Publisher: Vault Comics
Writer: Tres Dean
Artwork: Sebastian Piriz
Colours: Dee Cunliffe
Letters: Jim Campbell
Release Date: 12th January 2022
From the cover illustration of cars, mecha, and kaiju, coupled with a tagline of “Kaiju hit hard. Family hits harder”, you’d be forgiven in thinking that this could be some sort of Pacific Rim meets Fast and Furious mash-up. Not that it would necessarily be a bad thing if it was. I’d be very happy with a comic pushing its way through on that premise. Instead, however, in We Ride Titans, we explore the srained family dynamics of a dynasty of mecha pilots tasked with protecting New Hyperion.
Now I’m not going to say that this a bait and switch trick to lure you in, but other than an opening brawl, there’s perhaps a lot less in-your-face kaiju action than I would have preferred. Instead, what Dean and the team here achieve is a vehicle for exploring all too common family issues against a very odd backdrop.
The opening of We Ride Titans manages to do a fair bit more world building and scene setting than I, on first reading, gave it credit for. At the onset of a kaiju attack, people are evacuating buildings and making their way to what one can assume is some sort of underground bunkers. Close inspection shows that this isn’t some panicked exodus, but instead people are almost milling as they check their phones or chat with their companions. This is then juxtaposed in the following panels with a gigantic monster versus machine punch up. Piriz and Cunliffe do stellar work here with the combat panels being the real standouts of this issue.
During the fight, the seeds of the story are sown as Dej Hobbs, the pilot, appears drunk, or at least under the influence, and almost fails in their duty to protect the city. Immediately cutting to the domestic scene of Kit and her partner, and a bit of a verbal bust up, it’s quite a jarring shift in pace and tone which has the effect of engaging you in what could have been banal anywhere else. Over the pages that follow, we discover Kit is Dej’s sister, and part of the Hobbs lineage who have safeguarded New Hyperion since the advent of the Titans. In spite of the action I was expecting, we have an entertaining read with visuals aided by the letters of Campbell.
At its core, We Ride Titans’ debut feels like a family drama, but I’m perplexed as to where this arc will go. There are elements of mystery, maybe a sprinkling of thriller, and the potential for more high-octane action. How well this eclectic mix will hold together remains to be seen but if you had said I would start off the year with something like this, I doubt I would have guessed I’d have enjoyed it as much as I did.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster