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Merlin: The Wicked Day
Oh, it's wicked, all right.
Merlin: The Darkest Hour, Part 2
Arthur sacrifices himself for Camelot... almost.
Merlin: The Darkest Hour, Part 1
Morgana unleashes a ghost army on Camelot.

The Vault: Diving In To My Heart!

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Yes, I know that headline was completely cornball.

The Vault is a three issue miniseries from Image, written by Sam Sarkar and drawn by Garrie Gastonny. (Sakti Yuwono and Bagus Hutomo did the colors and cover for Issue #1, respectively.) The first installment was released last Wednesday, and it did not disappoint. I admit, I'm a little biased because I had no idea what the comic was going in to it, but on the first page, there's an intro talking about the Oak Island Treasure Pit.

...I have been obsessed with the Oak Island Mystery since I read an article about it in Rolling Stone. I've probably read every book on the subject, and even briefly considered trying to make a vacation out of it. I mean, I bet Nova Scotia's terrific in March, right? Heh.

Sarkar and Gastonny teamed up for a different miniseries called Caliber -- a "retelling of the Arthurian legend set in Pacific Northwest during the times of the frontier" -- which has already been optioned in to a movie. (It of course helps that Barry Levine has an imprint, Radical Comics, and Caliber was the second title from that company.) And now I'd like to read that series, too.

The Vault has a similar epic-sci-fi-movie feel to it:

A small team of treasure hunters struggles to excavate a dangerous and legendary treasure pit before a massive storm hits Sable Island, the "Graveyard of the North Atlantic". Equipped with all the latest technology, the scientists believe they are prepared against all of nature's fury, but nothing can prepare them for what they are about to unleash from The Vault.

Spoilers ahead, beware!

The book opens with this amazing two page tableau showing what looks like the End Times.

Then we get right in to the story, introducing all the scientists and divers, plus the very Sam Jackson Deep Blue Sea character who is going to bring in the final chunk of change to dig up the treasure they believe is buried deep under Sable Island. (He also has awesome diver / digger robots, so, so far, I like him.)

There's the "do we give this investor guy a bigger piece of our pie" conflict, there's the suspense of deep sea diving and mysterious booby traps (SURPRISE! ACID!), and of course there's a storm that threatens to become Totally Perfect in its ability to Ruin Everything.

The pacing seems a little rushed here, and I'm wondering if the 3 page series idea was theirs, or Image's. By the end of the issue, the story has moved along to actually discovering real treasure in the Sable Island pit. BUT WAIT! There is MORE TREASURE, PROBABLY! Remember the opening scene? What if these myserious treasure troves aren't just the final resting place of stolen loot from some engineering-ly gifted pirate?

ZOMG WHAT IF THEY'RE UNDER SEA PYRAMIDS?

Even though this plot point was not difficult to see coming, it's still really cool. So far there has been adventure, treasure hunting, and robots. Now there's the possibility of waking the dead, or the possible alien or angel or supernatural ending! With as pretty as the first scene with angels fighting... well, cavemen, and various other things... was, I look forward to what the next two issues are going to bring.

The Vault #1 is available now for $3.50.

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