TheGeek dives into the first issue of Image Comics' newest mini-series, The Vault!
Credits & Solicit Info:
story SAM SARKAR
art GARRIE GASTONNY
color SAKTI YUWONO
cover BAGUS HUTOMO
32 pages, $3.50, in stores on July 27th
A small team of treasure hunters struggles to excavate a dangerous and legendary treasure pit before a massive storm hits Sable Island, the "Graveyard of the North Atlantic".Equipped with all the latest technology, the scientists believe they are prepared against all of nature's fury, but nothing can prepare them for what they are about to unleash from The Vault.
How deep can you go?
You could ask yourself that when you read The Vault, Image Comics' new miniseries. The premise is interesting enough, about a group of treasure hunters digging for treasure somewhere in the North Atlantic who uncover not just treasure but something different altogether. But hitting paydirt will take a lot of work.
Let's get to the good first. Writer Sam Sarkar did his homework. Vault reads like all your favorite expedition/treasure hunting movies You really get that Sphere or The Abyss vibe from this book, and maybe a little bit of Aliens too. Sarkar sells the science, the work and the scenery very well. As he should, considering Sarkar himself said he grew up being fascinated with Oak Island where the story is set. The first three pages alone tell you there's something more to this story than digging for treasure. Something bigger. And epic.
Garrie Gastonny on art is great. He certainly does the realistic-looking, photographic art better than Salvador Larroca, which is a huge compliment. The realistic rendering of the book gives you the feeling that you're reading a real-life documentary, like this story could be happening right now.
Unfortunately, wooden characters and mounds of exposition just kill the suspense. Every character is a no-nonsense scientist/archaeologist with money on their minds. Aside from gender and hair, there's nothing that sets each character apart. There's also a LOT to read here, but its mostly about excavations and calculations and stuff that certainly could have used some trimming to get to the good parts. Remember when I said that The Vault read like a documentary? That's because it mostly is. Which is unfortunate, because when you get to the last page, it's a chilling and exciting out-of-this-world revelation whose oomph fizzled on the way there.
I know that not every comic has to be a superhero-ey, bang-for-your-buck-in-every-page adventure. Sometimes it's just scientists huddled around an iPad looking at their calculations while a smarmy gold-digging scientist plans on hijacking their share of the treasure. But there has to be a way to at least make it a page-turner.
I appreciate what Sarkar and co. have done here. It could have been a solid premise. But a good first issue should hook you in the moment your eyes hit the first word balloon. As it is, The Vault #1 is a good 10 minutes of a SyFy pilot, not so much as the first in a three-issue miniseries.
Review by: TheGeek