Writer: David Andry
Artist: Alejandro Aragon
Colorist: Jason Wordie
Letterer: Daron Bennett
It may seem that, in this day and age, people have lost all control, but Resonant #1 is here to assure us that humanity could be far, far worse off. The story focuses on Paxton and his three children –Bec, Ty, and Stef — as they try to survive this new world in which “waves” form that cause humanity to lose all impulse control. Paxton is on a routine mission to pick up some medicine for the chronically-ill Stef, leaving Bec in charge of the house while he’s gone. However, the mission takes a turn, leaving Paxton separated from his kids — just as the next wave hits.
I knew within the first few pages that I was going to love this book (and the pages that followed confirmed my brilliant pre-cognitive ability). The artwork alone makes this book worth the buy, but we’ll get to that in a second. What struck me about the story was that it gave me serious Captain Fantastic (2016) vibes with an eerie sense of foreboding attached to it, and I’m here for it.
The characters are immensely human from the get-go. Little things, like Paxton doing the classic dad move of making sure the door is definitely fixed, made the characters feel relatable and familiar in the right way. Bec’s disability and Stef’s chronic illness up the empathy factor.
As the story goes on, it goes from Captain Fantastic to Bird Box (2018) meets the Purge franchise in a hurry. I’m not quite sure what the “waves” are yet beyond what is written about them in Vault’s teaser, but that mystery surrounding them makes it that much more important to me as a reader to pick up the following issues. Horror stories are great with demons and zombies and aliens and what-have-you, but this story acutely picks up on perhaps the scariest monster of all: humans with no control.
The artwork perfectly captures the vibe of the story, too. It has the perfect balance of detailed line work interspersed with frantic scratchings and pointillism for days. It’s dark, but not overly dark, which makes the tone for a story about family survival that much more tangible. You feel there was once a warm, happy world and that it might be attainable again, but that’s a long way away. The intensity builds with the lettering supplied for the cicada-esque “chirpers” that serve as a warning sign that a wave is coming.
You may have a good idea for a story, but, if your characters aren’t immediately accessible, it’s a hard-sell to keep reading forthcoming issues of a comic. Resonant #1 builds on a firm foundation with strong characters attached to a haunting premise about what would happen if humanity finally lost all control. I’m absolutely sold on this series after one issue and can’t wait to keep reading.