Although we can’t claim to be experts on all things Manga here at Pipedream Comics, one common theme that continues to bleed from that medium is the idea of Kaiju (giant monsters). The latest big beast battles appear in We Ride Titans #1, the new Vault Comics’ series from Tres Dean, Sebastian Piriz and co. about a family who run the giant robot defending a city from monsters.
We Ride Titans tells the story of Kit, a young woman whose family is responsible for protecting the city of New Hyperion from Kaiju attacks using their Titan, a massive mechanical suit built to fight these creatures. However, while her family remains active within this task, Kit herself lives a quite life as a mechanic with her wife after a rift is formed between her and her parents. But when her brother, and the family’s current Titan pilot, is forced to vacate the role, Kit finds herself compelled to return to the fold in order to protect him, taking his place as a pilot and riding the family’s Titan.
Tres Dean has crafted a very enjoyable story in this first issue, one which, while set in this seemingly action packed, sci-fi world, focuses mainly on a family and the struggles which occur between them. From this first issue, I personally thought that both children of the Mason family appeared to have differing issues with their father and his apparent desire to maintain a legacy, with Kit appearing to want to create her own identity while Dej seemingly desiring to live up to the expectations expected of him, with disastrous results.
Of course, Dean didn’t delve too deeply into these family dynamics, making my theories on their individual issues be just that and leaving many questions in the air after the final page. However, Dean’s story feels so well written, with a wonderfully free flowing story told within a good consistent pace, that it makes it hard not to be invested in the plight of this family and the city they protect.
As for the art, Sebastian Piriz honours this issue with a style consisting of some gorgeously sharp and clean pencils which, when coupled with Dee Cunniffe’s bright, almost dreamlike colours, gives the series a very Alex + Ada vibe to it. Fortunately, this is a fitting comparison given not only the sci-fi setting but also for the predominantly emotional story which looks set to be told. Of course, this visual aesthetic is quite contradictory to other similar concepts (such as Pacific Rim) but it is no less welcome as it hints at a world learning to live with the Kaiju that visit it and even getting better in spite of it.
We Ride Titans #1 is yet another highly engrossing opening instalment from Vault Comics as Piriz, Cunniffe, Campbell and Dean offer us a story full of captivating characters and gorgeous artwork in a world where the monsters and robots are merely (great) window dressing. This is a worthy addition to a pull list and will leave you excited for issue two.