Hoo doggie! I honestly enjoyed this more then what I thought I would considering my near lack of exposure to 2000 AD titles! I don’t know when more of this amazing title is coming out but by God I can’t wait for it as Dan Abnett does an AMAZING job with the story here. From minor troubles between various factions to whether or not Lawson is really Lawson to troubling signs of war making its return to wild action while protecting a witness, this book has got it all! Hell, I didn’t even want to stop reading as it was so damned good! That kind of feeling when reading a comic is a great one to have. I enjoyed Phil Winslade’s art for this and the fact that Deputy Nerys had something o
f a plus size body of a sorts was nice to see in this. Though I do feel this GN could have benefitted with having color added to it. Make it come even more alive in a sense but that’s just my view and only complaint on the GN. And if this ever got the film treatment, I’d be happy as Hell about it. The dialogue Dan has here on this backwater planet actually fits so well and I love it. Marshal Lawson truly is the kinda gal you DON’T want pissed at you as she’s likely to hit you over the head as she is in shooting you.
Heck, makes me wonder what a meeting would be like between her and the Sheriff of Copperhead from Image! Them two would probably get along damned well much to the chagrin of certain individuals. The relationship between Lawson and Nerys is an interesting one right from their first meeting and seeing it develop through the course of the story was really great. Especially as Nerys herself grows into a far more confident person as time goes on thanks to Lawson, Rondo, former Marshal Hetch, and Kill-A-Man-Jaroo the Gorilla. Whom I definitely didn’t see becoming more then just a minor character who only appears once or twice. Are there Alien Gorillas in the world of Dredd or this big fella an experiment of some kind? (Or one the Muties that are mentioned in this?) Either way, him and Rondo are definitely two characters who end up growing on you despite their less then pleasant introductions. Though I love the fact Lawson is in no way intimidated by his large size as she talks with him in their first interactions at the Saloon she goes too as soon as she gets to the planet. Though I find it a little ridiculous that a certain cuss word is considered a crime. Sure, its offensive but to be labeled a crime? That’s a little much to me.
Hetch, who’s the former Marshal of Badrock and a PSI-Judge before going nuts, is pretty much just one of those characters you think is actually nuts despite his mind readling abilities. But Dan certainly manages to surprise as the story goes on where this guy is concerned. Who may even have readers questioning Lawson’s actual identity a time or two for that matter. Something I’m damned curious about by the way! And while you might not be entirely sure about Lawson, you can pretty much be sure not to trust Aldis Brotherly at all just by seeing some of his facial expressions. Well, that and the fact he’s part of a huge corporation that doesn’t seem to answer to no one but themselves. Which is certainly not a good thing later on when things get hot and wild for Lawson and friends! Now as much as I would love to keep going on and on about this book, I don’t want to do that and potentially ruin things for readers. Well, those who haven’t read this in some way prior to it becoming a trade anyway. But a few questions I have to ask are… is Lawson really Lawson? Or is there really something to what Hetch is saying? Will war come again? Will our beloved Marshal have to deal with another fake Lawson? Which I’m sure would be a ton of fun as the first time!
And last but not least, will a certain corporation win in the end or will they be just as unlucky like Rondo when it comes to his interests in Lawson? Questions I look forward to seeing get answered in the future! So bring it on AD and Dan! So be ready for June 15th folks! Or you just might miss out on this awesome read!
Lawless: Welcome To Badrock
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Phil Winslade
Letters by: Ellie De Ville
Reviewer: Rob Wrecks
Summary: The first collection of 2000 AD’s latest breakout success set in the Judge Dredd universe, with an incredible new female Judge. The backwater planet of 43 Rega has spent five years recovering from an invasion of aliens known as the Zhind. isolated and a hotbed for trouble makers, Badrock is an colony township desperate for a strong law enforcer to take charge. Enter Colonial. Marshal Meta Lawson. Tough, surly and determined, Lawson seems to be ideal for the role. But is this law-woman exactly who she claims to be?
Summary: Gifted? Join the Death Vigil in their ongoing war against the ever-growing power of the Primordial Enemy! The only catch is you have to die first. Become a corporeal immortal Death Knight, and obtain reality-altering weaponry in the neverending battle between Good and Evil.
Death Vigil was a series recommended to me by a friend based off of his love for Sejic’s art. When I started reading it I was very turned on by the art, by rather intrigued by the story as well (he also loved the story, by the way, it wasn’t just an art thing). The characters had a lot of charm and presence to them, and it never moved in a way that I imagined it was going to.
I loved that. But I was also really thrown off by it at first. In just the first issue I was faced with characters of such personality, none of them conforming to archetypes that I’m used to in comics. That’s why I find it important to point out that I am not complaining about their personalities, a lesser writer would’ve made them conform to archetypes so that writing becomes easier.
