Comic Review: Engineward #3 (Vault Comics)

Earth is long gone, a myth, in this future. The word of the Celestials is everything now, and they totally rule. Engineward #3, from Vault, goes where few comic titles […]

Earth is long gone, a myth, in this future. The word of the Celestials is everything now, and they totally rule. Engineward #3, from Vault, goes where few comic titles dare.

Joss is an Engineward, basically a mechanic. She’s found the head of an ancient electronic being! However, the head, once awake and “dehexed” gives off signals that bring the wrong kind of attention. Meanwhile, as the Celestials are gathering to discuss this ‘ghoulem’ head, Joss gathers a crew to go exploring in the wastelands beyond her shantytown.

Goerge Mann (Doctor Who, The Human Abstract, The Severed Man, etc) writes this deep, thoughtful 12 issue series. The writing has weight and dimension. The characters are strongly defined, their identities pinned, not vague. There is also a feeling while reading Engineward that Mann knows where he is going, where he is leading the reader. It’s new territory for comics, where this series doesn’t fully explain itself, staying a bit opaque. We are in a mysterious environment, without compass or GPS, relying on the writer’s singular vision to sustain us.

Joe Eisma’s art gives life to these characters, their relationships, and their surroundings. And unlike a western, or yet-another-superhero-story-in-NYC, the challenge for the artist is to give the reader something new, something borrowed, familiar but with enough originality that it is made both plausible yet intriguing. Eisma succeeds on this account. The character appearances, their garb, the somewhat reminiscent environments.

The pale colouring by Michael Garland relies heavily on Eisma’s line art, not obscuring it but not pulling much attention from it either. A lot of pale yellows, greys, and watercolour-level backgrounds give us a grounding somewhere between realism and fantasy. Garland’s special effects are restrained, subdued.

It’s a brand new world, and the Engineward is original reading, well-grounded in fantasy, sci-fi, and human drama.

Vault Comics, Engineward #3, $3.99 for 21 pages of content. Assume Mature

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!