When thinking about the intricacy of dreams and how they’re shown in comics, it’s easy to recall Neil Gaiman‘s seminal The Sandman series. Fortunately, Vessels is taking its own direction with dreams and creates a fantasy narrative wrapped around it. This first issue plays like a pilot, giving a solid introduction and providing a lot of promise as to what’s in store.
The story begins with the understanding that the world of Cairnthala is one that is perishing from the threat of a supposed Eye-God. This Eye-God, feeling a lot like the eye of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings, is a giant beam of fire wrecking havoc. We discover that this Eye is searching for a girl known as “Wake.” There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Wake and her connection with the Eye-God, but it’s clear she is the only hope for survival against the Eye.
When we meet Wake, we see her as a relatively ordinary girl imprisoned. She awakens from a dream and is haunted by the threat of the Eye. She is about to be hanged, and yet she is cautious not to reveal too much of her identity or her powers. As the issue progresses, her powers become unleashed which brings the attention of the Eye to her. The big conflict Wake faces is her power will summon the Eye which will bring death to all around her. But she is also the key to defeating Wake and finds some allies who will help her.
The fantasy concept, mixed with some supernatural elements, shows that this comic will provide plenty of spectacle. The brief glimpses of Wake’s power and ability is exciting and more of that will certainly be welcomed. The idea of a hero with a secret power whose destiny is both a blessing and a curse is not a new one, but creator David Cook handles it well. He doesn’t waste too much time on background and exposition which is refreshing. He jumps into the story, sets things up quickly, and gets going. That being said, there is clearly a lot to still learn about, such as the Vessels themselves, which will hopefully be explained with the same ease as everything in this issue.
The biggest concern I have going forward with this comic is the use of the dreams. The dream sequences in this issue were cool and interesting, but I’m worried the dream/reality line will become too blurred and lead to confusion. I don’t think Cook will throw in the “it was all a dream” cliche, but it seems like there are going to be Inception layers to the dreams which may be difficult to follow.
Overall, this is a solid debut with a lot of potential. The impending battle between Wake and the Eye-God will surely be a fantastical one, and the journey there should be thrilling with other possible threats. As Wake’s ability leads to the Eye-God’s mayhem, we understand the stakes and what destruction can occur. I look forward to the next issue and where this story goes.
What did you think of the first issue of Vessels? Are you looking forward to the next issue? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!