Publisher: Vault Comics
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Victor Ibáñez
Colourist: Addison Duke
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Release Date: 17th August 2022
When the world ended, it wasn’t by war, plague, famine, pestilence, or even mankind’s childlike urge to see what happens if we prod this. The world ended because soul-sucking, sanity-eating monsters rose up and ate everyone. Well… almost everyone. A few survivors are out there, bunkered down and hiding from the monsters; and then you have Lupe, an enigmatic young woman who walks the streets without fear of the monsters, and with a smile on her face.
Heart Eyes is a Vault title, so for me it’s already going on my pull list, but it’s also a post-apocalyptic, horror/love story with Lovecraftian monsters from the depths of the abyss, so honestly, how could I not want to read this?
As with a lot of Vault titles, I had absolutely no idea what to expect going into this series. I mean, it’s not like I’ve ever been disappointed by one of their books, but I’ve somehow missed out on seeing any hype for Heart Eyes. And that’s a shame, because having read through the first issue a couple of times now, I really should have heard a lot more people shouting about it.
In terms of narrative I was put in mind of films like Love & Monsters and Warm Bodies, but I do get the feeling that there’s going to be a much darker undertone as the series progresses. There is a lot of light and laughter in this first issue, but there are also a lot of tears and grief, whether overtly displayed or simmering beneath the surface. We are treated to some really good character development, and there are characters we have been introduced to but don’t know a lot about. For an issue that, when you take away the covers and the adverts, is essentially a 21 page introduction to the story, a huge amount happens, both in real time and in flashback, but there’s nothing that feels rushed or scrimped on.
Rico and his family are relatively normal, if anything can really be classed as normal in the middle of an apocalypse, with the usual loyalties and bickering, but Lupe, Lupe is an enigma. I won’t spoil the story for you but I think (if I’m on the right track at least) that the source of Lupe’s apparent immunity to the monsters, which lets her walk unmolested among them, will make for a really good, if harrowing tale on its own.
The artwork is fantastic. The character design is interesting, fun, and flirtatious; the monster designs are superb, these are full on cosmic horrors, with tentacles, teeth, chitinous beaks, and all manner of insect like appendages as all good monsters should be. Hell, Rob Bottin would be proud of some of these. I also love the world that Ibáñez and Duke have created; it’s not a desolate wasteland, there is life and colour and some really great details. There’s nothing I can really fault in the art at all, Ibáñez and Duke do a brilliant job of bringing Dennis Hopeless’ script to life, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they bring to the rest of the series.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek