The machinations of Maria and the Necromancers take center stage as their plan to overwhelm Bernadette and the Vigil unfolds. Is it good?
Death Vigil #6 (Top Cow Productions)
Stjepan Sejic sets a foreboding tone with Death Vigil #6. The cover is bleak, portraying the gravestone of Samuel Lewis with his pickaxe and shovel replacing a traditional epitaph. He creates a sense of danger and struggle for the Vigil. They are on the defensive. The Necromancers and the monstrosity known as the Orach are wreaking havoc upon the city and its civilians. Fortunately the contest between the Vigil and the Necromancers leaves plenty of room for Sejic’s unique humor, whether it is an abrupt end to a “centuries in the waiting boast” or Bernie’s fretting over the Vigil members. Sejic really nails Bernie’s facial expressions as she berates Sam, going from concern to anger to fear all in half a page.
Sejic not only excels at close-up facial expressions, but his monster creations and battle sequences are beautiful to look at. He uses multiple camera angles to portray the battle ranging from almost below ground level looking up at the Orach and Mia (rage mode enabled) to an in your face close-up of the sushi bar.
In addition, Sejic unveils a new layer to one of the main protagonists and also introduces more of the Vigil. The two new Vigil members are quite a unique duo and although they only appear for a short bit, they make an impression. More importantly is the layer he adds to the newest member which creates a lot of mystery around what she truly is.
Towards the middle of the book, Sejic decides to have a full two page bad guy monologue detailing Maria and the Necromancers’ master plan to defeat Bernadette and the Death Vigil. It is a touch long-winded and altogether unnecessary since the plan is actually enacted on the ensuing pages.
The second half of the book is brilliant. Sejic performs some massive character development for Wulf and Maria, although it too is a tad bit winded, though Sejic recognizes this and even has Heinrich comment on it. What makes the second half so brilliant is Sejic’s discussions on loyalty, sacrifice, friendship, devotion, inner strength, and ultimately betrayal all centering around Bernie. He captures these themes through multiple sources: Sam’s internal voice and his actions, Mia’s outrage at Heinrich expressed via words and facial expressions, Bernie’s desperation and body language, and finally Heinrich’s actions and his response to Bernie’s request for aid. These sequences take the reader on an emotional rollercoaster feeling sympathy for Wulf and Maria, anger at Heinrich (thanks Mia for expressing that emotion for us!) and complete sorrow for Sam.
If you thought Sejic was going to leave you in sorrow at the end of the book, you were half right. He also adds a whole lot of fear. The light-hearted nature is nonexistent and is instead replaced by cold hard arrogance.
Is It Good?
Stjepan Sejic’s Death Vigil #6 takes the story to new heights, adding a layer of mystery surrounding Clara while also taking us on an emotional rollercoaster and leaving us with a gut-wrenching feeling of dread.
Sejic’s artwork was once again top-notch, fully depicting the emotional status of the characters while also providing excellent action sequences and an excellent monster battle portrayed from multiple camera angles. However, the middle of the story was a little dry and altogether a tad bit unnecessary since the description of the plan was exactly how it happened later on.
Death Vigil continues to deliver excellent artwork with serious confrontations and emotions broken up with Sejic’s great sense of humor.
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