Beyond the Breach #1 - Review

by Olivier Roth on July 14, 2021

Writer: Ed Brisson

Artist: Damian Couceiro

Colorist: Patricio Delpeche

Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Published by: Aftershock


When a comic starts off, with almost a literal bang within the first few pages of its debut issue, I’m always a little wary. Is the creative team going for the shock and awe approach and hope that the reader is so flustered, they’ll continue on, regardless of quality, or will it go the other way, where the creative team wants to jump right to the crux of the comic?


In the case of Beyond the Breach, it’s the latter - Brisson, Couceiro, Delpeche and Otsmane-Elhaou appear to want to throw the reader right into the thick of things and we’ll learn more about the characters and the “situation” as we go along. Because, wow, we are thrown into the deep end really quickly in this comic. 


The first three pages are meant as an introduction to our lead protagonist, Vanessa, whose name we learn another 10 pages later, as she is driving down the road in Cooks Valley, California, having come here after what appears to be a very nasty breakup. And then BOOM - right into the action as her car, among many, crashes when portals and otherwordly beings show up. 


At this point, it appears like this comic is going to be about Vanessa’s survival, as she also encounters a little boy named Dougie who just lost his parents and a gremlin-looking animal to round out our comic’s cast. The remainder of the issue is used to get to know the characters a little bit more as they interact with each other and provides a satisfying ending leading into issue 2. 


Brisson’s writing throughout is crisp and fast, as the reader is barely given a second to breathe. I appreciate that Vanessa and Dougie have their own voices. I’m a little surprised at the number of four-letter words throughout (comics were definitely not written like this when I was a kid), but it felt genuine to the character of Vaness and the situation(s) she’s in. 


Couceiro and Delpeche are a formidable team on art duties throughout. I particularly liked the character designs for both the human and non-human characters. As this is looking to be an invasion from another dimension (hence the title), Couceiro makes sure that Vanessa’s appearance changes before and after her crash and her run from the monsters. Dougie chances less, but the visual queues allow you to know that he hasn’t been as hurt as Vanessa just yet. 


I find that talking about lettering can sometimes be difficult in reviewing comics, as I don’t always have the eye for it, but I can appreciate the work that Otsmane-Elhaou did throughout the issue. Too often, the lettering will appear plain with zero personality. Beyond the Breach is the complete opposite of that. Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering allows the words to convey the emotions felt in the issue. I liked the choice of having a slightly slanted, erratic font for the character of Kai as you can tell that English isn’t its first language and the lettering shows it struggling with the words. It’s amazing!


All in all, Beyond the Breach issue 1 is a pretty strong start for this entire creative team. I’m interested to see where this goes as we’ve seen a lot of survivor-type comics in the past decade, so I’m hoping that this series will be a fresh take on it and not a retread.

Our Score:


A Look Inside