Vault Comics 2018
Created & Written by Eliot Rahal
Illustrated by Felipe Cunha
Coloured by Dee Cunniffe
Lettered by Taylor Esposito
Murder, mourning, and the heist of the century! Discover how our cast of 1997 teenage misfits stole the Diary of Colonel Vance—whose pages tell the secrets of a fabled fortune and a terrible curse! Meanwhile, in the present, another member of the grown-up gang is dead. Will the killer be able to cover their tracks before an old enemy emerges?
The more I read of this the more I like it. It totally has the Goonies meets Murder on the Orient Express feel to it that on it’s surface shouldn’t work but as the story continues it just gets that much stronger. Eliot seems to have mastered the whole then and now storytelling as we see deeper and deeper into the events of their childhood and how they have managed to turn them into the adults that they are today. There is also this whole aspect to this that we don’t even know what happened to when they were kids meaning the story is told forward and backward which is an interesting principal when you think about it.
The way that this is structured is incredibly unique to me. The whole ebb & flow to what we’re seeing is magnificent in ways that’s almost too hard to describe. Just the fact that we are seeing the way that past is unfolding versus to the events we see today is so at odds with one another that I am not entirely sure what is really going on. I love that this group of kids were such good friends back in the day and that they planned a museum heist and actually got away with it. Then apparently something happens in the meantime while they are still kids that we aren’t privy to as of yet.
That of course leads us the bickering adults that they are today and with the death of the first among them they’ve come back together. So there are spoilers for us as the adult versions talk about what happened, well really skirt around the issue but all in all they pretty much fill in the blanks to a degree. Amazingly enough Eliot also manages to somehow have these kids maintain their core personality traits so it’s nice to see that even with time, life lived and learned that they people kind of remain who they are.
Felipe and Dee do some really solid work here. While there is a completely all-ages aspect to the artwork it is still very much adult oriented. I love the way the images pop here and then that moment we see the museum come into view and the attention to detail in that was incredible to see. So simple yet so complex and then of course the museum’s rendition of the declaration of independence or whatever that document that lines the walls well yeah it’s got that whole air about that really captures everything. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a strong eye for storytelling.
I like the way we see events of the past coming back to haunt them now. With what they accomplished and how they did it it isn’t hard to see someone wanting to come after them. Though oddly enough after all this time that seems more than a bit petty. However if there really is a curse on the treasure that they have found then it all makes this weirdly odd sense. While I am still waiting for the reveal of which ones gay I doubt that’ll come true for me or if it does then I’ll be damned if it isn’t him.
Refreshingly old school and completely fun this is the kind of stuff that would’ve made Indiana Jones jealous!