Last month we saw a pretty big and epic showdown go down between various members of the Death Vigil and the coven of necromancers who have opposed them for several centuries now. It was something that Stjepan Sejic had been building up for a while now, and to watch it unfold was something straight out of my imagination. Or so I’d like to think, though the fact stands that if there’s one thing that Stjepan has done really well with this series, it is that he continues to surprise and amaze with each issue.
This past week’s Death Vigil #6 continues on that same path. This is a pretty big issue actually, both in terms of its page-count and also in terms of the story packed herein, which the cover makes quite plain I think. Or the direction of it in any case. The showdown results in some big changes in the status quo and we see that sometimes the good guys really get outdone by the bad guys. The twists just kept on coming in this issue and with the typical Sejic high-pace, the story leaves you gasping for air and almost crying because of what happens in the final pages.
Samuel Lewis is one of the first characters we met back in the first issue, and he has also been somewhat of a lead character ever since, alongside the newbie Vigil-member Clara. Throughout the past issues, we’ve seen lots of different things happen to both issues, and the consistency of characterisation has indeed been one of the many things that have kept me hooked on to this title. Plus I just love both Sam and Clara, not to mention the fact that the relationship between them, that of a master and apprentice so to speak, has been pretty awesome as well.
And then Stjepan writes an issue like Death Vigil #6. And he expects the readers to just move along after that and look back. Or at least, that might be what he secretly hopes happens, but won’t, obviously. Like many of the issues before, Death Vigil #6 packs one hell of an emotional wallop and every moment keeps you spellbound. There’s never any point where you wonder just what the hell is going on or what a character is doing and did that character just do something that dumb or what have you.
The narrative in this issue is fast-paced and also significant. We learn now what some of the plans of the necromancers were, and how Maria fit into all of it, and what she really wanted to with the Veilrippers. Here’s a hint: none of it was pretty. Maria’s cold and calculating mind has conjured up a real nightmare for the Death Vigil and to see her plans unfold like this, with even the necromancer Gallows commenting about her brutality and ferocity, that just leaves you cold inside. She’s a fantastic villain of course, and the final page of this issue makes that abundantly clear as well.
On the other side of things, with the heroes, we see yet another dynamic duo of Vigil members, and at the same time, we also mourn the passing of another one. The way it happens is something that I’ll remember for a good long while because it is just that significant. It has an impact on everyone in the Death Vigil, particularly Bernie, Clara, Allistor and Mia. By the time we were past that big moment, I still felt as if it couldn’t have happened, not like this, but happened it did, and the world of Death Vigil is now irrevocably changed for the worse.
Learning something about Clara helped nullify that to an extent, but only to an extent.
And the art, well, nothing to really say about the art, again, except that it is amazing and poignant. Lots of action, lots of suicidal bravery, lots of surprised and expressive faces and great body language. Seriously, at this point, there’s nothing you can really about the art except regurgitate previous stuff. I love the art, that’s all there is to it, truly. And it all comes down to that final moment, a showdown between Bernie and… someone I’d rather not spoil for those who haven’t read the issue yet.
Seriously, go an read this!