Publisher: Vault Comics
Writer: Ricardo Mo
Artwork: Alberto Muriel, Stelladia (colours)
Release Date: 21st June 2017
Vault Comics may have been flying under a lot of radars lately, but the fledgling publisher are definitely putting out some intriguing and impressive books, and I was excited to be able to take a look at the third issue of one of their flagships titles, Colossi.
Blending Land of the Giants with Gulliver’s Travels and throwing in a bit of Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s Black Science for good measure, Colossi has all the potential in the world as a group of travelers find themselves transported into an alternate dimension – a dimension where they’re only about six inches tall. Hunted by cats, sniped at by brats with BB Guns and generally struggling to stay alive, the first couple of issues have been impressive – for the most part, at least.
Unfortunately, the same problems that have plagued the series to this point continue here, albeit to a slightly lesser degree. The main issue I’m having with Colossi so far is its pace, with Ricardo Mo’s narrative whipping along at a breakneck speed, skipping over what I’d consider to be key storyline beats in what feels like a rush to get to the next set piece.
A good example of this would be the cliffhanger at the end of issue two, which witnessed our unfortunate survivors’ latest refuge – a dollhouse – being gifted to a young girl with them still inside it. Exciting, right? Well, the opening to issue three ignores this tension almost entirely, skipping ahead without any real explanation to show the survivors and the young girl now happily coexisting, without any idea of how their initial confrontation went. Frustrating isn’t the word.
Indeed, from the opening pages of the opening issue, which saw a group of passengers get onto a flying bus and zip into a wormhole without any real explanation about what’s happening (or that the whole wormhole thing was, apparently, unintentional), this series has felt like a constant attempt to catch up with the narrative and figure out just what the hell is going on.
Don’t get me wrong, the dialogue and bickering between the different crew members isn’t without its charm, and there are some genuinely enjoyable moments in this latest issue, such as Randall’s encounter with the ants and young Jessica trying to get the crew away from the sinister Mister McCready. The problem is that there simply hasn’t been any real time devoted to give any of the characters a chance to develop into anything beyond broad tropes.
It’s doubly disappointing given the fact that Alberto Muriel’s visuals, while a little rudimentary at times, provide a pleasingly old-school aesthetic that fits well alongside Colossi’s B-Movie premise. There’s a little bit of Matt Kindt, a little bit of INJ Culbard, and a dash of Doc Shaner in Muriel’s work, a blend that would be fantastic as part of a story that was structured just a little differently.
Ultimately, there’s definitely an intriguing idea here, and there have been genuine flashes of greatness throughout the course of the first three issues, but Colossi’s flawed pacing and lackluster character development are really starting to hurt the series now, to the point where it’s going to be difficult to justify sticking with it for too much longer.