Writer: Sebastian Girner Artist: John Bivens Colorists: Iris Monahan Letterer: Jeff Powell Publisher: Vault Comics
In 16th Century Japan, we follow a young woman named Ketsuko during two time periods: the “present day” and three years prior. Ketsuko takes the place of her brother to lead their clan into battle, but he is the one to take the credit once the fighting is done. In the present day, we learn that Ketsuko is quite possibly the last of her clan right as she is set to begin a journey through the mountains. Three years prior, we are in the midst of an important battle between Ketsuko’s clan and a rival clan that, in the present day, has taken over much of Japan. On top of being a great warrior in disguise, Ketsuko has another secret: there is a voice only she can hear that is asking to be let in. While the source of the voice is not revealed, the context from the rest of the issue leads us to believe that it is a devil speaking to Ketsuko.
This issue does a wonderful job of setting up the two journeys that we will see take shape across time while also leaving us with some questions. There is definite gore and violence in this book, but it is done in such a way that it doesn’t turn the average reader away. I personally am not a fan of gore or violence, but the inclusion of such in this book did not hinder my enjoyment. I felt that this story was Mulan-esque with a horror twist and I am very interested to see where this goes.
Writer: Emily Horn & Zac Thompson Artist: Alberto Jimenez-Alburquerque Color Artist: Raul Angulo Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
How much do we take our environment for granted? We drive our gas-powered cars on asphalt roads to our jobs in buildings of concrete, steel, and glass. We labor to make our lawns greener than our neighbor’s, but not for the benefit of the lawn. How much nature do we see every day? How might our world change if, suddenly, it all collapsed? No One’s Rose is set in such a future, where all the green nature we love, and think nothing of, has vanished. Left behind is a barren wasteland full of crumbled buildings and toxic sludge – the legacy of the acidic reign of man. In this world human society lives on the brink of extinction, with a small pocket living in a domed city. Super-oxygenating trees are the lifeblood of the people living within the dome, providing shelter and security. Those with the privilege to live among the leaves at the top of the tree have life as good as it gets, but what about those who live below? Are all parts of the tree truly equal, or is there a class division even after the apocalypse?
Captain Tenn Gavrillo is a junior bioengineer who uses the science at hand to gather specimens from outside the dome and tweak their genetic structure. She wants to make plants that are hardy enough to withstand the deadly conditions outside the dome, so that one day humanity may be able to reclaim the lost earth. Captain Gavrillo believes in the structure and safety of the dome and of the society within. She may even have a shot at a job promotion and a chance at living in the canopy with the elites, despite the traitorous actions of her deceased father. Her brother, Seren, is of a different mind. He works at the bottom of the tree, in the filtration systems that make life in the dome possible. Seren sees the disparity between the canopy and the lower levels, and desperately wants to change society for the better. But just how far are he and his friends willing to go to achieve that goal?
Vault’s new series No One’s Rose is a fun post-apocalyptic sci-fi read with a great creative team behind it. Written by Zac Thompson and Emily Horn, with art by Alberto Alburquerque, and colors by Raul Angulo, this first issue is a wild ride through destruction and order.