Vault Comics 2017
Written by Adrian Wassel & David Booher
Illustrated by Nick Robles
Lettered by Deron Bennett
Tasked with capturing the most wanted fugitive in the universe, Ben Madsen (from Arcadia, California) must track his mark through a city filled with dangerous aliens (definitely not from Arcadia, California)— right here on Earth.
Now Imagine that Area 51 was a distraction, something for the conspiracy theorists to obsess on and people to keep looking at all the while there’s really a place where Aliens are being held and it’s far away from prying eyes surrounded by nothing but frozen tundra. Now what happens when Earthlings, us, are left in charge of an intergalactic prison? I mean someone would need a crash course in those species and how to maintain a facility and ways of actually keeping them up right? Okay so we’re guessing here because well we don’t know, yet, and as it turns out the you know what has hit the fan and it’s time to scramble and find a way to keep this under wraps and in control.
This premise is spectacular! Add in Ben Madsen as we meet him and this is one of not only the weeks highlight books but it’s a prime example of why I keep screaming about small press companies. This is what you want in your comic books people! The characters are reasonable, plausible, likeable and the way that the boys write them, see characterisation, is so gosh darn on point it’s not funny. There’s more action and adventure that we can relate to here than in any Tom Cruise movie ever made--yes combined. Plus the lead is more a guy you’d like to have a beer with.
Then there’s the interior artwork. Nick does some really impressive work here and that he’s lays it down and finishes it all up by himself makes it more so. I like the use of page layouts how he frames the pages, uses angles and perspective as well as providing backgrounds so we can see the bigger picture of what’s going on around them. The attention to detail is great to see and it makes not only the backgrounds but the faces, facial expressions and body language so much more expressive. Then there’s the creativity and imagination on display here and I can’t wait to see more of that as the series progresses.
This is an introductory issue, meaning it’s supposed to introduce us to it’s premise, main character(s) and kind of show us where the book is going to go. So far it surpasses most other first issues I’ve read. Not only do we see what Ben is about, what matters to him and a few of the key people in his life but we learn about what he’s being tasked with. That he’s been on the secret government organisations radar for a long time and that it was inevitable that he be drawn into something.
It’s woven in such a way that seems to give us all we want and need and so much more. So much so that when it ends you wish this were one of those giant sized first issue specials because you just aren’t ready for it to end. You want to see more, you want to see this mysterious alien city in the middle of frozen nowhere. You want to get a peek at these aliens and what they look like. Seriously you are left with such a wanting and need type feeling when this is over and that’s a sign of strong solid storytelling.