Death Vigil #2 (Comics Review)

Stjepan Sejic is one of the best artists in the business, that’s for sure. Undeniable. But the question is, is he also a good writer? That’s what last year’s Ravine and this year’s Death Vigil, not to mention his fun series Twitch (Teen Witchblade) has been trying to answer. While my first run-in with Ravine wasn’t so good, Death Vigil #1 took me by surprise last year and set a pretty high standard where comedy supernatural horror is concerned. Stejpan both wrote and drew the comic and it proved to be one of the absolute best issues that I’ve read all year and the start of something great.

Released this past week, Death Vigil #2 continues from where the first one left off and we meet up with Bernie, Sam and Clara attempt to wind-down after the events of the first issue, which was almost twice the length of a regular issue at that! Previously, we saw a few glimpses of Sam’s previous life, before he died and became a member of the Death Vigil, not to mention Clara’s own origin as a member, so this time Stjepan focuses on the second half of that tale. We see exactly how Sam finally joined and how he and Bernie convince Clara as well. It was a pretty damn good issue, both in terms of the story and the art.

When I got done reading Death Vigil #1 last month, I wondered whether Stjepan would be able to deliver as handsomely on the second issue. After all, I scored the first issue 10/10, which really doesn’t happen that often for me, no matter that the writer/artist is among my favourites in the industry. So yeah, going into Death Vigil #2, the fear and expectation were certainly there, because I wanted this issue to be as good as its predecessor and you know what? It totally is!

In this issue, we get lots of background on how Sam joined the Death Vigil and those flashbacks are paired with Clara’s own initiation into the team. Stjepan goes all-out with the humour and the drama of it all, establishing an easy camaraderie between Sam and Bernie, Sam and Clara, Clara and Bernie. That’s what I loved the most about this issue, how easy the interactions are between these three characters, and more than that, we also get to see three new members of the Vigil, all of whom rocked in their brief appearances. There’s Grace Willow who manages Death Vigil HQ and appears to be Bernie’s confidante. And then there are James and Marlene who seem to operate as a team more often than not and we also get to see one of their missions.

So really, Stjepan builds up his cast in this issue and also provides a ton of information on the mythology and purpose of the Death Vigil. And through it all, one constant is that Bernadette aka the Grim Reaper aka Bernie is the most awesome Death character in comics. Stjepan is easily able to balance her humours and in her he has created a character unlike any other that I’ve read to date, and her interactions with Sam, Clara and Grace are proof of how three-dimensional and well-rounded she is.

With Sam and Clara themselves, seeing the parallels of their entry into the Death Vigil proves to be a very interesting and fun experience, especially given all the jokes that are peppered all throughout. And the same goes for James and Marlene as well, who seem to be a rock-solid team on their own, not to mention that they are both incredibly kick-ass and easy-going as well.

How the hell did Stjepan do all of this!?

With regards to the art, Stjepan is the sole artist on this comic, and boy, is his work astounding. The best moments are Bernie’s various expressions and the incredible scene where James gives Clara a visual demonstration on the purpose and reason for the Death Vigil. The sheer joy of the story and dialogue is always present in the art, and that’s really the long and short of it. Honest. Stjepan isn’t one of the absolute best for no reason and this comic is easy proof of that. His monster designs in this issue are evocative and he really makes all the details stand out too, which is rather impressive.

Holy cow, this issue was awesome. When can I get more?

Rating: 10/10

More Death Vigil: #1.

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Posted on August 19, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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