Resonant #1 Review: Know No Favorites
“Resonant” #1 deals with a different kind of apocalypse. This one’s personal, and so far, pretty darn effective.
Story: David Andry
Art: Alejandro Aragón
Colors: Jason Wordie
Letters: Deron Bennett
Publisher: Vault Comics
“Resonant” #1 opens in relative idyll. Bec is a young girl living in the remote woods with her two brothers and father in a cabin-cum-bunker. From the beginning we know something’s wrong, but it’s unclear just how wrong until we realize that Paxton has to leave to get medicine for his youngest boy – chronically and mysteriously ill – and that it’s not going to be as easy as a trip to the local drugstore and back.
The trauma of illness in “Resonant” is a mystery, signalled both physically with Bec and Stef and abstractly in the unbalanced mental state of the wanderer Paxton meets and Ty’s fear of the children down by the creek. Also, the general state of the world doesn’t appear to be helping. It’s not clear just what caused the apocalypse but it’s certainly had quite an effect, and the only way to survive a wave seems to be meditation, calm and balance. Hard to find in the overwhelming whirl of emotion and instinct.
“Resonant” has an intriguing premise that’s laden with promise. It’s arguably opaque at the beginning, but what bolsters this first issue are the strong family bonds and instantly discrete personalities of Bec and her siblings. Andry and Aragón create a rich world to mine, and hopefully will mine it deeply for a unique and refreshing take on struggle, survival, illness and sanity. Aragón’s art is scratchy and makes judicious use of dot textures, negative space and the beautiful, skeletal overwhelm of nature. White panel borders work well to separate inset panels and keep pages cohesive, especially with some of the shadow Aragón sprinkles in. At times Paxton retreats into shadow and sadness, and at others he’s etched and bathed in a hint of light as he struggles for meditative calm in the storm.
Wordie’s color palette is all pastoral browns, blues and greens to soften some of that daytime gloom, but it quickly morphs into an amazing array of reds, purples, oranges and yellows as the Waves come. The chirpers’s acid green is a nice contrast to the big blue sky and muted pavement of the road, and when all hell breaks loose it’s a riot of texturing, scribbles and impressionistic lines for a good balance of visual chaos and impressionistic detail. Wordie and Aragón work very well together to create a delicious visual experience in “Resonant,” and we all should look forward to the spectral future.
Bennett’s lettering mirrors Aragón’s intentional instability but adds just a bit of softness in irregular, rounded balloons and the quirks of this particular font. The chirpers’s incessant warning sound effects later on blend well on the page and, again, add just a bit of softness. The natural sounds we’d expect in an empty world quickly come to dominate the page, but there’s a rounding and blessed amount of empty space in the outlined effects that helps cut through Aragón and Wordie’s impressive backgrounds.
“Resonant” #1 is a successful first issue. It sets up good character introductions, adds intrigue and a hefty amount of visual flair and beauty. The creative team is already gelling nicely. Now, let’s get Paxton home, shall we?