Like many of the first issues of indie comics that I read, I hadn’t heard of Death Vigil until the week before its release. It’s written and drawn by someone called Stjepan Šejić. Let’s see what we got. Is it good?
Death Vigil #1 (Top Cow Productions)
Many years ago, Samuel Lewis died protecting some women from a robber. However, he’s given a second and very special chance from a woman called Bernadette (she’s got like a Reaper-style look to her) who wants him for a special job. Several years later, Sam is now a seasoned veteran of a group called the Death Vigil, with the codename “The Digger.” His job is essentially to exterminate and take out any demon that crosses into the normal world and stop those who summon them.
And I should know given that I have white hair.
Death Vigil sort of reminds me of Kirkman’s Outcast, in the sense of how both comics did their first issue. This is another oversized issue (a good forty or so worth of pages) that manages to tell a complete story, but also lays the foundations for the story’s universe and sets up the main focus for what our heroes will be dealing with as the story goes on. The entire issue is essentially just setup with getting all the pieces together and establishing our characters, though the final product is that the comic is a bit more on the boring side in comparison to Outcast.
This is a dialogue-heavy comic, even during the more action-oriented scenes and with that, the comic can really drag down to a crawl at points. It’s not that the dialogue is bad (at worst, it’s very heavy with clunky exposition) and there are some genuinely good moments, it’s just that it just goes overboard at points. The pacing suffers for it, the excitement drops at the wrong points, and it engages in more tell instead of show manner. The main story itself and the premise is decent here though, and it does offer enough to entice readers to perhaps stick around for a little bit.
The rest of the writing is alright. The characters are rather likeable and fun, especially the interactions between them. They also have a lot of good moments that help really define the kind of people they are, especially with moments like Sam and Bernadette talking with each other. There is some nice and rather interesting creativity shown here, like with how Sam fights his foes (it’s slightly familiar, but a good and different kind of twist on it). Honestly, it really did not wow me a lot since this isn’t one of my most favorite of genres, but I can definitely see the magical and mystical elements here being rather intriguing for fans of this type of story.
The artwork is fairly well done and not bad looking. Some of the characters look similar in the facial department like in plenty of other comics, but some of the designs and outfits they wear do help them stand out and feel more unique. The action and magical elements look decent overall, with some nice shots. The coloring is also fine as well, though I think on occasion that the colorist colored outside of the lines. The only complaint I have with the artwork is that to me, it just doesn’t stand out all that much. Nothing here really jumps out at you or feels overly impressive most of the time.
This was one of more memorable images from the book.
Is It Good?
Death Vigil #1 is a not bad comic and definitely has appeal for the right target audience, the kind who are more into a magic and sorcery theme. There’s plenty to like here with a fairly solid and well laid out first issue, likeable characters and decent artwork. It’s not for everyone, but it could be just the kind of comic you are looking for.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!