Tres Dean and Sebastián Píriz’s We Ride Titans #1 explores the horror of Kaiju and addiction in this action-packed debut issue from Vault Comics.
In recent years, ferocious monsters have taken comics by storm. Between James Harren’s Ultramega and James Patrick and Rem Broo’s Kaiju Score, it’s becoming increasingly clear that kaiju aren’t going anywhere. Now, author Tres Dean and artist Sebastián Píriz are teaming up with Vault Comics to present a new take on kaiju with We Ride Titans #1, an exciting story about monsters and the brave but flawed people who fight them.
We Ride Titans #1 takes place in a world plagued by roaming kaiju monsters who wander the Earth terrorizing cities. Luckily, each city is protected by a Titan. Soldiers in mech suits fend the gigantic beasts off and preserve some degree of normalcy for people. But when Dej, who pilots New Hyperion’s titan, drinks on the job, disaster strikes. Dej’s parents reluctantly reach out to their estranged daughter Kit for assistance.
Dean does a great job of establishing the characters and the world of We Ride Titans while maintaining a steady pace. By leaning into established Kaiju tropes, he dives head-first into the story and the complicated dynamics of Kit’s relationships without getting bogged down in world-building. This approach might be disappointing to fans looking for tons of kaiju action, but Dean still sets the stage for some epic battles, even if his priority in this first issue seems to be focusing on the emotional life of the series’ hero. At first, Kit’s gruff demeanor suggests she will be playing the predictable role of the tough, grizzled action hero. However, as the issue continues, Kit grapples with the consequences of her foul moods. As she attempts to apologize to her girlfriend and be there for her brother as he struggles with alcoholism, Kit transforms into a vulnerable, nuanced character and her mysterious past becomes all the more compelling.
Píriz’s art greatly expands the world of We Ride Titans #1. The first scene throws readers into the thick of things with a beautifully drawn battle between Dej and a Kaiju. Píriz’s monster and mech designs are immediately recognizable but feel unique to this world. The tilting panels and chaotic action help readers relate to Dej’s addled state of mind. Compared to the chaos of the kaiju, Kit’s tidy, peaceful home feels like an entirely different world. This contrast immediately characterizes Kit and the distance between her and her family. Colorist Dee Cunniffe clarifies some of Píriz’s visual cues. The wide array of colors Cunniffe employs adds a fun, sci-fi tone to the story, which helps to soften some of its darker elements.
We Ride Titans #1 reads like a familiar kaiju action-adventure story with all the standard tropes. While this is a predictable first issue, the creative team crafts a compelling hero, making the story feel fresh, and will likely entice comic readers to pick up future issues.
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