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The Vault, Issue 1 of 3
by Sam Sarker, art by Garrie Gastonny
Image Comics, 28 pages

The Vault
Sam Sarker
Sam Sarker, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a 23-year veteran of the entertainment industry. He began his career as an actor and was one of the leads on the long-running, syndicated television series Neon Rider. Following the series, Sam decided to pursue writing and worked for the hit television series Beverly Hills 90210. Stemming from his work on the show, he also co-wrote a television pilot for Spelling Entertainment under the direct guidance of TV legend Aaron Spelling. Deciding then to embark on feature films, Sam took some chances, following a varied path of writing screenplays and working as a sound technician. In 2004, after working on several films with actor Johnny Depp, Sam was asked to help run Depp's production company, Infinitum Nihil, headed by Christi Dembrowski. As Senior VP at the company, he continues to serve the varied needs of Hollywood as an executive, producer and writer.

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A review by Sandra Scholes

Gabrielle and Michael are two scientists who are investigating the Oak Island Treasure Pit, a haven for treasure-hunters, scientists and plunderers around. There is a lot spoken of what treasures may lay at the bottom of its vault, but so far no one has dared to plunge so far down due to the oxygen problems divers have found.

Somewhere far from the original site, the two of them have found something else, another site that boasts of great treasures no one has ever seen before, but is it all hearsay, or the truth? So far the two of them have decided to use some new technology that has proved useful; the An Rov robot that can withstand water pressure and doesn't need air as humans do. It proves to be invaluable for them, and their crew on the mission, but when they do find treasure, other people outside their project want to be in on the action, and that can annoying. Other than the treasure, they only find an ancient stone tablet, one of a set, yet it is different from the others.

The strange thing is, when they uncover the treasure crates, it looks like there is a whole host of wealth there, but when it is all counted up, there's nothing more than eleven million dollars worth of treasure, meaning they haven't got anything of worth in reality.

When they go to another vault, Gabrielle thinks is the main vault they have been waiting for, and Michael, along with one of the robots, goes down to find whatever may lay deep down -- and gets a shock, what looks like a huge, ten-feet stone chest, is rather a tomb on a pile of stones. Using strong cables to winch it up they manage to get it out of the pit, and investigate it further.

Gabrielle images it using their high tech equipment to find out what is inside without disturbing its contents yet, and finds something truly shocking.

After reading The Vault #1 for the first time, I would say it is a well-written and designed issue that is there to whet the reader's appetite for more. The treasure found at the bottom of the second vault seems like a lure, but even though it is worthless to the many scientists above who have invested their time and money in the project, they have to wonder what is in the tomb. A look at the start of the story might give readers an idea of what to expect from the rest of the series though.

Sam Sarkar's script gives the story a good pace full of drama, excitement, conflict, and surprises. All the characters in the team have invested their life savings to be a part of the project, and are hoping to get something substantial put of it. The first stakeholder is Jesus Mondragon who is good at translating stone tablets; Cheryl Mithra is a whiz at information technology and the first to be amazed at not getting anything of worth from the first vault; Anderson is a former specialist with STF2; Captain Stone is the last stakeholder and co-owner of the vessel. The two archaeologists and investigators, Michael and Gabrielle, have the credentials needed to make the whole thing work out.

The team hits lots of problems along the way, and Gabrielle has some trouble with her boyfriend who seems to think she can do as she likes on the project, and leave it when she feels like it. The reality is he's the one being unreasonable as she has a job to be done.

Garrie Glastonny's art is detailed and precise, and like most of Image Comics art out there it looks like a sequential version of a blockbuster movie. All the panels look realistic right down to the character's faces, the look of the robots, the fight scenes, and the detail of the underground vault scenes too.

What makes the overall look is the colours by Sakti Yuwono who has used vivid shades to represent moods and it goes toward bringing the panels to life.

Copyright © 2011 Sandra Scholes

Sandra Scholes is in the middle of writing a short story and needs another character to make it work -- in between that she writes for Active Anime, Love Vampires, Love Romance Passion, and Fantasy Book Review.

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