Review - Vessels #1 (@davescook)

"Now go! Fulfill your oath. Seek out the one they call Wake."

Living in older times was tough for a multitude of reasons. One of those is having to ascribe events to a seemingly unknown and incomprehensible entity. In the case of Vessels #1, that entity is looking to kill everyone. The issue is written by Dave Cook, illustrated by Rafael Desquitado, Jr., colored by Dennis Lehmann and lettered by Garrett Gunn.

Experience a story that spans centuries, moving from the swashbuckling days of pirates, the wild west, and to the future where the secret to an age old mystery lies on a space station orbiting Earth. For thousands of years the Vessel has been trapped on our planet. Now the time has come for it to return home. But its departure may be a harbinger of doom for every living thing on earth.

The crux of the story in Vessels #1 is the seemingly never-ending struggle between good and evil, light and dark. Cook presents Cairnthala as a dying world being lorded over by the Eye-God and Wake is the hero the world needs but certainly doesn't deserve. As a lead character, she's a great mix of confidence and insecurities, all of which Cook brings together rather well for funneling the narrative through. Where the book really excels though is Cook's peppering in instances of a different time altogether; it's not really explained at all in the first issue, but will likely play a part as the book unfolds. These scenes are somewhat jarring in a way that allows Cook to keep the reader engaged without seeming completely out of place within the context of the narrative.

The artwork by Desquitado, Jr., is very appropriate for the tone of the story. Desquitado, Jr., does a great job of blending together elements of a high-fantasy book through his rendering of a Middle Ages-inspired European village. Bold lines characterize the look of the players and the setting as Desquitado, Jr. emphasizes the varying looks of the villagers themselves. There are also some Dark Souls inspired characters who appear at the end of the issue, sporting some pretty terrifying looks. Lehmann's colors are gold-tinged for most of the issue, as if to reflect the omnipresence of the Eye-God.

Vessels #1 is a very ambitious first issue that seeks to lay the groundwork for a seemingly compelling story. Wake is at the center of the universe and is truly powerful, making her a very fascinating character to follow. Cook's script is thorough and engaging. The artwork by Desuitado, Jr., is a great fit for setting the atmosphere of the issue. Vessels #1 is the start of reaching for a very lofty goal in terms of storyline.

Vessels #1 is available now.