrate the truth of the situation Dunes, and for that matter, the rest of this future society, live in blissfully unawares; both story and art working in perfect symmetry with one another.

With a very tight focus on just a handful of characters and scenarios, while it is a good chunky read (my favourite kind of comic), it’s also one that flies by too because the story, the revelations and the art are so gripping and engaging. 

Clear #5 is out now on comiXology

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