Friday, December 15, 2017

Review - Giants #1 (@DarkHorseComics)


"Small things don't matter."

When the time comes that the world is inevitably destroyed the only thing up in the air is how and when. In Giants #1 from Dark Horse Comics, the "how" is giant monsters and the "when" is not too far off. The issue is written and illustrated by Carlos and Miguel Valderrama.

A cataclysm of unknown origins unleashed a race of gigantic monsters whose presence has driven humanity underground. There, two orphans discover that the most dangerous monster is ambition, which unchecked, will grow until it devours you!

The underpinning for Giants #1 is the eventual destruction/habitation of our world by giant monsters which is an interesting take by Valderrama. The two main characters Zedo and Gogi are perfect narrative points of view for Valderrama to carry the story through as their youthfulness adds a certain naive sensibility to the book. And their quest is fairly simplistic on its surface, but Valderrama uses it as a means of showcasing the terrors inhabiting the world that they have to contend with. Valderrama does a lot of world-building in Giants #1, but it all moves fairly quickly and never really feels overwhelming to the reader. The dialogue is very straightforward throughout, yet that doesn't stop Valderrama from offering up enough information for the reader to latch onto and have a sense of what's going on.

Anyone who's seen Pacific Rim will see the film's influences on Valderrama's artwork as the giants look similar to the kaiju in the film. That's not to say that Valderrama's creatures are unoriginal; in fact, the sheer size of them in the book is staggering and gives the reader a great sense of scale as compared to humans. Valderrama illustrates the humans with a bit more refinement in that the linework emphasizes the physique and clothing for example. Valderrama provides depth in those same characters through very telling facial expressions, effectively capturing the terrifying nature of living in a world inhabited by giant monsters. The colors are a display of opposites in a way as the fierce reds contrast against softer blues to help differentiate the giants from the humans.

Giants #1 offers a new look at a familiar concept. Zedo and Gogi are just two orphans looking for some sense of security in a grossly insecure world, willing to do whatever it takes to survive. Carlos Valderrama's script is pretty slick and moves along quite briskly as it focuses more on the humans on the ground as opposed to the giants fighting high above. Miguel Valderrama's artwork is sharp and beautiful, brilliantly capturing a world ravaged by monsters. Giant #1 is a strong first issue that gives the reader plenty to be excited about as the series unfolds.

Giants #1 is available now.

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