By Dustin Cabeal
The most prominent selling point for Giants is the artwork. It’s not the story is a slouch, but that artwork… damn. It’s been a while since someone made a splash on the comic scene and that’s precisely what the Valderrama Bros. are doing with Giants.
The story follows two brothers, possibly from different mothers, that are looking to join a gang. Society has been moved underground due to the giant fucking monsters that walk the surface and fight with each other for dominance. Much like the surface, gangs fight for dominance underground. Gogi and Zedo are tired of living scared and want full membership into the Bloodwolves; their job is to steal some Ambernoir from a rival gang. The Ambernoir isn’t explicitly explained, but it seems to be highly explosive and come from the corpse of the giant monsters on the surface. The mission gets complicated, and the brothers don’t quite succeed but do manage enough to get sent on a far riskier mission to the surface.
The first issue feels short. There’s so much going on in the world that you really could use more information and time with the characters. The last several pages in particular end up feeling strangely rushed. Otherwise, it’s a very tight issue. It was also very refreshing for a sci-fi/fantasy story to not take ten pages to explain the world and society fully, but instead gave a few quick blurbs and showed the rest. Having read several comics that did the exact opposite, I was delighted to see how well-crafted the story and world end up being.
The dialogue isn’t abundantly detailed, making it very believable. Why would anyone over explain the world that they already live in? The brothers are introduced quite well; the ground floor has been laid for them to develop into three-dimensional characters. There aren’t any other characters of importance at the moment, which is actually nice. Too often sci-fi worlds have dozens of characters.
Finally, the artwork. The Giants look amazing. They’re show-stealers for sure, and there’s this Cloverfield element to them that’s pretty damn cool. They’re like giant battle stations in a way. The human characters are well illustrated and designed well. The style reminds me of several artists that I like, so it was just a treat to see. This instantly became one of Dark Horses’ best-looking titles. The coloring is also worth mentioning since it gives the world all of its personality. There’s a hefty amount of red and yellows used, which makes for a great contrast against the black and white that is the rest of the world.
Its been a while since I can remember getting excited for a Dark Horse title. Hopefully, Giants is a look at the direction the publisher is heading because this is an absolute delight. It’s a polished product with masterful artwork and a skilled storytelling. If you’re looking for something new to read this week, give Giants a shot.
Dark Horse Comics