Story & art: Stjepan Sejic Published by: Image Comics/Top Cow Comics
Stjepan Sejic returns with the 3rd installment of Death Vigil. A fantastical tale involving darkness, magic, monsters, evil and peroxide with a backdrop of Goth rock imagery. Thi=e issue kicks off with a tongue in cheek scene where Clara is explaining that she is moving out and since she is flanked by her equally peroxide companions, this leads to an observation that Clara is joining a cult. As a piece of situational comedy it is a gentle beginning to the issue. From that moment on, we are given a feel for Clara’s new home and her struggles to master the Veilripper.
There is similar feel to the place as you get from the Xavier mansion, and Clara certainly carries that familiar newbie feeling that you get with a new, young X-Men recruits. Admittedly, that is where the similarities end.Clara’s new family are a mixed offering, quite a pleasant bunch and suffer from a general sense of sameness. The character designs are varied while maintaining a team feel.
The story begins to heat up in the second half of the issue. A situation has arisen at a decrepit and run down train station, where some necromancers are conducting a hunt. The art in this section is really eye catching, one page in particular has a gorgeous rock feel to it – a fitting album cover almost. Where this book really takes the visuals by the throat is the beasts. The interplay between the opposing characters is nicely handled, some mild humour lightens the mood.While there are some nice elements at play in this issue, there are some weaknesses. The dialogue is heavy going in places and slows the pace, which is unfortunate. When the action kicks off, there it is again, a little too much chatter and a drab end. It would have been interesting to have seen a greater gore element with the beasts, but the action petered out. Death Vigil does benefit from some very nice art which is very easy on the eye. Ideally, going forward, there will be greater use of the monstrous elements of the story and less focus on the character bonding. Less dialogue, more bruising and bloody battles please!