Image Comics, known
for the strength of its creator-owned series, scored another hit
with THE VAULT #1, the first installment of a three issue
miniseries. THE VAULT, which has only been out for two weeks, is
already being adapted into a feature film with producer Johnny Depp
attached. Add to that the great reviews and the monstrous sales, and
youíve got yourself a comic that is making big waves. Er, excuse the
water pun Ė I just finished work on a 1000 WAYS TO DIE script, so
Iím trying not to engage in punnery with every sentence.
Now, letís take a
step back from all the hype. Itís a hit of titanic proportions
(sorry), but how does it read as a comic? WellÖ kind of like the all
expository scenes of film have been edited together into a bonanza
of plot. The issue opens with the brutal scene of a war between
Heaven and Hell, but it quickly cuts to a team of scientists
exploring a mysterious underwater area in hopes of finding treasure.
A lot of the dialogue reads like a college level lecture, doled out
to the reader through the conversation between the scientists. Itís
somewhat humanized by funny one-liners (ďA million dollars worth of
dive suit and you canít pee in it?Ē), but those pop up quite
infrequently. The plot is intriguing, but the characters are little
more than exposition machines with Dr. Parker as the exception. A
brief scene subtly hints that she has trouble back at home, and the
brevity of this scene piqued my interest enough to get me invested
in her motivations. I hope that the following issues serve to flesh
out the other characters.
THE VAULT #1 stays
readable because of Garrie Gastonnyís solid pencils and the
dichotomy of the supernatural war and the uber realistic main plot Ė
how will they meet up? That alone kept me turning the pages, and the
big reveal at the end promises that the next issue will spend more
time on that.