ADVANCE REVIEW! The Vault #1 will come out on July 27, 2011.
The Vault is a story about a group of treasure hunters exploring a pit similar to the Oak Island pit in the Atlantic Ocean. From the beginning it’s pretty obvious that they will discover much more than just treasure. The opening pages imply that it’s Biblical in nature, and this is supported by occasional references such as the ship named Revelations and a character named Jesus (which all seemed a bit heavy handed).
Most of the story focuses on the team bringing on a new member who needs to be brought up to speed. This makes for a lot of exposition as they describe the situation to the newcomer. In fact, this is a dialogue-heavy issue with very little action, though there are clues that a pretty interesting scenario is being set up. There’s not a lot in terms of character development, but I have a feeling that a lot of these characters have a pretty grim future ahead of them. I’m not familiar with anything else Sam Sarkar has written so I don’t know what to expect.
This issue may have been mostly exposition, but there are some neat ideas being thrown around. The robot dog was a fun touch, as were the references to the Great Pyramid. It’s obvious that Sarkar is building a pretty good mystery and he’s put a lot of thought into the details. The cliffhanger at the end suggests that the second issue will present even more mystery.
The art is beautiful. Again, I’m unfamiliar with Garie Gastonny’s work, but this is a really fun book to look at. My one complaint is that the faces seemed a little — for lack of a better term — stiff and expressionless. This is really just a matter of personal opinion, as I’m not a huge fan of the photo-referenced look. Other than that, the book is wonderfully detailed. The scenes were very well done, and a lot of credit has to go to Sakti Yuwono, who’s vibrant colors really enhance the book. The undersea scenes are particularly gorgeous.
When reading the first issue of a series the real question is whether or not you’ll pick up the second. Well, I do plan on picking up the second issue, and probably the third. I was disappointed when I learned that The Vault is only three issues long. There seems to be too much story built up here to be contained in just three issues, but Sarker has created a neat mystery here and I’m curious to see where it goes.