BEYOND THE BREACH #1
Life sucks for Vanessa. Her mother just died and her boyfriend is cheating on her (with her own sister!). To clear her mind, Vanessa is taking the California road-trip that she's been dreaming about for years.
Her postcard-perfect drive through old growth forests quickly turns when THE BREACH hits. A bizarre anomaly in the sky plunges California into a nightmare-world populated with strange, extra-dimensional creatures. Now Vanessa, along with Dougie, an orphaned child, and Kai, a strange, fuzzball of a beast, must fight to survive if they ever hope to make it back home. If there's even a home to return to.
Sometimes your life sucks and you just need to get away…what could go wrong right? The great outdoors, fresh air, giant trees and a road trip up the pacific coast is just the cure for a shitty ex that slept with your sister while you watched your mom get eaten by cancer. That’s the plan but as the saying goes: Life is what happens when you making other plans…
Ed Brisson does an exceptional job of introducing us to our main protagonist in the opening of this issue. Vanessa is totally relatable as a character on several levels and her real world problems will resonate with anyone who has lost a parent or loved one to disease or had a partner cheat on them. She’s a woman that needs a break from her life and that’s how we find her. Then things get weird…
What’s so engaging about this opener is how Brisson writes Vanessa’s reaction to the bizarre circumstances she is in. She runs a full emotional gamut as she finds herself facing off against bizarre and predatory creatures killing other humans who had themselves crashed during the breach, rescuing a young kid named Dougie and also a strange furred creature (who Dougie dubs Kai) who seems to be friendly. The time frame is very short narratively and while we don’t get a lot of answers about the situation Vanessa, Dougie and Kai find themselves in Brisson uses the issue to show us the interaction between the human characters as they find themselves in this out of the ordinary situation before the cliffhanger ending. It’s too early to tell what direction Brisson is pointing us in but the character writing is exceptionally well rounded and the overall chaos that an event like this would cause an individual is very well communicated through the writing and the art.
The art, coloring, and lettering by the team are all top tier. Couceiro and Delpeche combine solid detailed line work with strong bold coloring, starting with very real world feeling coloring and then using darker hues of purple, orange and red to accentuate the change in the environment once the breach happens. The creatures from Couceiro are bizarre and frightening in their other otherworldliness and there is no shortage of graphic violence and blood in the more dramatic moments while Kai the furry creature ally is embued with the attributes of what feels like a mix of a Mogwai and an Ewok and provides a moment of solid comedy relief (literal toilet humor) as the three hide in a roadside restroom. The paneling is excellent too from Couceiro as he mixes tight close ups, dynamic movement with some truly stunning splash pages. Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou is excellent on lettering as he uses various speech bubble shapes, sound effects, and font sizes to really drive up the tension in the action scenes, communicate the emotional tone of the speaking characters in the slower more interpersonal moments or show the creepiness of the call of the creature at the end of the issue.
A note review copy included a whole bunch of additional material which may or may not be included in the final product. It’s worth mentioning though that there are several really superb variant covers for this issue if you into collecting variants
BEYOND THE BREACH #1 is an intriguing opening issue brilliantly capturing the emotional gamut that it's main character goes through with both the art and writing as it introduces us to the strange and deadly creatures from the even called The Breach.
BEYOND THE BREACH #1: The Breach
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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