November 28, 2011

Image Reviews: Vescell #4

Vescell #4
Publisher: Image
Writer: Enrique Carrion
Artist: John “Roc” Upchurch
Cover: John “Roc” Upchurch

The last three issues of Vescell have been pretty intense, and from the looks of this cover here, things aren’t slowing down one bit. That’s superstar Chantal who is tired of her fame and what it’s cost her over the years. Her brother/manager doesn’t want her to give it up, but sees his opportunity to have her life during a drug overdose. Because there’s nothing like living the rest of your life in the body of your sister, right? After seizing the moment, he’s got what he’s wanted, but it seems as if Vescell didn’t do the V-Trans by the book. Four murders later this has become Agent Barrino’s problem since the patient may not have been too stable at the time of the mind transfer. This would be an easy assignment, but Lieutenant Vega makes an appearance because she’s got other plans in store for the company, and if Barrino won’t cooperate then she’ll have to kick his ass.

You would think that I’d be used to the mind blowing stories of Vescell by now, but the creative team keeps throwing new things in at every turn. From the beginning of this issue we’re dropped in the midst of one of the most dysfunctional characters that we’ve seen in this series. Carrion doesn’t hold back on how demented and unstable some of his characters can be, which could be viewed as over the top, but he manages to keep it level. The beauty is in the flaw, which helps to keep this fantasy/detective/drama/sci-fi title very well grounded. There are also several adult situations that are handled with the maturity and dark comedy that makes it a natural part of the story, and not just thrown in there for kicks. There is still plenty of dialog that makes this feel like a mini graphic novel, and though there were a couple of panels that were a bit too dense for my tastes, there were still gems thrown in. This issue in particular did slow down on the action a bit, as Carrion dealt with a smaller cast and worked his magic with the drama and characterization. We didn’t get much in terms of action until towards the end, which was well worth the wait. Plus, you can’t have Lieutenant Vega show up and someone NOT catch a beat down. There’s also the satisfaction so far that each issue has pretty much been a self-contained story, but Carrion connects each one to further the overall plot of Vescell.

As to be expected, “Roc’s” pretty awesome artwork helps carry this series. There’s not much more I can say about it that hasn’t been said for the past issues either. He’s putting in a lot of work since Vescell exceeds the regular 22 page count of most books for its price range. The amount of panels here is also crazy, but he continues to pace and frame each one to help the flow of Carrion’s story that you barely even notice. Though a few more splash pages here and there would be cool, only because I know he’ll make them look great. The only sequence that was a bit off to me was during the murder. I couldn’t clearly see how the victim was killed, so I’m just going to assume he was $#@!ed to death. Yeah, it was one of those scenes!

Vescell is probably one of the best titles that you’re not reading right now, and that’s a damn shame. Carrion is hitting you with more styles than a Shaolin kung fu master, and Roc’s visuals capture it all perfectly, so just know your $2.99 will be well spent here. The fact that this creative team would even go beyond the norm to give the readers more says a lot about them and their belief in the project. So, do yourself a favor and step outside of your comfort zone and check out Vescell.

Infinite Speech




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