Glane Breld is fresh out of prison and has some big plans in mind. Are they as big as the title suggests? Find out in Heist, or How to Steal a Planet #1 from Vault Comics.
Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist: Arjuna Susini
Colorist: Vittorio Astone
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Editor: Adrian F. Wassel
Publisher: Vault Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 6, 2019
Previously in Heist: Think of an opening akin to Ocean’s Eleven. Conman Glane Breld has just gotten out of prison. He has a score to settle and needs to put together a gang to do it. All things center on Heist, a fascinating planet with a bit of a history. So buckle in and tag along for the ride!
DROPPED INTO THE THICK OF IT
Heist, or How to Steal a Planet #1 obviously needs to get things set up. A good heist has to be planned, and there’s a lot of world building happening too. We start out in the thick of things as our main character (we don’t even know that he’s Glane Breld yet) survives four attempts on his life in the span of time it takes him to get to his favorite bar. It sets the mood; we get a bit of history, and we learn that Glane is pretty unflappable.
He’s trying to put together a crew for his next job. The bartender who can hook him up is talkative, and he lets drop a little more backstory, not only on some of the people he wants, but about the current status of the world. It’s a little complicated. We get more of it a few pages later when a street urchin who knows a possible mark when he sees one offers himself as a guide. Heist, as unsavory as it is, was the last of the truly independent planets, but the kid informs him that they were sold out by a fellow by the name of Glane Breld.
Glane, obviously, doesn’t let on just yet. He needs a brain splint, and the kid takes him on a journey into the undercity where his elderly aunt can fix the newcomer up. Brady, the kid who loves to talk, has time to expound a little longer. It’s a way to do the exposition so that it feels organic. I like the way that more bits are added each time so the story gets more complicated. I also like the slang that’s been developed for Heist. It’s distinctive enough to be flavorful, but we can still understand it. Along the way, we learn that Breld was framed by a guy named Samuel Reven.
On the way back to the surface there’s a great exchange when Glane and Breld meet up with a guy from the bar. Glane suspects it’s another attempt on his life and just says, “Not with the kid here.” The guy understands and goes on his way. It is a more interesting world when some of the criminals have a complex sense of honor. I also like that Brady is smart, as well as street smart. He figures out who Glane is and makes the decision to stick with him.
That’s not the last attempt on Breld’s life in this issue, and we see again just how cool a customer he is. It’s hard-boiled and gritty without being too over the top, and it feels like we have smart and dangerous characters. It is a blast to read.
A WORLD OF LOWLIFE DISTRICTS
The art of Heist, or How to Steal a Planet #1 brings this vibrant world to life. It is ambitious – this is a crowded world full of people and aliens, rich with style, packed with little details and lots of flavor. There are flying cars and holographic advertisements that walk the streets. There is street food and glowing signs. There are gangs and strip clubs. And everything has a touch of the exotic, the alien, the not exactly like we know it on Earth.
One of the cutest scenes is when Glane goes to a strip club to pick up a stash. He cannot get rid of Brady and warns him that this is not a place for someone that young. Instead, the women, men, aliens, etc. working there all seem to know him. He is a guide after all. He has to know all the good places to take tourists.
BOTTOM LINE: GRITTY, CHARMING, AND TENSE
I think Heist, or How to Steal a Planet #1 is a solid setup. For as much background information as we get, the story is well paced. When it moves, it moves, and when there is a breather, I enjoyed diving deeper into what’s been going on. Stealing a planet is a bold plot, and I look forward to seeing where this goes next.
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Heist, Or How To Steal A Planet #1
Old acquaintances, fellow crooks, unsavory gangs, and a streetwise kid start the action off with a bang!