Vault Comics continues its streak of great comics with Wednesday’s Mall #2, which includes equal shares of world building and action.
If you haven’t read Mall #1 or just need a refresher, check out our review here (P.S. the first issue is great).
A Mall Full of Stories
Writers Michael Moreci and Gary Dauberman open Mall #2 with an introduction of Andre’s family. This opening helps expand the world, much like Mall #1’s opening. The duo showcase Andre’s father, who exudes the vibe of a wealthy man of power. Within this conversation about his son’s rescue, the unknowingness of ‘the world beneath’ is expanded upon. This information comes naturally, while adding elements that further the plot.
Andre still feels like the odd one out in this world, as throughout the story he questions everything and is surprised as new facts arise, all while seeing the wrongs that are transpiring. These facts combined make him a great main character, continuing the trend of someone you can root for.
Andre’s skepticism is emphasized by the inclusion of his partner, who at the moment has no name. Much like Andre, she can see the insanity of what’s going on. But unlike him, it seems she goes about her way. Namely with a sword and violence. Lots of it. Moreci and Dauberman don’t give much away of her story or drive just yet. But what they do show keeps the reader interested, primarily due to her similarity to Andre. That and her great witty banter, which elevates serious matters.
That doesn’t mean Mall #2 goes the route of being funnier or completely light-hearted. It keeps the serious themes and moments that Mall #1 had.
The Scenery of A Mall
Mall is a post-apocalypse story, which is amplified by artist Zak Hartong’s work. Throughout the issue, Hartong’s pencils are heavy lined and dirty feeling. This is the exact mood the team is going for.
Hartong’s art also adds great pacing with panel placement and movements. No two pages’ panel layouts are the same. Instead, Hartong plays around with different sizes and placements to make pages feel unique, while keeping the pace fast. This speed is showcased in the way he handles fights.
Each fight draws blood, while hitting hard. Every movement during the fights feel fluid and fast paced, especially when the sword slices. This fluidity isn’t just limited to the fight scenes, as when conversations occur they share the energy.
Adding to Hartong’s post-apocalyptic vibes are Addison Duke’s darker shaded colors. During most of Mall #2, the colors are on the darker side. But when action occurs, Duke livens the mood with brighter, yet still dark colors.
Duke’s coloring shines during an alarm sequence. During this moment of violence and alarms blaring, Duke adds a red filter over the pages. This filter seems simple, but is employed to great effect. Within the chaotically fast paced moments you’ll swear you can hear the alarm.
In fact, you can hear the alarms, thanks to letter Jim Campbell. Throughout the alarm sequence Campbell adds a ‘REH’ flowing through the panels. This sound effects help excel the feeling that Duke’s filter implies.
During the same scene the characters fall under attack via mutantesque creators. Hartong’s design for these creators are great, but Campbell’s ‘SKRRH’ sound effects makes them terrifying.
By delving deeper into its world, Mall #2 expands its view in way that’ll keep readers wanting more. If you enjoyed Mall #1, you’ll love its follow-up.
Memorable Quote: “ Come closer and I’ll tear your nose off with my teeth.” – Andre’s Savior
Little is known about her character as of now. But damn, I’ve already fallen in love.
Dear Faithful Shoppers
How are you enjoying Vault Comics newest series? Let us know below! If your interested in checking out Vault Comics catalog, check out their website. It’s highly recommended!