Cult Classic: Return to Whisper #1 Lives Up to Its Name

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“In 1997, a group of teenagers discover a treasure of immeasurable wealth. Fearing that their newfound fortune will be stolen from them, they make a pact: One day they’ll come back as adults, divide their riches and live happily ever after. Now… fifteen years later, they have returned. Not to uncover a fortune, but to bury a friend.”

Cult Classic: Return to Whisper #1
(W): Eliot Rahal (I): Felipe Cunha (C): Dee Cunniffe (L): Taylor Esposito (CA’s): Irene Koh & Felipe Cunha

If you haven’t been following Vault Comics, they’re the publisher that needs to be on your radar. They specialize in fantasy and science fiction comics with gorgeous and glorious titles already in its catalog. Some of which include: Heathen (C: Natasha Alterici & L: Rachel Deering), Spiritus (C: Tim Daniel, A: Michael Kennedy, L: Lauren Norby) and more. One of their most anticipated titles comes in the form of Cult Classic, a series of collected stories that will be a part of a shared universe. This was one of my anticipated comics of the year, and oh man, you’re going to love this.

via Vault Comics

Eliot Rahal creates a story with an eerie yet ominous tone at the forefront. He develops a vibe that you just can’t shake underneath. Rahal builds the suspense, the undeniably weird and overall mysterious tone. You honestly can’t help but want to be a part of the experience. You’re carried into this world with strong characters, and you follow the characters between the past and the present. Readers are able to see who they were and what they grew up to me. I’m always very skeptical when creators do this, but Rahal does an unbelievable job weaving the two narratives. You wonder if anyone will make it out of this alive or if they’ll ever get their treasure. You’d think this would be a turn-off, but raises more of your curiosity.

For the characters, they’re my favorite parts of this first issue. The weight of the comic strengthens itself on the backs of these characters. It’s a classic set up build resembling the friendship structures like the kids from IT or The Midnight Society from Are You Afraid of the Dark? With this large cast, you don’t get lost in the shuffle, and they don’t either. You can tell that Rahal has a plan for every single one of these characters, their journies and maybe their deaths. Each kid has their own distinctive identity, with their individual and personal struggles. They carry fascination along with the more prominent whole of the story.

via Vault Comics

Felipe Cunha brings a strikingly vibrant and detailed world through his pencils. Cunha displays a style all his own. It honestly amazes me how much of the tiniest details he put into these panels, and it made all the difference. He makes you want to look closely for clues of where this could lead but provides just small things that give it so much personality. His art enhances tenfold by Cunniffe’s colors, but Cunha absorbs you with the characters looks, expressions, the setting and everything in between.

I love when color is used to distinguish time periods. Cunniffe uses his colors to place us between the past and the future. Even though the narrative tells us, Cunniffe’s colors cement it. He uses the calm, yet mysteriously melancholy blues to let us into the past creating nostalgia and remembrance, but blends in the presents harsh reality in oranges and reds that set you on edge and amps the suspicion of everything.

via Vault Comics

Taylor Esposito is a letterer who knows what he’s doing, and he does it quite well. Esposito takes Rahal’s script and the richness of the characters and brings even more emotion. The sinister TV voice of RIP G. Raves seems so much more sinister. The sadness of Bobbi and Andrew seem so tragic. The loneliness of Andrew and typing of Cage’s work seem personal. Taylor’s not only able to letter in an excellent way where your eyes smoothly move from panel to panel with no problems, but he brings out emotions as well.

Cult Classic is riddled with intense, but engrossing characters, and an exciting yet ambiguous plot. It has all the makings of an out of the box comic that will truly have you speculating where it will all go from here. Cult Classic: Return to Whisper #1 will be on sale at your local comic shop on February 28th.

 



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