Inside Look: The Vault #1

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Inside Look is Broken Frontier's director’s commentary-like feature in which creators take you behind the scenes of one of their latest comics to hit the stands. In this edition: Sam Sarkar on The Vault #1.

On the surface, The Vault is a story about a treasure hunt that goes horribly wrong.  Below the surface, both literally and figuratively however, are a lot of surprises.  The original inspiration for the story came from the legend of The Oak Island Treasure Pit.  I grew up in Nova Scotia and used to visit the pit often when I was a child.  I had my own interesting theory on what might lie in the pit.  

The story begins with a group of archaeologists and treasure hunters off the coast of Nova Scotia.  Having found another pit, almost identical to Oak Island, they are running out of time and money and so far, have not pulled up any significant finds.

Page 1

“This is the beginning of how it all ends.”   This line has many meanings to me.  Maybe not what you think.  Does it sound ominous?  Yes, of course.  But for me, it also has a ring of optimism.    One being is light, one is dark but they share common traits, like their wings.    What does any of this have to do with the story?

Pages 2 & 3

Well, here’s where the door is open to interpretation.  And yes, even though I have an intention here, there is so much going on in this image, that one can’t expect to be limited to only one explanation.   But there is definitely more than one myth alluded to here.  The dragon on the left fits several cultures intentionally.  Kali is shown in the image.  Neanderthal man is depicted in the foreground and homo sapiens are represented by a man and a woman.  Garrie on fire.

Page 4

Diving into the story.  Literally.  Jesus Mondragon is reading a book, presumably linked to the images we have just seen, and his attention has been drawn away from his instruments.  Michael’s radio breaks his reverie.   A bit on Michael’s suit-  This is a hard suit that allows Michael to descend to depths beyond the range of normal diving without the need for decompression.  This allows him to work comfortably at 250 and 300 feet underwater.  The suit is rated to over 1000 feet.

Page 6

Oh yeah.  I love cephalopods.  Squid, octopus, cuttlefish, I just can’t get enough of them.  Garrie did an amazing job on this.  This shows the kind of dangers that these guys can cope with on a daily basis.  In fact, they laugh this one off.

Page 9

Sable Island.  This is very close to what Sable Island looks like.  Just a narrow hunk of sand with horses on it.  Weather is still nice at this point.

Page 10

Yeah, tablet computers are here to stay.  Especially in archaeology.  Kirilov is a complicated guy.  One might think of him as quintessentially “shifty”.

Page 11

No one is happy about Kirilov.  But they’re just going to have to bite the bullet, especially when they see what he’s unpacking.  A gorgeous robot named Macula.  Put that word in your Latin translator for some fun.

Page 15

Michael and Gabrielle have a professional partnership that has lasted since they first met in university.  But it is not without some complications.

Last page

Yeah, that is a cliffhanger for you.  The idea of using an x-ray came from my wife horses.  Sometimes when there was a problem, her vet would come out to the barn with a portable x-ray machine.  The idea did not come from airport scanners.

Coming up in the next issue:

The group is divided on what to do with the contents of the sarcophagus.  Desperate to recoup their money, some members of the group insist that the sarcophagus be opened.  As they debate, the storm hits the island with full force.   Personal agendas start to come to the fore leading to a deadly outcome.

The Vault #2 is out August 31, 2011 from Image Comics and Benaroya Publishing.

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