Sejic however imbues such charisma, and as I mentioned before charm, into each and every one of his characters that they all gush off the page as feeling real and fun. Even when faced with dire consequences. I keep speaking of his characters, but who are they?
Well, they’re the aforementioned Death Vigil led by The Reaper, a beautiful woman with white hair, a scythe and a blue cloak who seems to be as old as the very primordial beings they’re fighting. Other characters include, but are not limited to, Samuel Lewis “The Digger” and Clara Jenkins. Those two are more or less our main two characters. But everyone in this book, from the good guys to the bad guys get plenty of page time and play an important part in the story in some way. No character feels completely without worth in this story and that’s a very good thing.
Samuel and Clara are out entry level characters, as we actively get to see how they become members of the Death Vigil and follow their journeys to fully understand what exactly it’s like to be a member of this otherworldly task force. When speaking of Clara, though I don’t want to ruin it there is a lot about her character still left untold by the end of the story so that Sejic can return with a Death Vigil 2, something he’s promised to do but has yet to follow up on.
Their enemies control the “Primordial beings” otherworldly creatures beyond even the realm of death that are 100% Lovecraftian inspired creatures. Not that that’s a bad thing, I’m a full on sucker for Lovecraftian lore and creatures. The bad guys, as I mentioned earlier all get plenty of screentime of their own. We get the sense that they’re well rounded individuals, and their reasons for doing what they do are sound and make sense.
This is a well-rounded, near perfect comic. And I don’t say that lightly. Everyone is likeable to some capacity. Everyone feels important. Everyone gets page time and almost everyone gets an arc. And Sejic’s art is stunningly painted.
Bringing it back around to how I began this review about the art, what finally pushes Death Vigil well past the great to the amazing is not just the story but also Sejic’s art. Which there is not even close to anything like it in comics currently. It’s a style all his own which seems painted, and is also incredibly kinetic.
This is very vibrant story that bleeds action and humor just in the art alone. Even if you’re reading this without the text the very basic idea of what is going on at any given time is conveyed seamlessly and poetically into the pages so that you don’t necessarily need the text to tell you what’s going on. I love that.
I love this book. I intentionally attempted to keep this review spoiler free so that you can go into it blind and come out fully illuminated. You don’t want me to ruin Death Vigil for you. It’s too good of an experience. Please, go read it. I highly recommend it. Go in for the art, stay for the story. Or vice versa. That’s how a good comic is supposed to work, and Death Vigil near perfectly marries the two mediums of show and tell. Seriously, go read it.
Final Score: 5 Primordial Death Vigils out of 5
Reviewer: Steven Leitman
Summary: When Trans Atmos Shuttle 34 disappears into a wormhole, its pilot and passengers are launched into an adventure of gigantic proportions. Lost in an oversized parallel universe, the group must put aside their differences and unite to survive a hostile environment. But the biggest threat they’ll face is the one that hitched a ride on Shuttle 34.
This is the second book from Vault that I’m reading and reviewing and I have to say kudos to them for creating some great reads! For me this is like a slice of my childhood because it reminds me of the Land of Giants television show, which I only saw in reruns mind you, only made for a modern audience. To say that I’m surprised and impressed would be kind of an understatement because this is smartly written, interesting and has some great interior artwork.
The opening here is fantastic and I love Cee, from the moment we see her sitting in her chair getting ready to drive the shuttle bus, which by the way is an actual flying shuttle style bus. Taking public transportation to a whole new level! The futuristic world they come is great and as we see as this issue goes along they’ve got a number of types of beings there. Alongside some very familiar characterisation of the people we see on board the shuttle bus.
Actually the characterisation is pretty spectacular and I am enjoying the chance to get to know these folks. Cee is by far my favourite but that could change. There’s one character that will grab your attention straight away and then along with a few others things quickly spiral out of control as they all come to realize just what happened to them. I like that they don’t really talk about what happened and kind of accept that it did because of the evidence they see all around them. Circumstances being what they are they really don’t have a lot of time to question things and that will come with time.
The interior artwork here is fantastic! The way perspective as it’s being used is smart and well thought out not to mention executed. I really like the attention to detail here as the people look like ordinary people and distinctly individual. The utilisation of page layouts through angles, perspective and backgrounds really help tell the story in ways it needs to be this successful.
This is imaginative, fun, interesting and all sorts of crazy cool. There are moments that make you think of classic stories from Land of Giants to the Incredible Shrinking Man that are incorporated into this that give the feeling of the familiar and nostalgia. Unless of course you’re too young to have been introduced to those then it’s completely new. There’s a freshness to this that I wasn’t expecting and as a whole this is something I could get excited over.
This is why I read small press companies because the better stories coming out today don’t come from the “big” names so it’s time unlock what’s in the Vault!