Review - The Vault #1

Just to start things off with my inner nerd I’m going to make a recommendation to all you treasure hunters out there. When there is an unexplained and seemingly impossible chamber buried hundreds of feet in the ocean in an underground flooded cave, think twice before tunneling in and taking stuff out. Haven’t these people seen the Lord of the Rings movies or read the books? When you dig too deep, you run the risk of unleashing really awful things on the world.

In The Vault – with writing by Sam Sarkar, art by Garrie Gastonny, colors by Sakti Yuwono and a cover by Bagus Hutomo – Image Comics brings us a tale of a small group of treasure hunters who have uncovered a great find. Off of Sable Island they are exploring what is known as the “Graveyard of the North Atlantic” for treasure and they think they’ve hit the jackpot. Sometimes the jackpot isn’t all it seems to be though. Ever heard of winning the lottery being a curse? What about the Madden curse? There are numerous examples in history of seemingly wonderful events being double-edged swords.

In The Vault, it appears we may have another such example on our hands.

Just in case the cover art of a diver going down to gold filled chests under the ocean while a menacing ethereal skeleton floats just above didn’t convey enough weight to the consequences of this treasure hunt, the first page opening with an epic battle of what appear to be angels should seal the deal. Uncovering this treasure apparently will have consequences. From this biblical opening scene we get to meet the small treasure hunting team as they attempt to dig through rock and sand to gain access to a small tunnel that they believe contains their prize.

A new investor is coming on board as the team is short on money and time. He brings with him an arsenal of weapons – which I have a feeling will be necessary – and a robot that is capable of digging at incredible speeds. They’ve already used all manner of modern technology and everything looks very fancy. Contained inside are underwater battles with squids as big as men, underwater acid layers that can melt suits and a sufficiently creepy ending to imply bad things are coming.

Vibrant colors are used throughout the book and the art style does a nice job giving the main focus of each panel an almost "pop off the page" effect. I’m not sure if it is or not, but the art has a nice clean digital look to it. The writing is pretty basic in this issue. We're introduced to the team, their various roles and simply see the beginning of the results of their presumed years of hard work and research in the form of some excavations. Everyone is happy that they’ve found things, however we also get an almost Alien-like (the original movie) sense of tension that a cloud is hanging over this whole expedition. The issue ends with a pretty big cliffhanger and while people aren't screaming in terror yet, I have a feeling that may be coming soon.

To meet the crew and see what all the fuss is about, pick this one up when it hits stores tomorrow, July 27th! For your convenience, check out a few interiors below to whet your appetite.

Happy reading.