RESONANT, ISSUE #2
Writer: David Andry Art: Alejandro Aragón Publisher: Vault Comics
WHAT IS IT?
A post-apocalyptic story with a family at its center and a strange, philosophical/sound-based force seemingly at the center of humanity's downfall.
If you've seen the 2008 film, The Signal, this comic might remind you a little of that. Elements in this issue also evoke Resident Evil 4 and later games in the series.
You'll see why.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The world, it seems, has ended.
Rebecca (or "Bec," for short) is taking care of her brothers while her father goes out in search of medicine for his sick son, or even just some kind of help, in general.
He knows people aren't to be trusted. He knows it's dangerous out there. But he's gotta go.
You get the sense he's prepared. He seems to have plenty of experience surviving these kinds of expeditions. Surviving the waves of sound that cause people to do crazy things. But the waves are easy to prepare for...
...compared to people, at least.
After a whirlwind first issue, Resonant #2 pauses to take a breath and develop the world. We get some insight into the waves and what they do to people, as well as find out a little more about civilization...or what's left of it.
Don't get the wrong idea – this isn't a "quiet" issue. David Andry and Alejandro Aragón build tension throughout the issue and plant the seeds for future terrors. If this issue had a theme, it's that people should be avoided. The father even says it at one point, before entering a camp filled with them. But this issue, we get the sense that the introduction of others interacting with the father and Bec's family will destabilize the safe(ish) life that they've built.
Aragón's art brings so much to this issue. Seeing the intricacy of the ropes the father uses to secure himself in a tree at night shows how prepared he is for this new world. It can't be comfortable, but it's better than being caught unawares by a wave, or falling out of the tree in his sleep.
Another subtle thing: seeing birds in the distance taking off before and after Fern starts growling is such a subtle way to show oncoming danger.
The fact that the camp of lowlife survivors is called "Hospitality" is a nice little bit of post-apocalyptic irony, for you.
The march sequence works hard for this issue. It breaks up some quieter (yet necessary) scenes and establishes the title firmly in the Horror genre. The entire time, the terror builds into horror. You worry for our protagonists' present, but it leaves you worrying for their future and wondering what other horrors await them. Deron Bennett could have had the followers all shouting the same thing in one balloon, but it's so much more effective the way he did it, in separate ones. You can imagine it in your head, and that uneven shouting is so creepy and disconcerting – terrifying when combined with the actions and dialogue in that scene.
It's so effective when Jason Wordie fills a panel with a bright color, showing danger or heightened emotions. It works for the waves, and it works just for high-tension scenes in general.
I think David Andry's dog makes an appearance in this issue? If it's not meant to be at least an homage, then I will be surprised.
Another great Easter Egg: Vault's comic, Heathen, makes a cameo.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
Had a little trouble seeing at first that Fern had a thorn stuck in her paw. The colors made the thorny stick blend in with the rest of the panel. (Then again, it's dark out, that's how it would probably look, so I can't fault the colors too much.)
If anything happens to the dog in this strange and terrifying new world, I'm rioting.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
So, in my previous review, I wondered if we were being intentionally misled to think this was a horror comic and that it might turn into something else. Events pass which seem to position it more strongly in the Post-apocalyptic Horror sub-genre. I think fans of that type of story will be pleased with this issue.
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:
Death Orb, Vol. 1 by Alejandro Aragón & Ryan Ferrier
Wytches by Scott Snyder & Jock
Black Science by Rick Remender & Matteo Scalera
ABOUT THE CREATORS
David Andry – Writer
Multitalented: Is also a physical therapist
New Face: Is very new to comics
Alejandro Aragón – Illustrator
Outlander: Hails from Argentina
His style seems to use that sketchy, visceral aesthetic combined with dramatic lighting
Jason Wordie – Colorist
Outlander: Lives in Canada
Jason Wordie has some serious range in his work, but does seem to gravitate toward melancholic palettes
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
Adrian F. Wassel – Editor
Name Recognition: Is the CCO & Editor-In-Chief of Vault Comics, and plays the role of editor on most, if not all, of Vault's titles
Also runs Vault with his brother and father
Has personally helped other comics creators in their endeavors, even for non-Vault comics work
Tim Daniel – Designer
Multitalented: Also was the writer on Vault title, Fissure
Inspired by others in the business: Sonia Harris, Sean Phillips, and Fonographics
Dream Team: Co-wrote Curse and Burning Fields with Michael Moreci
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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