In Review – ‘We Ride Titans’ from Vault Comics.

We Ride Titans.

Written by Tres Dean.

Art by Sebastian Piriz.

Colours by Dee Cunniffe.

Letters by Jim Campbell.

Published by Vault Comics.

29 pages – Full Colour.

The Story – ‘Kaiju hit hard. Family hits harder. Trying to keep your family from imploding is a tall order. Kit Hobbs is about to find out it’s an even taller order when that family has been piloting the Titan that protects New Hyperion from kaiju for generations. Between a spiraling brother, a powder keg of a father, and a whole bunch of twenty-story monsters, she’s got her work cut out for her.’

The Cover – As an image that is representative of the interiors and tells it’s won story this cover works. As a comic that combines a Kaiju story with a truckload of soap opera it also kind of works. However, if I was commissioning a cover for the first issue of a series I would have put the monster and mech more visibly. Nice use of sun-soaked colours and the logo is well placed and memorable.

The Review – This has a great opening. It drops you straight into some giant mech vs kaiju action. The pilot is less than reliable as he has been drinking and things do not go well. Because of this fallible hero angle you are left wondering what might happen.

Art used for review purposes only.

There are some excellent designs here along with great use of light in images. This battle is in the scorching heat of the midday sun and all the more effective for it. In this first half the collaboration of the art and colours really pulls off a spectacle and it flows well. If I was being picky I would say that it’s a little too clean for my tastes and I’d prefer something with more motion. But for a couple its pretty darn great and opens the story up with loads of great Show not Tell.

The middle section of the comic changes gears quite drastically and moves into something that is more like a slice of life comic or a tv soap opera. It dwells too much in a flatly told everyday approach that is a real sudden jump from the previous action pages. The newly revealed protagonist Kitt is a mess of rebellious cliches as if she had just been lifted from Love & Rockets without adding any subtle dimensions. From her punk haircut, to her clothes to her suddenly sweary attitude she comes across as one-dimensional. Maybe she will develop further down the line but I found this a disappointing development so early in a first issue.

What you then get for around twelve pages is also incredibly decompressed and deals with relationships and family obligations. And it doesn’t change gear in any real way until the last page except for a shot of a docked mech. People slowly move around the space and occasionally say something. This feels like the pacing is really off and makes me wonder if this story was meant to be published in a BD Album or Graphic Novel format.

But the art and colour work well. Everyone is recognisable but it all feels slow and a slog through the last two thirds of this first issue. Maybe the hand of a good editor could steady this series and get it back kicking ass as it did in the first sequence.

Saying all the above I do intend to keep going with it and will be grabbing the second issue when it is out. I’ll let you know how it shapes up as this may turn into a good trade purchase.

You can find it for £3.19 on ComiXology here.

And have a look at the other books from Vault over at their site here.

Many thanks for reading.

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