Writer: Justin Richards
Artist: Val Halvorson
Publisher: Vault Comics
WHAT IS IT?
Basically, it's a story about teenagers that gain the ability to manipulate emotions for a limited amount of time by shooting someone with their "finger gun."
Pretty damned original huh? In fact, it's so original, it's hard to even think of other media to compare it to!
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
What if one day you were pointing your fingers at someone in the shape of a gun and you somehow shot them with an emotion bullet? I'm not one to judge, as I tested out my finger gun when I first watched Yu Yu Hakusho. Thing is, thirteen-year-old Wes finds out he has the power to enrage others with emotion bullets. Nowhere in Finger Guns are they called emotion bullets, but hell, I think it's a cool name!
Wes tests his newfound weapon on unsuspecting victims at his local mall, as any teenagers would. That is, until he runs into Sadie, who has an equal-yet-opposite ability to calm others down with her finger gun, conveniently on the opposite hand. Spending time with each other the duo start to experiment on this new "weaponry" together. Though they answer a few basic questions, it opens the story up for even more queries – especially with regard to their less-than-ideal home lives!
A lot. A lot works. For example, I'm a sucker for well-designed titles, and Finger Guns' use of finger guns forming out of letters in its title is awesome.
It reminds me of Yu Yu Hakusho's main character, Yusuke Urameshi's finger gun attack. But, you know, less deadly. Well, less deadly as of now (play dramatic music).
As stated, Finger Guns #1 brings up a ton of questions, yet it gives just the right amount of answers and mystery that it'll make you come back for further issues to learn more.
Wes and Sadie are great main characters. They each have their character quirks and seem to have more in common then we think, with both coming from broken homes: Wes with his dad that's never home, and Sadie whose parents can be seen verbally fighting, with hints at potential physical violence.
Character Moment: The moment scene where they learn more about their finger guns together, and the mature reaction to these tests, is so poignant for the characters while also feeling real and authentic and moving the plot forward, answering a few of our burning questions.
I love the music story name, "MUSIC or LOSE It." I mean, that's such a hilarious and smart name! That and on the inside, there is a sign that says, "UNSORTED good luck." It's always cool when signs have fun like this, and that latter one shows someone has some serious experience trying to find specific albums in music stores!
Wes is written like a teenager that just got powers. Instead of going out to save the world, he instead runs around the mall shooting emotion bullets. This testing of powers felt so real, like what someone would actually do in real life.
I loved when Wes shot the dog and made it angry. For some reason, this made me laugh my ass off.
Halvorson's art and Nalty's colors work perfectly for the story being told in Finger Guns. It has a fresh vitality to it that feels indicative of how teenagers might see the world.
The framing of some shots are amazing in their visual storytelling. Two big ones come to mind: When Wes is traveling to the mall, the team does this with three small panels in simular positions, telling us a lot about Wes and showing the passage of time. The other great panel is when Wes receives help from a passerby, and the visual team frames him aiming his finger guns at the other person with a BOGO sign behind his hands and a red action bubble looking like an explosion. It's like luck-based special effects, grounded in the real world.
Those aren't the only fascinating artistic choices, as there are other moments when objects and characters break panels. They don't overuse this, but the times they do turns out great. This usually occurs when shooting the finger gun and the emotion bullet effects breaks the panel border, helping make the action more pronounced and supernatural. The use of Sadie holding onto a ship (in the park) and her fingers going into the white space or showcasing the stray dog making his way into the panel are also economic and effective uses of this technique.
One other great panel to note: When Wes tries his right hand it doesn't work, his remark and resulting action shows so much imagination, it's one of my favorite parts of the issue.
Nalty's colors help the emotion bullets' impact hit harder by showcasing the emotion the person feels with its respective color. Esposito adds sound effects for when the finger guns go off (not all the time though) which also helps the action hit even harder.
The team employs the usage of page turn to make a moment impact greater. One such case being the amazing reveal of Sadie and her power usage.
When characters yell, Esposito makes sure you can hear it by changing the font style to nearly fly off the page.
Memorable Quote: Stranger: "Wanna chill?" Wes: "I'm thirteen, dude."
After reading Finger Guns #1, my mind was reeling with questions, which is what you want with a first issue – it brings readers back.
Do I have to wait for the next issue? This debut was so great, I don't think I have the patience to wait for the next!
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
It's becoming increasingly noticeable that Vault Comics really know their stuff when it comes to comics. It's damn near impossible not to love everything about their comics, even if you don't like a specific genre, as they have many comics that fit differing ones. The same goes for Finger Guns #1 that has so many great things going for it that to find something that doesn't work, you have to be quite nitpicky.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It's published by Vault Comics. There, that's reason enough...
Honestly, Vault Comics knows their stuff, and yes, I know we say that often here. But Finger Guns #1 is such a smart and uniquely original idea that'll you'll kick yourself for not picking it up. In the first issue alone, the team brings forth so many possibilities, you'll want to sleep 'til the next issue releases.
Plus, check out Richards's interview with the Yeti!
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
We Can Never Go Home by various creators
Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo
Falconhyrste by Melissa Capriglione & Clara W.
If you like the art:
The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank by Matthew Rosenberg & Tyler Boss
Hawkeye by Matt Fraction & David Aja
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Justin Richards (@EmoComicWriter) – Writer
New Face: Finger Guns #1 seems to be his first written comic
Used to be a comic critic and would review comics weekly with friends
On The Rise: I mean, he got his comic published by Vault Comics, that's pretty awesome!
Val Halvorson (@Fishmas) – Artist
New Face: Seems that Finger Gun is his first published work, with him working on another series called, The Sequels
Fan of working on horror and noir stories
Had a short story published in Death of the Horror Anthology
Rebecca Nalty (@rebnalty) – Colorist
Outlander: Lives in Dublin, Ireland
Was a background artist on BBC's Danger Mouse
Prolific: Has worked on a multitude of comics as Colorist
Taylor Esposito (@TaylorEspo) – Letterer
Multitalented: Does a few different comic related design jobs, and quite a few Graphic Design Jobs. All which can be found on his website
Prolific: Has worked on books for DC/Dynamite/Dark Horse, and now Vault Comics
Second-degree black belt in Koei-Kan Karate-Do
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Click one of these:
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Vault Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Vault Comics or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED