Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review - Remnants #1

"Those who had shielded underground shelters survived but they had to stay under and outlast the energy generator."

The goal of clean energy continues to elude even the best scientist. Unless your name is Tony Stark, the chances of achieving something that is self-sustaining and strong enough to power the world is a pipe dream. IN Remnants #1 from Hound Comics it is created, but with disastrous negative consequences. The issue is written and illustrated by Mark Vuycankiat and lettered by Apol Geronimo-Vuycankiat.

In 2015 AD, the UN approved of a worldwide activation of a machine that would generate unlimited, clean energy that would be distributed to everyone via airwaves. A few people opposed this and some even moved underground. They only became right when there was a miscalculation: once the machine was turned on, everybody's brain got "fried" and almost all human and animal life died. Those underground who were smart enough to install the proper shielding in their habitats survived. They had to stay underground and outlast the Energy Generator. They finally got out after 52 years when the machine finally stopped functioning due to lack of maintenance. A new form of government was formed around Lawbringers, Relic Tecs, Gatherers, Traders and Hunters.

Remnants #1 demonstrates that Vuycankiat has a pretty elaborate world in mind, even if it is a post-apocalyptic one. There's an overarching struggle on the part of humanity evidenced as they emerge from underground and attempt to put the world back together. Vuycankiat chose an interesting approach in basing this new world on the interactions amongst the new roles, as each has a very clearly distinguished role in building the new society. The narrative approach in presenting their roles feels a little forced, in that Vuycankiat spends a few pages up front spelling out the workings of the new society to the reader. It slightly detracts from the reader putting the pieces together on their own, as Vuycankiat instead chooses to fill the reader up to speed with an abundance of narrative expository.

The black and white illustrations are the strongest part of the book, as Vuycankiat relies on something of a fantasy style to render the world of the future. All of the characters sport looks that make them fairly easy to distinguish, both from one another and as a reflection of their role. Stacking the panels atop one another gives the book a more frenetic feel and helps with the pacing of story. And action sequences are handled pretty slickly, giving the reader plenty visually to take in as far as the characters look. Vuycankiat focuses more on the characters instead of the setting, but the appearance of said characters and the black and white look work together well to contextually set the atmosphere.

Remnants #1 offers a new spin on a more recognizable story of reconciling with the post-apocalyptic world. The new government is being established with a foundation built of the five roles and the interactions amongst the roles will create some solid dynamics. Vuycankiat's tale feels a little heavy-handed when it comes to presenting the world to the reader. His art is a great presentation of the world after the meltdown of the clean energy device, blending strongly defined characters with a minimalist coloring style. Remnants #1 is a little uneven at times, but there's very much a fantasy world feel to the characters and the setting.

Remnants #1 is available now.


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