By Dustin Cabeal
Giants is refreshing. Each week there are frankly an insane amount of comics released. While I’m sure the numbers are available, I will just guess and say that it’s possible the industry is producing a shit load of comics. Again, I don’t have any exact numbers, but a shit load might be in the top three of all time comics produced. Each week, I personally read a butt load of comics. I don’t review them all, and it’s not nearly as many as I used to read which if I had to put a number on it would probably be twenty-six or more. Ha, fuck you for thinking I was going to milk that “load” joke for one more go!
In all seriousness though, Giants is refreshing because it’s well-paced, but doesn’t rely on the formula/trade writing that dominates comics currently. Some weeks I wonder why anyone buys single issues when the story they’re reading will be better suited and more enjoyable when it’s collected. Hell, with the way DC has re-established themselves you could easily pump out a six issue trade every three months. Giants though, concludes it’s first arc in this issue. It has a manga feel to it because of that. The story jumps to a year in the future in the next issue as we learn at the end of this issue. And that is why it’s refreshing. It feels as if the story can change with the wind. That the Valderrama Bros aren’t concerned with how the trade will be collected, but rather how the single will read. It brings Dark Horse back to a point when something like Sin City would be created, and breath on its own and a collection was an afterthought.
Previously in my reviews, I said that the pacing was quick and sometimes it was too quick. I no longer feel that way. More comics should be paced like Giants. It’s quick and easy to digest, but entertaining with in-depth character development at the same time. It really is a manga in American comic form. This may even be the groundwork other creators were struggling to find and has the potential to influence the medium.
The story itself is interesting in that it didn’t go for the low hanging fruit of reuniting the brothers in the story. Instead, it takes them on different paths, but what’s impressive is that they’re switched. The brash and outspoken one becomes reserved and calm, while his brother becomes bold and brazen. They switch personalities in a way, which makes both of them intriguing to the story.
We’ve come to that point in the review in which something needs to be said about the artwork, and yet I’ve run out of ways to say, “fucking incredible.” If I were more of an asshole, I would just leave it there and move on, but instead, I’ll continue to compliment the clean linework which manages to make the world look dirty, futuristic and out of control, and then on the next page look clean and sterile. If the characters weren’t so well-rounded, this book would suffer from the Godzilla effect in which you just want to see Godzilla aka the Giants, but instead, there is a pleasant balance between the two. Each time you see a Giant, it’s a nice treat and visually striking. The coloring compliments the artwork giving it personality and a distinct look.
Giants have become a must-read for me, and if you give it a chance, it will for you too. You’ll see what I mean when I say it’s very different from other comics being published right now. The story and artwork being produced will make you crave other collaborations similar to the Valderrama Bros, but that’s perhaps what makes them so incredible. They’re doing it all, the writing, the artwork, the coloring, the lettering. All the parts you’re absorbing each issue is all them. And they’re doing an amazing job.
Creators: Carlos and Miguel Valderrama
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics