Review - Heist Or How to Steal a Planet #1 (@thevaultcomics)

"They try to kill me four times."

Being a criminal has its ups and downs. When things are going right it usually pays off big. When things are going wrong there's the risk of death. Heist Or How to Steal a Planet #1 from Vault Comics has a little bit of both. The issue is written by Paul Tobin, illustrated by Arjuna Susini, colored by Vittorio Astone and and lettered by Saida Temofonte.

Welcome to planet Heist! It's the cutthroat capital of the entire Nehring System, home to billions of the worst men and women in the galaxy. The Pan-Galactic government has no idea what to do with the planet, but conman Glane Breld and his band of thieves know exactly what to do with Heist-they're going to steal it.

Tobin's script in the first issue is incredibly dense and that's a good thing because there's a lot of ground to cover when plotting the theft of an entire planet. There's a ton of dialogue throughout the issue that Tobin relies on to convey to the reader both the history of Heist and it's universe, as well as the main character Glane Breld. Glane is a con-man recently released from prison looking for the mother of all scores and Tobin presents this set-up to the reader rather deftly. There's some level of hand-holding throughout the issue, yet Tobin doesn't just automatically give everything to the reader and asks them to infer some of the past relationships. What makes the issue feel exceptionally enjoyable is how lived in the world of Heist feels, as Tobin has infused it with a tremendous amount of citizen exuberance that comes with being part of a black market of sorts.

The way Susini illustrates the book is very much an homage to comics of the 80s, right down to the nostalgic flats that feel slightly washed out. Glane very much looks the part of a man who has the know-how to steal a planet, dressed in a way that feels like a throwback to the new wave style of the 80s. Susini doesn't let that define the book as some sort of new wave intergalactic tale; rather, he leans into it to make the world of Heist feel remote and distant future enough that the reader can get better immersed. The relatively linear layout when it comes to the panels keeps things organized, although there are a few panels that pop-out here and there for more effect. Astone's colors are dramatic in their ability to convey a sense of griminess on the planet of Heist.

Heist Or How to Steal a Planet #1 is very much a set-up issue in the realm of other heist stories, but the way the characters interact with another makes it feel slightly different. Glane has an axe to grind and plans to do so by pulling off the seemingly unthinkable and it should be a fun ride. Tobin's approach in the issue is heavy on the lore, but it's done in a way that doesn't feel like a burden to digest. Susini's illustrations are a nice touch and provide the book with the right amount of futuristic realism. Heist Or How to Steal a Planet #1 is quite frankly a lot of fun and has a good amount of potential to get even more unpredictable as the series progresses.

Heist Or How to Steal a Planet #1 is available November 6.