Since its founding in 2016 by Adrian Wassel (CCO & Editor-in-Chief), Damian Wassel (CEO & Publisher), Nathan Gooden (Art Director), and Damian Wassel, Sr. (President), Vault Comics has been making wave after wave within the Comics Community with titles such as ‘Friendo‘, ‘Submerged‘, and ‘Karma Police‘. Whether its because they’ve had the right teams for each of these titles or something else, a good deal of comics fans are high on all things Vault and after having read a few of their books myself recently thanks to a friend of mine by the name of David Lyons of the Lyons Den LCS respectively, I can see why that is. And with that in mind, here’s a look at a few of my thoughts of the package David had been so nice enough to send me several months ago.
With the creative team of Lewis, Gregori, Smith, and Shaw, the four issue run of ‘Karma Police‘ is definitely a unique and fantastic read. The idea of reincarnation, one’s soul being re-born in a new body and perhaps have a much different life then before, has been around for a really, really long time. An idea that’s been explored a few times in various forms of media like ‘Doctor Who‘ for example in a certain way. A certain animated ‘Highlander‘ film from a few years back easily comes to mind where this is concerned as well. But I don’t quite think the idea has been as explored as it has been within the pages of ‘Karma Police‘. Unless I just haven’t been paying any attention that is and its certainly possible with me. Chris Lewis, our most venerable writer of this here title, is definitely someone whose work I want to read more of.
Especially if its on the same level as ‘Karma Police‘ with its twists and surprises like where the ending is concerned. Which in a way, kinda involves time travel with the whole reincarnation aspect and its just like one big ‘whoa!’ moment that you don’t expect where the ending is concerned. But maybe considering the primary idea involved, perhaps expecting it is a definite thing to keep in mind. That Chris throws in some Lucha Wrestling to a small extent is also fairly fun to see as well! Tony Gregori and Jasen Smith as the book’s artists (with Jasen as the colorist as well) brings the story to life beautifully in my view with their excellent work on the art and colors. Showing no signs of laziness whatsoever. Along with the Lucha, is Chris’ take on Demons and gives new meaning to bratty children being little devils!
Though I have to wonder how the Venerable Jowl’s cheeks got to be so ridiculously huge. Reincarnation gone wrong or a bit of oddball plastic surgery!? And I love that with Jack, the current incarnation of a man once known as Tsechag, isn’t a man but a woman. You wouldn’t even know it either unless you read the synopsis provided on the back of the book that Jack is a woman that works for an organization known as the Karma Grove Monastery. Gotta love reincarnation, right!? But life even for a monk can definitely be on the wild and even violent side thanks to old secrets and naughty daggers. I’d go more into that as all that is definitely a wild history that we get to see through out the four issues and how it concludes, but I think its best if you good folks (unless you already have) read ‘Karma Police’ read it yourselves to witness Chris’ excellent writing.
I’d also DEFINITELY be down for an adaptation of this on the screen as it’d be fun to see in live action. Along with who they possibly choose for all the roles.
Writer: Chris Lewis
Artists: Tony Gregori and Jasen Smith
Colorist: Jasen Smith
Letterer: Nic Shaw
Editor: Nicole Boose
Designer: Tim Daniel
While the first issue of ‘Alien Bounty Hunter‘ by the creative team of Wassel, Booher, Robles, and Bennett was mostly just set up for the rest of the story, it does at least give us some insight to the life of the main character himself. Said main character being a bounty hunter named Ben Madsen. Thankfully, he’s not some overly cliched macho guy but instead, a caring one with some wittyness to him. Now whether or not he’s got that wittyness by the end of this story will be another thing. And it seems like Ben could definitely be in need of a city that appreciates a good chase filled with this and that problem he’s been assigned to go after. I like that the creator of ‘Alien Bounty Hunter‘ Stephen Levinson easily could have done this story about a seriously problematic individual that Ben has to go after for the purposes of this title but instead, Ben has to go after a certain problematic alien in a place full of aliens.
Ones that would more than likely kill him if they really knew why he was there. Mind you, I was kind of confused once things got going after Ben’s taken to his next assignment after things were taken care of with his last job. As when things are explained, it feels like Ben’s being told he’s going to another planet to deal with the situation but then its shown the issue is in some special underground city right on Earth. Though a second read through of that definitely helps clear up confusion on my end and shows I need to pay better attention in the future. Though I have to wonder how the general public would react to the knowledge of a hidden alien city right on Earth! Probably not a very good reaction more than likely! Sadly, I only have the first issue as of this moment but hopefully soon I can fix that as I would like to see where things go after this. Especially in the hopes of seeing Ben make it back to his Aunt in one piece.
Created by: Stephen Levinson
Story by: Stephen Levinson and F.J. DeSanto
Written by: Adrian Wassel and David Booher
Art and Colors by: Nick Robles
Letters by: Deron Bennett
Much like ‘Alien Bounty Hunter‘, ‘Powerless‘, ‘Submerged‘, and ‘Reactor‘, I only have the first issue of this title. Although, unlike those books, ‘Friendo‘ from Paknadel, Simmonds, Cunniffe, Esposito, and McLean, is perhaps the title of the bunch I liked the least of. As Leo (to me at least) isn’t a very likable character. Although, his attitude would definitely piss off his dear old bible thumpin’ dad a great deal if the two were ever to cross paths again. Now, while I didn’t particularly like ‘Friendo‘, I AM curious as to how Leo gets out of the unfortunate situation he finds himself in at the end of the issue. Along with what any (long lasting at that) repercussions there may be with that little electrical jolt he experiences.
