Review – End After End #1 (Vault Comics)

Publisher: Vault Comics
Writer(s): David Andry & Tim Daniel
Artwork: Sunando C
Colours: Kurt Michael Russel
Letters: Jim Campbell
Release Date: 24th August 2022

What happens when we die? It’s a question that has plagued the minds of everyone from inquisitive young children to aged scholars probably since the dawn of formed thought. But in a subtle twist of that question… what happens in those moments between life and death? We’re not talking purgatory, but a different state altogether. Well at least that’s what End After End from Vault Comics is trying to convey here.

Walter Willem, our protagonist’s name and description as the reluctant foot soldier we find in the blurb, has ceased to live. I don’t want to say ‘has died’ as that’s not quite correct. They’ve passed from the land of the living to the land of, well, a land of magic and constant battle. Flickering from a railway line accident to the middle of the battlefield would be enough to break anyone’s sanity ,but when the battlefield is like something from a fairy-tale with gossamer winged beings, giant beasties, and shadowy demons, it’s a tough pill to swallow.

There’s a lot to like here. The pacing is good with an almost unrelenting drive forward; even with some lulls in the fighting to convey morsels of what’s going on. Visually, it’s a lovely-looking book which manages to be consistent in quality as well as delivering some flashy splashes. I found it hard to get a read on the main character though, as we have both the drawback of not knowing anything about them, as well as the confusion of what’s actually going on. Whilst it’s hard to form a connection, this adds to the discombobulation so even if it’s not intended, it’s still a fortuitous outcome.

Going back to the artwork here, I’m bigtime into the muted colour palette of the battle and human warriors. There’s an almost hazy, washed-out feel which, when combined with the magical pinks and purples, gives an ethereal dream-like quality to the whole affair. Speaking of the human warriors, one needs to also address the added strangeness that seems to be individuals pulled from throughout history. We have Bronze Age spearmen advancing alongside Dark Age axemen, feudal Japanese swordsmen and… modern G.I.s?

We are told that life is nothing but a series of endings. Well here, we have a beginning, and a beginning of something which could be very, very good. I strongly suspect this new book will avoid the pitfalls and traps of twee fairy warrior princess and nobody-turned-hero, so I’m definitely intrigued what the team have planned. It’s also relatively easy to forget the metaphysical aspect here in favour of the fantastical, so fingers crossed we see a carefully woven balance going forward.

Rating: 3/5.


The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster

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