RESONANT, ISSUE #4
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 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.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Is Paxton OK? Is the dog OK???
Paxton has been captured, stranded, and forced into servitude on an island run by a sociopathic dudebro. We thought he got stabbed, and maybe he did, but it looks like he'll survive for now.
No word on our sweet baby dog angel, but I hope we find out soon.
The rest of our family is also starting to fracture into smaller fragments, much to the detriment of our anxiety.
Ty sure seems like he stumbled on a cult. But that group may have a way to protect him that Bec just didn't have access to. However, the cost of that protection hasn't yet been communicated...
Bec and Stef, have their own troubles to worry about. Stef isn't healthy and adds a "ticking clock" element to the story. However, the larger danger is a local bear, possibly pictured above. Bec is resourceful, for sure, but can she take down a bear that survived the apocalypse?
This issue is well-balanced among our characters and their separate stories. It sounds like a simple thing, but it's hard to do in 20 pages while maintaining tension and reader interest while also moving things forward.
I have a personal love for the hero's journey and stories where a kid ends up accidentally joining a cult or something like it. Maybe it's growing up with stories like Pinocchio or The Talisman, but the idea of temporary safety and comfort in exchange for later greater danger is never not fascinating to me.
Jason Wordie's colors contribute so much to this title's tone and personality, especially during the waves or scenes of violence we see each issue. Recurring panels amidst a sea of savage red affect us emotionally (see them below – shoutout to Deron Bennett's sound effect work, here, too, getting more and more gruesome along with the scene!), nearly as much as they likely affect Paxton. It's necessary for Paxton's character arc, going from the prepared and confident person he was at the beginning of the series to what may end up being a much more careful and timid version of himself.
Similarly, Aragón's line art continues to impress. I especially enjoyed how the art sets up Ty's interest in a girl without any mention of that interest in the text. It's not just the writing that moves the story forward, and that's not often the case in a lot of comics.
The man keeping Paxton and the others hostage is...insufferable. David Andry writes one hell of a villain, completely different from any you've seen before, except maybe in real life. You really feel the indignity of Paxton's and the other captives' positions.
In fact, Andry's characterizations might be one of my favorite parts of this title. Stef worrying about the bear getting hurt is peak adorable. He's such a caring, sweet kid – I hope we're not being set up to lose him.
Showcasing Checkhov's Gun as Bec claims she'll do "whatever it takes" to defend her family foreshadows future events so hard, and I love it. The fact that she's drawn with those scary, beady eyes we've seen on dangerous individuals in the past makes the scene especially bone-chilling.
One character not being affected by the waves brings it back to its "Pandemic" sub-genre roots in interesting ways vital to the plot.
Wordie's color (again, I know, I'm obsessed) behind the preacher, Isaac, during his sermon really evokes that hellfire and brimstone aura more than a salvation one, and it makes you wonder how heavily this foreshadows Ty's future.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
Cursing and violence mean this probably isn't the best comic for kids.
There's a scene on the beach where the art in a couple panels created some confusion as to where characters were placed spatially. I think one more panel in there, acting as a bridge between the two, could've helped.
WHERE IS THE DOG AND IS IT OK?
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
While I'm sure Resonant got its name from plot points that will become clear later in the series, it's also aptly named because so much of the story touches on human universals, even in a post-apocalyptic landscape.
The story of Paxton, Bec, and their family will resonate with you. It will intrigue you and make you feel something and compel you to read the next page before your consciousness discovers what your hand and your eyes are doing. It will do this until there are no more pages to read.
Then, it will leave you begging for more.
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
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