Rating: 4/5 – Great Art and a Likeable Cast of Characters.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
At it’s core this is about The Reaper (aka Bernardette, a pale blond woman here to contrast Neil Gaimain’s iconic depiction of Death from The Sandman) and her team of assistants (The ‘Death Vigil’) who defend the living from necromancers and other undead threats (embodied by the ‘Primordial Enemy’). Sejic isn’t treading new ground here, most/all of the elements you’ll get here have been used in other stories in this genre, but the precise mixture is unique enough for me to have really enjoyed this issue. The key element for me was the extremely likeable cast of characters that make up the Death Vigil team., including core characters Sam (aka The Digger), The Raven (aka Hugin, who is one of Odin’s ravens from Norse mythology, so we may be seeing a connection there down the line) and newest member Claire (no codename yet).
The team dynamic reminded me of the wonderful but short-lived TV series “Dead Like Me” in that it also concentrated on the interactions between the members of the reaper team to drive the stories. In execution very different, but a similar character-driven core feel. I’m personally a big fan of Sejic’s art so that really helped me enjoy this issue. I liked the “pale” aspect of the members of the team (they all get white hair when they join the team) as opposed to the typical black-on-black gothic look. A small thing, but it stood out for me. His art is slick painted look on the surface with a light and airy undertone that gives it a charm all it’s own. I particularly enjoyed the facial expressions. Sejic packed a lot of the charm and subtle storytelling of the issue into the look the characters have on their faces during the dialogue scenes.
This #1 issue is well worth a try, I counted the actual story pages since the issue seemed so substantial and it clocks in at 46 pages for $3.99. Taking that many pages allows writer/artist Stjepan Sejic to introduce the main members of the Death Vigil and the dark fantasy world they operate in amidst action and humor with some great character development. Death Vigil is off to a great start and I’m looking forward to more, this issue is highly recommended.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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