Justin Richards – Val Halvorson – Rebecca Nalty – Taylor Esposito
Remember when you were anticipating pretty much every new series that IMAGE was putting out because they’d hit such a hot streak of quality (or Vertigo/Valiant’s relaunch for that matter)? Well this is where we stand with Vault Comics. While not every title they’ve released will appeal to everyone by virtue of subject matter there is an undeniable aspect to every Vault book. The quality is astounding. Next up for the publisher is Finger Guns and, just as all of its brothers and sisters in the Vault library have done, it brings quality comic booking to us readers.
The direction of Finger Guns follows suit with Vault’s approach of unabashedly forcing the comic medium to better in all fronts. Publishers, creators, and readers alike all need to be able to tackle true to life issues without being preachy, or afraid to address reality. This is what we’ve got with FG. The opening of the book does just this and does so with hardly a single line of dialogue. The ego (or lack of) of the teen ages is perfectly summized here. It’s actually a very nice juxtaposition with the more mature take that the book has as a whole. Emotional complexity is an inherent aspect of life. Our demeanor and actions carry the weight of this complexity. They also affect those around us. Simply put, this is the context of Finger Guns. What I love about the presentation of the idea is the childish (in both age and maturity meanings) symbolism of the finger gun itself. Harmless games and fun times by children generation after generation include some version of a finger gun. The ignorance of age (not stupidity) may not be better represented than with the finger gun motion/act. There is a wonderful innocence when the true implication of something simply isn’t known. Unfortunately time, age, and knowledge end up corrupting the pure being we all start out as. We see that in Wes. One of the two main characters, Wes doesn’t come from a good place. Emotionally deprived and generally neglected overall he finds that his finger gun has a bad side effect. What has to be from projection, the targets of his aim end up with an unexplainable rage for a truncated time. Point – Click – Pissed. Just like that. I say projection because he literally walks about town firing off his newfound piss people off bullets. Of course the complexity of human emotion wouldn’t let things be this easy for Wes. An outlet for his emotional trauma it may be his weapon of anger and frustration won’t be unchecked. Instead he encounters Sade. At least on the onset it’s a Yin – Yang situation. Like Wes she’s got fingers that fire. With her though people are subdued and washed over with calm.
Themes aplenty run through this book. Emotional manipulation, how we cope with emotional trauma, the inter and intrapersonal choices we make, and how we view the world through our emotional spectrum are just a few themes that jump off the page. The commonality Wes and Sade have can either endear themselves to one another or drive an unscalable wall between them. It’s that emotional complexity thing again. Wes’ situation has caused him to internalize everything and lash out. Sade has chosen to seek out what she can’t get with her situation. As this series develops I wouldn’t be surprised to see new levels of anger, jealousy, spitefulness and a few other emotions rear their heads.
Visually Finger Guns accentuates the premise it is fielding. Not literally black and white, the heavily two toned approach more than gets across the intent. It came off to me as a representation of Wes and Sade’s respective auras and the interaction between them and their interaction with the world. The lettering flows with the art and constructs as it needs to in a very flattering manner. As with all Vault titles this book is very well put together structurally. I’m looking forward to how the ever more complex nature of the relationships and understanding are played out and visually portrayed.
This is an absolute SOLID debut issue.
IN STORES THIS NCBD FEB 26th!