Written by: Alex Paknadel
Art by: Martin Simmonds
Colored by: Dee Cunniffe
Letters by: Taylor Esposito
From the creative team of Ayala, Sterle, Stelladia, Deering, and Bartel comes ‘Submerged‘. A story featuring a young lady from New York by the name of Elysia Puente with a problem. As not only is New York under a severe storm warning that’s gonna wreak some havoc but her little brother by the name of Angel has apparently gone missing. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place! Although, I will say that if Submerged gets picked for a live screen adaptation, can we get the lovely Becky G to play the role of Elysia? Beyond the worrisome threat of what’s about to hit New York and her missing brother is the fact that what happened to him is such a huge mystery that you’re left to really guess as to what’s going on. If things are some sort of elaborate prank on Elysia that Angel had best hope he doesn’t get an ass kicking for.
I love that Vita Ayala isn’t giving a lot of hints in this first issue in order to truly build up the tension and mystery of things. Along with giving us an insight to Elysia’s life growing up and one could easily see her having some resentment issues over how she was always required to look out for her brother no matter what and getting blamed when things went bad for him. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to read the rest of the story but I honestly look forward to doing so. As the mystery and the Supernatural like elements involved have me hooked. Along with seriously wanting to know how Elysia’s decision at the end of the first issue plays out for her in her search for her brother.
Written by: Vita Ayala
Artist: Lisa Sterle
Letters: Rachel Deering
From the creative team of Booher, Gooden, Spicer, and Bennett comes ‘Powerless‘. A world where everybody and their great grandma Ester has super powers. Kinda like if everyone in Marvel had those and could actually get along for ten minutes without the need to persecute a Mutant. And really, that whole thing should been dealt with years ago instead of creating more and more drama for Mutants and the X-Men to deal with. But I’m not here to talk about X-Men and Marvel folks and all that jazz but instead, about ‘Powerless‘. Where there is no need for super heroes cause everyone like I mentioned before, has powers. And unless they have a real sucky ability, can for the most part, save themselves. Unless of course you get stuck with the PRV and then suddenly, you’re that one family member no wants to talk about for some reason or another.
PRV being a virus that makes your powers go out of control and can possibly kill you. Kinda like the Legacy Virus from back in the day in the world of the merry Mutants. Its not really clear how this whole mess got started aside from a small hint or two where it originated and there’s probably a lot more to the whole thing then has been said so far. Which I’m looking forward to seeing if that’s really the case and if that’s the real reason certain groups/folks are so gung ho about wiping out those infected with the PRV. You also kinda need to make sure you’re paying enough attention to what’s going on as David M. Booher gets a little timey wimey in his writing courtesy of the character known as Billy Bannister. Only of course, he has no Tardis but can muck about with time thanks to his power set. I’m also curious enough to see how this whole thing with the PRV effects him as the synopsis mentions and just what he might do when the time comes.
Its understandable to fear the unknown cause it could very well kill you, but you also shouldn’t let that fear over rule you and make decisions that aren’t of the good. Whether there’s fear because of the virus because it can kill or take away one’s abilities isn’t exaclty clear. And things are probably gonna get a whole lot worse before they get better by the end of this series.
Created and Written by: David M. Booher
Pencils and Inks by: Nathan C. Gooden
Colors by: Mike Spicer
Letters by: Deron Bennett
From the creative crew of Cates, Burnett, Cunniffe, and Esposito is ‘Reactor‘, along with this book being the last one in my little write up here. An oddly named title (at least to me) considering this is a title about Vampires and Outerspace. Along with a badly screwed up Earth, Mecha Suits, dangerous little girls named Weep who don’t even need a Mecha Suit to be dangerous, and an immortal kid whose also the president of the human race. How that last part even really works out is beyond me as its not really explained and I’m curious if he’s actually a Vampire and hiding it really well as I doubt Humanity is all that trusting of Vampires at this point. I love that Donny Cates has Poli, our lead gal, explain things at the beginning of the issue. In a way, its kinda like she’s breaking the 4th wall until you see she’s talking to a large crowd to get them hyped up and ready to kick some Vampire ass.
At least… Whenever Weep isn’t interrupting anyway! This girl could give Buffy Summers and Faith a serious run for their money with how enthusiastic she is about the mission to kick and slay Vampire ass! I’m curious if there’s flashbacks in later issues to various events or if Cates just intends on keeping things focused on the present. And with the explanation we get from the President, its easy to see he doesn’t want the people turning against him. Which he would rightly deserve since he’s hiding the truth about their fellow humans being stuck on Earth and it makes me think there’s a lot more going on here then what’s being said. How Poli, Weep, and the others we meet in this first issue react once they find out what the President’s chosen to do is something I look forward to seeing. Hell, perhaps we’ll get to see Weep lay a smackdown on the President!
Written by: Donny Cates
Illustrator: Dylan Burnett
Colorist: Dee Cunniffee
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Not only is Vault doing its thing and enticing readers to buy and read their excellently written titles, but there’s also the fun fact that they have managed to pull off several second printings of several of their books. And even a few third reprints as well! Regardless of what the secret is to Vault having all the success they’ve managed (without much in the way of super heroic titles for that matter as well but I of course could be wrong in that area) so far and no doubt will continue to have, I’m looking forward to years of Vault excellence!
Written by: Rob Wrecks