Published on October 8th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Death Vigil #4 – Comic Review
Hopefully you are ready for a comic packed to the brim with action and bursting with story and character development and coated in spiky tendrils that can only be described as ‘icky’.
There is a sense that a game of chess is being played by an, as yet, unseen couple. The pieces on the board are currently being positioned for an end game but there isn’t a clear advantage to either team. The ‘black’ have employed a full frontal assault, distracting the ‘white’ away from their true movements involving the Codex of Dreamers. Whereas Bernie seems to have a hidden knowledge and, with Clara on the team, a big counter attack is surely on the horizon.
Stjepan Sejic has crafted a host of characters to play with and over the first four issues he has moved many of them into the playing field. But he hasn’t neglected his core characters and uses a small amount of space to flesh out their roles. Sam and Clara are pushed further and further forward into the game as Clara discovers what her powers can really do and Sam starts to feel his position slip. He himself states that Clara has already surpassed him within the Vigil.
However the most interesting section of this issue lies within the bookends and Marie’s double dealings. At the moment all the power seems to rest with her and Sejic makes the reader realise this by making her such a bold and striking figure who owns each panel she is in.
Whatever nasty deed she has planned for the Scythe are being played close to her chest but she has so far being portrayed as a self reliant and somewhat devious individual.
Sejic has recently said that Death Vigil is the first part of a planned trilogy but it will also be a self contained story, the reader would not need to read the future arcs to get a full story. This means that a showdown is coming and coming fairly soon, however I expect he has a few shock moves to make before that moment is reached.
Death Vigil is an enthralling story full of magic and mayhem and the cast of characters are pleasantly diverse, albeit mostly dead. The central figure, Sam, experienced adjustment issues when he first died and these have become dominant again as he is contrasted against the carefree Clara, who in turn has taken to this afterlife like a duck to water. The disillusionment of the main character has been growing over the last few months and the narrative as a whole reflects this. Things are starting to spiral out of control, the fight is slipping out of the Vigil’s hands and they don’t have a real fix on what’s going on. This is Sam’s mental state played out across the world. As he feels he is losing his place in the Vigil, so too the Vigil are losing their foot hold in the fight against darkness.
This mirroring of personal attitudes and World events creates a more empowering drama for the narrative as the reader finds they are unable to separate the character from the story. You can’t root for one without rooting for the other.
With the situation being so bleak the gap between issues becomes increasingly more frustrating. This is a comic that initiates the reader into its club and bonds them emotionally to the other, in this case fictional, members. Sejic has created a fiction that encourages fans to become engrossed in the world, giving them sneaky peeks at elements on the fringes of his creation but not elaborating too much. This, along with the striking art work, keeps the reader excited about the comic and keeps you coming back month after month.
Title: Death Vigil
Writer/Artist: Stjepan Sejic