The Death Vigil is an “Ancient League of Immortal Protectors” whose job is to protect all life from Necromancers and their ghoulish friends who inhabit the Underplane. They are equipped with special weapons called veilrippers, which have some awesome powers. At one point Samuel Lewis, the Digger, uses his pickax veilripper to summon a Viking raiding ship. The summoning highlights writer Stjepan Sejic’s ability to weave comedy into an intense battle sequence when one of the Vikings exclaims the “Necromancer has a fine nose! I shall take it!”
In order to get to the fight sequence, Sejic introduces us to one of the villains, a necromancer named Jon and his girlfriend Clara. The two are having a nice, fun date but the tone becomes grim quickly when Jon recalls the death of his father and takes Clara to visit his grave. Jon sacrifices Clara, who is one of the gifted, a type of person that appears to have an ability to connect with the Underplane. Her death opens up a portal, where Jon summons what can only be described as demons to kill the Digger!
The art, also done by Sejic, in the combat sequence shows the veilrippers can also be used as weapons in their own right. Sam attempts to hack and slash his way through a morass of red root-like creatures. The fight rages on with the Vikings coming to Sam’s aid, but Jon has reinforcements of his own summoning a terrible monstrosity known as a Banshee. The Banshee has three skull heads and purple veins running out of its mouth, two massive hands with seven fingers each and the ability to sing a song that knocks our Vigil member completely across the graveyard.
Luckily, Sam has help from other members of the Vigil, Bernadette the Reaper, and Hugin, the Raven. The Raven is awe-inspiring. Sejic has an entire page dedicated to him as he easily tears apart the Banshee and feasts on its three heads. The Vigil put an end to Jon by sealing off his gift with Sam’s veilripper. Jon had some type of demonic symbol on his chest that once pierced by the veilripper closes off his connection to the Underplane and the demonic forces.
One of the best sequences is left until the end of the book, where Bernadette must close off the portal by recruiting Clara to become a Vigil member. Bernadette instructs Sam to move her away from the glowing portal in order to not scare the crap out of her. Unfortunately, he drags her in front of a statue of the grim reaper. Bernadette awakens her and Clara’s reaction is predictable but also hysterically funny because she has a massive freak out!
Sejic doesn’t leave us on a happy note, but instead portends the massive task the Death Vigil has in defending life itself.
Death Vigil #1 gives a straight up good vs. evil fight, but with a fantastic combination of humor and seriousness that will have you coming back for more. The fight between good and evil has never been more fun! Stjepan Seijc combines witty humor with a life or death battle and fantastic art to make this one of your must haves!
- Fantastic art sequences
- Awesome creature creations
- Excellent combination of humor and seriousness
- Some might not like the generic good vs evil