Vault’s Mall #4 by Michael Moreci, Gary Dauberman, Zac Hartong, Addison Duke and Jim Campbell brings the title to its penultimate chapter in an issue filled with dramatic narrative turns and some of the best art the gorgeous book has had.
From Vault Comics – Here in the heartland of the U.S. of A., the world has ended! But worry not, because the mall still stands. And within the walls of this consumeristic mecca lies a new world order: box store tribes and name brand gangs, all vying for limited space and resources. So, actually…you can worry! Especially for poor Andre Reed, who—after the assassination of a tribal leader—has to navigate the mad haven to prove his innocence, and prevent the end of the world, again!
Written by: Michael Moreci & Gary Dauberman
Art by: Zac Hartong
Colors by: Addison Duke
Letters by: Jim Campbell
One of the biggest strengths Mall has had as a title is its narrative drive. In issue after issue scribes, Moreci and Dauberman have been able to propel their story at a fever pitch, while also explaining and creating the world around it with little exposition. The technique is even more obvious in this excellent issue. This fourth (and penultimate) chapter as a lot of story elements to cover and boy do we get some great revelations and twists. It’s best to avoid spoilers but a lot of questions are answered, we finally get to the ‘deepest door’ and last issue’s awesome cliffhanger with the alligator is where we start off. And what an awesome opening scene it is. It’s bloody, messy, and moves fast. Moreci and Dauberman deliver tight action with some great fight dialog to go along with it.
Yet they also know how to slow things down, and even interrupt the narrative with flashbacks, in order to ratchet up that tension that has made this book so fucking readable from issue one. And this is one tense issue. And then, of course, we get another great cliffhanger (another signature of this book). Narratives like this are why we read monthly books and not trade wait.
Mall is one of the most visually unique and stunning books on the stands. Zac Hartong has been blowing readers away and this issue has some of the best art in the series so far. The alligator battle, with its frantic layouts and fast feeling linework, moves with the speed and momentum of manga. Everything feels fluid, but the thicker outlines give things weight. It’s a fantastic artistic dynamic Harton also knows when to make backgrounds minimal in order to highlight figures, movement and body language. And as far as character design goes, this book is one of the best.
The colors are also fantastic, with a matte yet colorful palette that looks great on both digital formats and the printed page. Mall is just a pure fucking pleasure to hold in your hands and look at.
Mall #4 is one of this week’s best books and this series is one that will have comic fans talking once it’s over. Don’t sleep on it.
Mall #4 is out November 28th, 2019 and is available at your local comic shop.