There are many possible futures, with a number of different catastrophes to wipe out human kind but what type of apocalypse has David Andry created for Vault Comic’s Resonant? And what kind of horror can the readers expect?
Just like Orphan Age from AfterShock comics, Resonant starts in a not too distant future, years after the catastrophe that decimated human kind. At least that is the impression this first issue gives the reader. Very little is explained and you are thrown straight in at the deep end to find your own footing in this off kilter world.
The central narrative revolves around a family unit with the father, Paxton, being the main focus. Andry builds up his world using the family as foundation blocks. He introduces them through a series of interactions; expanding the characters slowly through the way that they are seen by the other family members. Paxton’s over protectiveness is instantly clear but so is his reliance on his daughter Bec.
When necessity separates the family, Andry begins to build the larger world of Resonant. He has hooked the reader in with the close, caring family group and that enables him to introduce threatening, uncomfortable situations. As a reader you become attached very quickly to Paxton and his family allowing Andry to create nail-biting and tense scenes early on in the narrative.
This first issue is about building up fear. It starts with an isolated group and then introduces unknown factors in disturbing and off kilter ways. The larger threat comes in literal waves, the effects of which still need to be explored but the fear the characters have is obvious. Ale Aragon’s artwork is scratched into the panels with thin black lines defining characters and hinting at scenery.
There is a surprising amount of tension in the artwork which comes from the panel layout and the use of long shots. Desolation and isolation is evident on each page. The mirroring of panel layouts on consecutive page reinforces the fears within the narrative forcing the reader to compare different scenes. The physical threat from one page feeds back into the previous page and the isolation of one of the characters. A contrast between a snared rabbit and the central character is made because of the identical page layouts.
Aragon’s character design is a touch obvious in places, making one of the dangerous characters a clear danger from his first panel. However, the art is highly detailed and has a style suited to this uncomfortable world.
As the action begins to pick up, Jason Wordie’s color bursts across the page almost tearing the panels apart. The terror and the violence of the mysterious ‘Waves’ is captured by the explosive color, like an impressionist painting of the end of the world. There is no question that this phenomenon is something to be feared.
Small inlaid panels emphasis details within the narrative with the white gutters forcing home the importance of those brief moments. The lettering of the sound effects of the grasshoppers during the Wave, again in the stark white over the flood of color, stands out almost unnaturally on the page. The repetition of the sound adds to the intense nature of the event.
Deron Bennett keeps the lettering crisp and clean to start with, but begins to break with the standard format as the comic progresses. He begins to change the font sizes and the layout of the speech balloons as the Wave gets ever nearer. This keeps the reader on edge by removing any safety net.
Resonant is a punchy comic and a spellbinding first issue. Andry slowly builds the pace of the narrative like a dance record enticing dancers to the dance floor. He gives the reader a moment of calm before tearing it apart inch by inch, revealing a disturbing, unknown world. The entire issue is a slow build into a crescendo of color and implied noise.
Intriguing and exciting in equal measure. Resonant has plenty to keep a reader engaged which is exactly what you want for a first issue. Prepare for an onslaught because this comic does not hold back.