After a bit of a hiatus, Vescell returns and proves once again why it’s a breath of fresh air amongst plenty of books that are too much alike. This double sized issue is packed with everything we’ve come to enjoy about this series, while Carrion also adds some new elements to the equation.
K.A.T.I., who is in the cloned body of Mary’s mother, has a desire to be more human in order to effectively connect with the child. In order to do this on a more natural level she’ll need a soul. This poses a problem, because asking Mauricio for help goes against his core beliefs when it comes to A.I.’s and his job at Vescell. However, after some convincing from friends along with the possibility of rescuing the woman he loves, Mauricio agrees and the quest begins. Though traveling to the Banerealm comes with its own set of dangers, and this group just might not survive the trip.
Carrion delivers quite an extensive narrative in this double sized issue, and that’s saying a lot considering the amount of story he was giving readers in the regular sized issues. He effectively wraps up what happens to Mary’s father, which was gruesome and just cool to look at thanks to Upchurch’s artwork. The main story is kept fun and enjoyable mainly due to the great supporting characters and their dialog. Everyone plays their role well thanks to Carrion, who is able to maintain a sense of consistency regardless of how many characters he’s juggling. This helps make several of the smaller character moments stand out and fun to read. Though it was a bit confusing to see the double standard that Mauricio put on Avery after seeing her out on her “date.” Let’s face it, he’s had more action than James Bond, Shaft, and most NBA players in the past few issues of this title, and to get upset at Avery seems a bit odd. Also, as good as the narrative is, there are certain points in the story where I wish there was a bit less dialog and the artist was left to visually tell the story. Carrion is a strong enough writer and knows how to convey what’s needed to move the story that he doesn’t need to give you everything all at once. Allowing the artist to give a bit more would give a whole new rhythm to the story itself, and that’s not a bad thing.
As far as the art chores go this issue was split between three artists. John Upchurch, who has been on board since the first issue, starts this one off with his trademark style. Admittedly I’m a bit biased because he’s been here since issue one and I’m used to the way he uses his visuals to sync with Carrion’s dialog. So when the art style changes it’s a bit of a shift in the mood and feel in the story. Especially when the styles are so different, though once the initial shift is over you’re right back in and enjoying the story once again.
If at all possible, go and pick up the previous issues as this isn’t a safe jumping on point by any means. I’ll also add that because of the long gap between issues, the readers could have benefited from having a recap page just to catch up on events that got us here. Vescell readers are informed that things will continue in trade paperback form at the end, so now all we have to do is be patient and wait. This is the hard part, because when you finally get a title that delivers that “something different” you’ve been craving it’s difficult not knowing when you’ll get to read it again.