REVIEW: VANGUARD! Issue 1
VANGUARD! Issue 1 24pages
Story: Dirk Van Dom
Cover: Liam Byrne
Art: David Blankley (Atomic Call) Louis Carter (Halo & The Gryphon)
El Chivo (Tuckers Romantic Escapes) Owen Watts (Mammoth Jack)
Lettering:David Withers & Owen Watts
Cover Price: available on www.vanguardcomic.blogspot.com
Release date: Out now and available to buy online via their www.vanguardcomic.blogspot.com site
Reviewed By: Hilary Lawler
Not the best of covers, but don’t let that deter you from exploring Vanguard! first issue. There are a lot of featured artists within the pages and Dirk Van Dom, the main writer in this issue, churns out three very different scripts to play with.
Atomic Call – Trendsetter is futuristic and explosive with the main character a focused female courier with a deadly delivery. It starts strong and follows with some very interesting stylish action panels but at times it can be a little confusing as the story gets figured out. In certain pages some panels lack clarity which can distract from the flow of narrative. This is a pity, as the action and style are quite distinct and snappy, but can feel almost like too much is thrown onto the page at once. At times the action can feel disconnected and slightly out of sync while in other panels it’s unclear as to who or what apparated to allow for a clean flow to the next scene. As a result it can distract from some of the great dynamic panels drawn.
The second story, Halo and the Gryphon is great. The style is busy but throughout the detailed artwork you don’t lose focus on the story. Overall the page layouts are fluid and easy to follow, with some beautifully drawn pieces nicely scattered between pages. This is a well crafted original take and a completely fresh approach to comics which works. For the remainder of the comic there are some smaller one page strips and then we get the gore fest that is Mammoth Jack, which won’t be to everyone’s taste but it finishes off the end of the first issue neatly.
The last page with the main character from Atomic Call really gives you an idea on where some of the artwork could go next, and perhaps would have been a better as a front cover composite to entice. Overall though, an honest first effort with some gems that have plenty of potential to develop into something more solid and lasting.