In worlds with superpowers, not everyone welcomes their newfound abilities. These tend to go with consequences, for better or worse. Vokz #1 is among those origin stories that went towards the former.
Vokz is a great superhero origin story played straight, done with great attention to detail when it comes to narrative progression. The art is also beautiful, albeit with a few problems with design consistency and proportion.
Hero Origin Story 101: The Story and Writing of Vokz
Vokz #1 is an Australian comic book published by Ravengear Studios. The story is written by Zakh Fair, with art from Asela De Silva and lettering by Nikki Powers. The original concept for Vokz came from Cass Collins whilst Ben Mitchell is in charge of publication design.
The story of Vokz follows the story of Dawn who just had her album launch with a bandmate. As they talk, an armoured tech attacks her, leaving Dawn in deep coma. Around her time of grieving, she develops an uncontrollable ability that leaves destruction in its wake.
The writing of Vokz #1 provides a solid formula on how to do hero origin stories. In many comic books, the formula of origin stories go from normal days, then a tragic event triggers that eventually releases the heroism within the protagonist.
We’ve seen these examples from the origins of some classic characters. These include characters such as Batman, Spider-Man, Thor, and even Black Panther. It’s a time-honored tradition and it’s a common enough for everyone.
Vokz is a straight shot at this process, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. With such a classic storytelling style, Zack made the entire comic easy to read and easy to process. We can easily understand the motivation of characters and how they reject or accept their roles.
Zack’s perspective of the story builds Dawn as an effective protagonist. She is keen of her surroundings and needed time to understand if she would “answer the calling.” Beyond the character development, however, what I enjoyed with the story is the world building.
Throughout several pages, the story tries to build the existence of people with superpowers manifesting their abilities. It also builds on the potential shadow organisations looking to exploit the powers and abilities of these people.
So far, the story is a great origin story from top to bottom, but it has its tendency to play it too straight. As a comic book fan, I’ve seen my fair share of origin stories and how authors played with it.
Vokz #1 is cut from the same cloth as most origin stories, which makes it lacking in the excitement department. I would’ve personally enjoyed having Dawn struggle a little bit more to accept or use her powers. It would’ve create a wrinkle in her otherwise smooth transition as an Empowered.
Beautifully Inconsistent: The Art of Vokz #1
The art of Vokz #1 is a great way to showcase the illustration skills of Asela De Silva. Asela’s pencilling is topnotch, and I can clearly see how good they are when it comes to showing narrative progress.
There’s no wasted line in the pencilling. Every outline feels outstanding and motion lines offer strong action scenes. Character designs were also great at pointing out the personalities of each other in the story.
The addition of shadows and lighting direction is superb. There’s even a specific page where De Silva used a Dutch angle, which points to their strong technical knowhow. Pacing and layouts also leave me with little to complain about.
The only problem I see with the art is consistency. The comic book has a problem with keeping the characters looking consistent, which is an issue only for those who actually see the story.
In several panels across the comics, Dawn’s perspectives make her look younger or older than her supposed age. I assume that she is supposed to be a young adult, maybe late teens due to her gigs and personality.
Even then, some panels draw her head proportion to be the size of a 12 year old. The legs tend to be out of whack and her arms can look small in some perspectives. In some panels, especially close-ups, she looks quite mature, and beautifully so.
The same problem applies to some characters too. If Asela can work this out over the next few issues, the art will be perfect.
Is Vokz #1 a Must-Read?
Is Vokz #1 a must-read? If you’re looking for a solid new hero that you can follow, Vokz is a great read. It’s a nice origin story with a strong female character to boot. It has better art than most too, so you’d enjoy following the character’s growth over the next few issues.
This isn’t a high mystery story for those looking for complex narratives. It’s a great read when you’re having afternoon snack. It’s easy to digest and still has several areas where they can improve further.
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