Vigilante: Southland #1 (DC)



Rating: 3/5 – Choosing the Less Interesting Alter Ego for Vigilante.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

DC is continuing to release certain titles without the “Rebirth” banner atop the cover. We recently reviewed the first issue of Raven which I really enjoyed but didn’t have that Rebirth banner, and now DC has released another new mini-series without the banner, Vigilante: Southland. I feel that these series may not get the attention that the main line titles do and while I feel it was unfortunate for Raven which had a nice combination of art and writing and was well worth trying, so far you may want to pass on Vigilante: Southland.

This new series is written by Gary Phillips whose work I’m not familiar with (his comics work includes Vertigo’s Angeltown from 2005 and The Rinse from BOOM! in 2011). Phillips is quick to introduce us to the new characters that include the main character and somewhat of a slacker Donny, as well as his politically active girlfriend Dorrie. While Phillips does a nice job of giving us what we need to know about each, Dorrie is the more interesting and fascinating character, who I was hoping would take up the mantle of the Vigilante instead of Donnie. Donnie fits the character mold we’ve seen before, the unmotivated young male who is thrust into the role of a hero when tragedy strikes.  Art wise, this book looks good. Elena Casagrande, who’s art I’m also unfamiliar with made me wish I was coming back for more of this series. She uses a thicker line, plenty of blacks and isn’t afraid to use her pencil lines to cast shadows.

It would have been great to see Phillips and DC take a more opinionated and driven character like Dorrie, and have her don the mantle of a character with the history that Vigilante has.  Not only that, but the writing is structurally a bit jumbled as Phillips cuts the scenes rather quickly as he ramps up the “origin” to get to what will eventually be Donnie’s tale as the new Vigilante. The scene jumping felt rushed and none of those scenes made Donnie any more likable as a character.  Unfortunately the story just wasn’t enough to bring me back for a second issue which is a shame since I was hoping Vigilante would make an exciting return to the DCU.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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