Vault Comics 2017
Written by Deniz Camp
Illustrated by Vittorio Astone
Lettered by Aditya Bidikar
Maxwell Maas may be the greatest mind the world has ever known, but at 10-years-old he has a lot to learn. Adventuring to distant worlds through his makeshift multiversal closet door, Max will encounter greatness and menace on a cosmic scale. Fans of Gaiman's Sandman will feel at home in the expansive, daring universe of Maxwell's Demons.
Oh my goodness this what not what I was expecting at all! I love being surprised and the fact that Deniz is able to take a 10-year-old genius and make him relatable, likeable and overall deliver a stellar story that’s just as much about coming of age and finding yourself as it is about the misadventures of a boy living in his own world, feeling every bit the outcast and embracing that. At first glance yes you’ll see Maxwell’s best friends are his stuffed animals that he brings to life through his imagination but don’t let that fool you this is as far from a kids tale as you can get while still maintaining some form of innocence.
I found myself drawn to Maxwell because in his own way it seemed eerily similar to my own childhood. Though where he has the wherewithal to understand and implement scientific theories I secluded myself away and focused on reading and drawing, all thanks to comics. More comfortable alone with my imagination than with people my own age, childhood bullies can be absolutely brutal when you don’t fit into society’s norm, I immediately felt a connection to him. While many will have a similar experience and the love of daydreaming or overactive imaginations are going to be strong denominator's in how it’s seen and felt.
Also Deniz does something completely unexpected in another way as well. After we see the story with Maxwell play out we see a short focusing on his father. This is huge because what we see of their relationship from Maxwell’s point of view isn’t very flattering to put it nicely. However with that back-up we get a look at his dad and it will forever change how you view him even when he’s being a brutish man. The characterisation here is flawlessly done and the fact that we can get this level of it so we are well underway to thinking of them as people and not characters is thrilling to me.
Vittorio does some outstanding work on the interiors here. His eye for storytelling is fantastic and the way he identifies and uses light sources are well thought out and executed. The use of page layouts with their angles and perspective are very nice to see and that he uses backgrounds here to flesh out the panels and scenes is exciting to see. Plus there’s his own imagination and creativity in bringing things to life that combines the child and adult points of view and that got me.
The story while taking me surprise also opens up a plethora of avenues for the guys take the further adventures. From what we see in the periphery that’s carried on into the back-up to Maxwell’s own realisations and what we see him do here all conspire to leave you feeling there’s so much more to explore. It has that whole refreshing feeling that there’s something brand spanking new happening in science-fiction and that alone is worthy of attention.
The way the story is structured as we follow the ebb & flow of Maxwell’s life is extremely well done. From action to pure storytelling using characterisation and circumstances show how well conceived and executed this is. Vault is home to some spectacular and exciting new voices and they are ones you need to know!