Vault Comics 2021
Written & Lettered by Paul Allor
Illustrated by Paul Tucker
As their escape draws near, Mateo shows EL a different way to live: free from constant pain, and filled with pleasure, sex and new sensations. But these lessons serve to underscore the cruelty of EL’s captors and to awaken a new level of anger within him. Meanwhile, Mateo tests the limits of his own empathy in increasingly dangerous ways.
There really is something intriguing about this book and this issue we learn a whole lot more which fills in some gaps but leaves other still wide open. I am finding myself pulled deeper and deeper into this world and this company with each turn of the page and that is precisely what a great story does. The opening had me fooled for a bit I mean we’re reading the narration, which sounds oddly a lot like Mr. Tanner by Harry Chapin, that doesn’t match what we’re seeing and yet it’s hard to look away. Part of me really wishes that Matteo and Donnie were going to kiss or find common ground and while that wouldn’t exactly fit into the parameters of the story I still would’ve like to have seen it.
I am enjoying the way that this is being told. How we see the story & plot development through the way the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented extremely well. I mean for the most part this is Matteo’s story of freeing El and what he can do for him but the real question that hasn’t been asked is why is he doing this for him? I believe part of that answer lies in the two new characters we meet here playing racquetball. This ties into the character development nicely as we see the characters act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter as well as through their dialogue. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story it engages the reader to ask questions and it’s done in a more subtle manner.
I am enjoying seeing how this is being structured and how the layers within the story continue to grow, evolve and emerge adding new depth and complexity to what we see. Also how we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as seeing it move the story ever forward is exceptionally well done.
The interior artwork here is nice. The way we see the opening utilise backgrounds is what I wish we’d see more of but the complex doesn’t have much use for them so it’s a double edged sword and yet we still get to see some solid depth perception, sense of scale and that overall sense of size and scope to the story. The attention to detail that we see through the varying weights of the linework utilised a bit better but it's still nice to see. I still see that Space Kook from Scooby Doo’s original run when I see El and that kind of takes away from his ferociousness a bit. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a decent eye for storytelling. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is extremely well rendered here.
I’m beginning to think Matteo’s end game is one of two things and I’m not prepared to say what either one of those are yet. I’ll keep reading to see where the story goes but i’m invested in this tale because of what I believe we’re seeing and that goes a long way in my book. That Paul & Paul are bringing us this unique look at a science fiction tale that doesn’t fit any mold that I know of is exceedingly well done.