Review: VANDROID #1
When Palm Springs Entertainment studios burned to the ground in 1984, the most definitive motion picture of a generation was lost before its time. Thirty years later, the extraordinary talents of Tommy Lee Edwards, Noah Smith, and Dan McDaid unite to resurrect this lost epic.
A new five-issue series telling the story of a “lost” 1980s movie begins this week in Vandroid #1. The story is by Tommy Lee Edwards and Noah Smith with art by Dan McDaid. Melissa Edwards provides colors with John Workman rounding things out with lettering. So is Vandroid a 1980s B-movie spectacular or should this “lost” story have stayed gone?
It’s 1984 and a group of scientists are working on the world’s first artificial intelligence. When the A.I. is brought online, chaos quickly ensues. The program is expanding and evolving at an alarming rate, and it will do anything it takes to make sure it stays online. The project is scrapped and its creator is shown the door. Meanwhile Chuck Carducci has hit rock bottom. Carducci was a top mechanic in the mid-1970s and made a name for himself with the custom vanning fad. But like all fads, vanning went away. His old friend just happens to be the scientist that headed the failed A.I. program. Taking what he can from the lab, Carducci’s old friend shows up to offer him anything he wants in exchange for building something to house the A.I. What happens when Carducci flips the switch on the A.I.’s sleek, new body? What sort of damage can a souped up humanoid android cause?
Edwards and Smith write a story that perfectly encapsulates the B-movie 1980s action thriller vibe. Things happens pretty fast and the characters all play to a certain type. There’s even a building stuff montage that makes you think you’re hearing a heavy synth beat while reading. The first issue does everything it needs to whet your appetite and bring you back what’s sure to be a story of 80s excess. McDaid’s art fits in well with the overall vibe. Things are a little rough and exaggerated in places, but that just goes to add to the 80s flavor. There’s some great character work and the Vandroid makes for a very striking figure that puts the Terminator to shame. Edwards’ colors are very bright and pop-y. The introduction to Vandroid with its oranges and greens are particular highlights.
Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of the 80s, B-movies, or over the top action stories, this is one for you. Vandroid sets things up nicely and shows a lot of promise. It looks like we’re in for four more issues of fun. 4/5