RESONANT, ISSUE #7
Writer: David Andry
Artist: Skylar Patridge
Publisher: Vault Comics
WHAT IS IT?
The second issue of the second arc of a post-apocalyptic series about a father and his three children who are separated from each other and trying to survive in a world where "Waves" of danger can come at any time.
Think Interstellar meets 28 Days Later.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Ten years ago, The Waves unleashed themselves upon the world, stirring a person’s darkest impulses for violence, upon others or themselves. The chirping of cicadas warns that a Wave is imminent.
Ty is making his way back to his sister Bec and his brother Stef. He’s left The Congregation and is trying to make it to the family cabin before Preacher, Maw, and their deadly followers get there first. Meanwhile, their father Paxton is on a boat and making his way back from the island where he was held prisoner. The rough waves of the sea pale in comparison to the Wave that is coming for everyone. Will Paxton and the children survive and be reunited?
Andry writes scenes that are both tense and touching. Both storylines feel like a race against the clock, but the characters never lose their believability, vulnerability, or heart.
Patridge has been an incredible addition to this creative team. Her art has a sense of urgency and intensity to it that adds to this story.
Wordie’s colors are lighter and brighter during the scenes with Bec, Ty, and Stef and evoke a wholesomeness that will give way to the dark blue of the unforgiving ocean and the blood-red of the Waves.
Bennett’s lettering and placement of word balloons early on in this issue creates an easy flow to the dialogue between Bec and Ty. He’s able to add to the emotion of the scene by the words in bold. Later scenes, when the Wave hits, contain some stellar SFX work that helps create the absolute chaos of that moment.
Both Bec and Stef have physical issues that would be presented as major hurdles to surviving this post-apocalyptic landscape in the hands of a lesser writer. Bec is always seen as capable rather than limited. Bec and Ty also never hesitate to bring Stef with them to safety.
The first-page panel design gives the opening this disjointed, unsettled feel that connects to Ty’s emotional state and sets the reader off balance.
There are generally more panels per page involving the storyline of Bec, Ty, and Stef and, as a result, the story feels confining, which works well. For Pax’s story, there’s a 2-page spread and another full page where there are no panel borders except the line of the ocean waves. The result is an openness that draws you in until you feel you will be swallowed by it.
Despite all the terror, there are some fairly typical sibling moments of levity that pass between Bec and Ty that act as a necessary break to allow the characters and the reader a small respite.
When the Wave hits, there are 4 pages of intense chaos and anxiety captured on the page in a way that I don’t think I have ever seen before. I mentioned the SFX above, which convey such a sense of manic frenzy but it’s also the panic or madness captured on the characters’ faces, the silent screams drowned out by the cicadas, the change in the panel borders from white to the same green as the cicadas.
This issue continues to advance the idea that the Waves may not be turning people violent, but merely tapping into their capacity for violence. It’s a nuanced point and Andry’s dialogue brings into focus a particular character’s internal struggle.
The last few pages slow the pace but not the intensity. Although there is less dialogue here between the characters, the interesting panel placement and size work to focus in on the tragedy of the moment.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
There’s a moment where the leader of The Congregation shows up and there’s no dialogue between him and the other characters. Perhaps it is setting up something that will be revisited in a later issue, but given what we already know about that character it seemed unnecessary.
CW: The chaos on the page when the Wave hits might be too much for some readers. Although effective to portray the intensity of the moment, it is a lot to take in visually.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
There is a compelling moral and philosophical argument being presented with the Waves about human nature. The question of whether the Waves make people violent or merely give people permission to be violent is one with deep implications for the series and our day-to-day lives.
I would be remiss for failing to mention that the core cast of Paxton, Bec, Ty, and Stef are black. Bec has a partially amputated left leg. Stef has a chronic illness. Representation matters and I think there are very few comics, if any, that handle representation this well. (Editor's note: Giga, Creature Feature, and Finger Guns are all excellent Vault titles with minority representation.)
If you’re a fan of post-apocalyptic stories with a unique twist focused on family, then you should read Resonant. I mentioned Interstellar above for the parallels between Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper and Paxton doing whatever they need to do to survive and get back home. Andry has said in interviews he was inspired by The Odyssey, so anyone that enjoys a story where a character has to overcome near insurmountable odds to get back home will find plenty to enjoy in Paxton’s tale.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
The Wild Uncertain by David Andry & Paul Schultz
Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire
Earworm by Rick Quinn, Milton Lawson, & Martyn Lorbiecki
If you like the art:
Relics of Youth by Matt Nicholas, Chad Rebmann, and Skylar Patridge
Wytches by Scott Snyder and Jock
Black Science by Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera
ABOUT THE CREATORS
David Andry – Writer
Multitalented: As a physical therapist Andry may repair your body, but his writing in Resonant will break your heart.
New Face: Andry is very new to comics and you can find his self-published comics at Ghost Thunder.
Currently co-writing a new title with Tim Daniel for Vault.
Sklyar Patridge – Artist
From her website: "Her biggest influences have been from the work of early and mid-20th Century illustrators as well as a variety of comic and children's book artists over the years. She also draws a lot of inspiration from her love of horror films and comics."
She is quickly making a name for herself in the industry having worked for Vault, Dark Horse, Scout, Image, Black Mask, as well as other anthologies & books.
Jason Wordie – Colorist
Outlander: Lives in Canada
Jason Wordie has some serious range in his work, but does seem to gravitate toward melancholic palettes.
Prolific: Wordie has over 100 credits as a colorist across publishers, genres, and styles. The man's a true professional.
Deron Bennett (AndWorld Design) – Letterer
Founded AndWorld Design, a lettering & design studio.
Multitalented: Also wrote the comic Quixote.
Has a cool video where he talks about why he loves lettering.
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Resonant #7 was co-created by David Andry and Skylar Patridge. All characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright of the above or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.