By Jarrod Jones. I can’t imagine there’s a single one of us who hasn’t wished for a clone of themselves. With a mere 24 hours in the day, a measly 7 days in a week, and a laughably inadequate 365 days in a year, every minute is imbued with ceaseless anxiety concerning the things we need to do, things we want to do, things we should have done, and things we’ll never do because there’s not enough hours in the… yeah. I know it can’t be just me.
Thing is, there’s a facet to being cloned that most of us would probably never consider, being that it’s totally impossible at this juncture in our history and there are obviously better things to dwell on. (I suppose.) But that facet is getting a full and occasionally unpleasant scrutiny in Paul Jenkins and Andy Clarke’s Replica: get yourself cloned enough times, and you’ll become intimately aware of every aching inadequacy of your personality. Detective Trevor Churchill has been well-acquainted with this truism for some time now, but it would appear that — based on the side-eye he’s getting from clone #27, the outright impertinence of #3, and the dwindling devotion of #2 — Trevor’s been interpreting his relationship to these people in a completely disastrous way. “If you guys are all aspects of me, then you know what I think? I think that deep down, I must be a complete asshole!”
Damn, Trevor. That’s no way to talk to anybody. Considering the events circling around the head you seem to covet so dang much, you probably ought to be better to yourself. Literally.
So yeah. Deep down, Trevor Churchill is more than likely a total asshole. But that shouldn’t suggest that he’s a bad person — after all, “To Protect and Serve” is ever at the forefront of his thinking, and Paul Jenkins keeps the protagonist of Replica swamped by a nigh-pathological desire to do right. (When he’s not dropping nuclear bon mots all over the precinct, that is.) Keeping a scuzzhole like The Transfer as clean as he does — no small task, considering how all the varying layers of corruption are this apparent this early in the series — is something that should be lauded. But man, does Trevor make it hard to like him.
And it’s not just his personality. It’s something about his face. Andy Clarke reaches deep into Trevor’s id and pulls out a wide spectrum of expression and nuance that looks as though it was constructed by a hybrid clone of Steve Dillon and Frank Quitely. Trevor is handsome in that obnoxiously roguish sort of way, but you can tell that he knows it. It doesn’t bother him too much that he has to stare into his own eyes all day, every day. It’s only when those eyes offer a glimmer of defiance, of individuality, that Trevor turns from “casually hostile” to “reflexively abusive”. Jenkins and Clarke have given us a character study that will take years to examine. At least I hope that’s the case.
But you better watch your ass, Trevor Churchill, because someone’s gunning for you. And they are of your numbers.
Written by Paul Jenkins.
Art by Andy Clarke.
Colors by Dan Brown.
Letters by Clayton Clowes.
9 out of 10