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November 14, 2014

Top Cow Reviews: Death Vigil #5

DEATH-VIGIL_05Death Vigil #5
Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Stjepan Sejic
Artist: Stjepan Sejic
Cover: Stjepan Sejic

Stjepan Sejic continues to make Death Vigil one of the best new titles to come out in the past few months, and has taken the battle between good and evil to another level. This is yet another issue that is full of surprises as the vile Necromancers make their big push and call out the Vigil in a very big way. Sejic also sheds some light on why there has been tension between Allistor and Bernie, and how it came about.

You might not expect a book titled Death Vigil to have a strong focus on family, but that’s precisely what’s at the heart of it. In the midst of all of the dismembering, monsters, and supernatural events it’s the connection between the Vigil members that makes this title worth coming back to issue after issue. Sejic is able to weave in so many things at once as he goes from further explaining Clara’s expert ability with her Veilripper, to Allistor and Mia’s past, all while setting up this huge battle, and not one part of the issue seems like it’s crammed in. There’s a near perfect flow to how he’s moving this story, and he’s making sure the characters are the driving force. Even those who only receive smaller parts have significant roles to play in moving certain parts of the story. Sejic also doesn’t shy away from the humor in Death Vigil, which he nails every time. There isn’t one part of dialogue where there’s a joke for joke’s sake, but a natural transition into something that is going to bring a laugh. The family element is brought to the forefront because of the dialogue, and it’s believable that these people would actually give their last for one another in hopes of destroying the Necromancers.

Many fans rave about Sejic’s artwork and he’s deserving of that praise. Much like with his writing, Sejic is a strong visual storyteller and the narrative is nicely reinforced by his panels. The character interactions are visually some of the best, regardless of whether they’re just hanging out or in a fierce battle. The Clara/Sam exchange was a perfect example of how the Vigil members are more than just a team that’s been thrown together. Now, there was a panel where Sam’s arm seemed to be at a very awkward angle while drinking, and the proportions seemed a little off. It was a bit distracting from the rest, and talking with a cup to your mouth just seems odd. However, his creature designs are always something to behold, and this issue has some great ones. You can pretty much hear the “swoosh” sound as the giant Necromancer swirls in the abyss, as Sejic only teases a glimpse here and there through the fog. There’s even a nice shot of Mia in her other form which is better than in her first appearance. Sejic’s panel layouts still add that something extra to the story as he makes them just as much a part of the art as what’s inside.

Death Vigil actually makes me remember when a certain team of mutants was written quite similarly, and you actually cared about what happened to them. The Death Vigil’s family dynamic makes them stronger, and also adds another level to the entertainment of this series. The Vigil themselves are also being thrown into some unfamiliar territory, but as long as the story and art stay this great you should stick around until the end!

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net

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