Writer: Carlos Valderrama
Artist: Miguel Valderrama
Cover Artist: Miguel Valderrama
Giants is the new Dark Horse comic, and it was not what I thought. The cover makes it look like the standard Pacific rim/Kaiju fare that we have grown accustom to, but when you read it, it is so much more. Saying this is just about monsters is like saying The Walking Dead is just about zombies. (Sorry, walkers).
The story follows two boys, Gogi and Zedo, who live in a subterranean community underground. Earth has been plunged into an Ice Age. It is a nuclear winter of sorts, caused by a meteorite crashing into Earth. The meteorite also awakened the Kaiju (monsters) from their underground slumber. The Kaiju go up to the surface causing panic from what I can tell. Everyone living on the surface goes underground to hide. The underground world is run by gangs, the two main ones being the Grim Bastards and the Blood Wolves. They fight for control of the streets and a substance called ambernoir. It is a highly combustible fuel source which is found on the surface world. Few are brave enough to retrieve it, though.
Gogi and Zedo have decided that the only way to thrive in this brave, new world is to join a gang. Gang life means protection, food, and shelter. To become a proper member of a gang, they try to steal ambernoir from their rival gang while the gangs are distracted in a massive street rumble. The heist doesn’t go as planned, but they are given a chance to join the gang. All they have to do is go to the surface world and steal some ambernoir.
Much like Walking Dead, the story here is about the people, not the monsters, who serve mainly as a really cool plot device. This character focus makes this story so much more than just another monster comic. Instead, it is about ambition and survival. Gogi and Zedo are scared and hungry, and they bring a sharp focus to the cruel new reality. The writing is well paced, and it left me wanting more. The dialogue felt natural, and I rooted for the boys though they were driven by ambition. While theses stories usually have the protagonists be heroic, I could see either or both of these kids being corrupted by that ambition. The boys remind me of the three men in the Canterbury Tale’s Pardoner’s Tale, who all three end up murdering each other over a hoard of treasure. Their greed may be their downfall.
The art is exquisite, and I love the monsters! They don’t show up for most of the story, but when they do, they rule the page! The monster’s knees alone are terrific. The world is colorful but dark. The world is full of beautiful details, which make the world immersive and complete.
Verdict: Buy! This was a wonderful premiere to a promising new series. The Valderrama brothers debut with the style and wisdom of more experienced veterans. Their focus on the characters instead of the creatures makes this tale deeper than what you would expect, and I can’t wait to watch these kids grow.