Comic Review: The Vault #1-2

The Vault, #1-2
Written by Sam Sankar
Art by Garrie Gastonny, Sakti Yuwono
Covers by Garrie Gastonny, Bagus Hutomo
Image Comics
Release Date: August 31, 2011
Cover Price: $3.50

The Vault opens with a team of high tech treasure hunters exploring treasure chambers and traps off on Oak Island, 150 kilometers off the coast of Nova Scotia. The area is famous for hosting a whole network of tunnels and burrows that have baffled treasure hunters and archaeologists alike and this team believes they have found access to a treasure chamber through a hidden access tunnel. However, when they discover that the treasure they found won’t even cover their expenses, they keep digging.

What they find as they go deeper isn’t treasure, but rather a giant stone sarcophagus, with an unknown skeletal creature inside. The team debates whether or not to open it, but when they do, they find the skeleton inside to be not as quite as dead as they thought…

The Vault is a clever comic book that revolves around a group of complicated characters who all have different motivations for pursuing treasure. Investors like Jesus Mondragon and Mr. Kirilov are looking for wealth, while Cheryl Mithra, Dr. Gabrielle Parker, and Anderson are in it for the adventure. The characters, however, are somewhat stilted in the reading, and they are difficult to get a bead on. While it makes the characters’ motivations hidden, it’s hard to tell if it’s intentional or simply poor writing.

The other major issue with the plot in The Vault is that the opening frames rob you of any mystery throughout the rest of the comic. The first few shots are of the war in Heaven and the fall of Lucifer, so the creature sealed in the sarcophagus is something out of Christian mythology. Whether angel or demon it’s impossible to tell, but we understand where the comic will eventually go.

Garrie Gatonny is a fantastic comic book artist, so his work in The Vault is exemplary. It’s an old-school style, with solid lines, well-defined features, and a clever use of lighting to give the readers a sense of the environment. However, the only real problem with The Vault is Sam Sankar‘s writing and characterization. While the concept is interesting, the execution is disorganized and the pacing is rather slow.

That being said, it’s a fascinating comic, and definitely worth a look.

RATING: 3 out of 5 Sealed Ancient Terrors.

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