Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Vigilante: Southland #3 Review and **SPOILERS**



What’s Happenin’? No Seriously, What is Happening Here

Writer: Cary Phillips
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Additional Inks: Moritat
Colors: Giulia Brusco
Letters: Todd Klein
Cover: Mitch Gerads
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: December 28, 2016

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Back to South Los Angeles—Southland, as I understand it is called—and I couldn’t be more ready because I spent several long hours in a rental car playing Backspin in Sirius XM radio for the past few days. And you know what that means: plenty of NWA, Dr. Dre, and DJ Quik to keep my South Central Los Angeles juices flowing. So if I happen to call you a “mark-ass buster” or ask “what set you claimin’,” I hope you will forgive me. I also hope the lord will forgive me for the comic book I am about to review. It’s Vigilante: Southland #3, and you can read all about it below!


Explain It!

I’m aware that internet comic book reviewers are among the most envied in our society. Sure, it looks like a lot of fun, what with the fame, the glamor, the heaps of free designer drugs that have yet to hit the street. But there’s actual work behind it, and never is that work more difficult and unpleasant than when reviewing a comic book like Vigilante: Southland. The problem here is that the story itself is told so poorly that I struggle to understand it, much less give it any kind of recap or score. I’m not saying the story is bad, but that the fundamentals of comic book plotting and storytelling have not been effectively applied. This is like one of those early 1990s Image books, all flash and no substance, except that there isn’t a ton of flash in Vigilante: Southland either.

But I will do my best: so Donny is in his Vigilante get-up fighting with people, just like in the beginning of every issue, except this time it’s happening in the present. I think. Donny gets away and dives from a long cliff into the water, while police helicopters fly above shooting wildly into the water. Donny escapes through a drain pipe, just as some white guy somewhere is poisoned by a hooker. This brings a guy with a crowbar named Percy that does not look at all familiar to me, and he is able to extract the name Spectros from the poisoned guy or the hooker, I’m not sure which. This information is relayed to Donny, just waking up safe and sound somewhere that couldn’t be his apartment because that blew up at the end of the first issue. Cut to the Del Pueblo college campus, where two totally unknown people talk about Donny because there’s an article about Vigilante in the newspaper. Then that lawyer who ran naked through Koreatown, which I don’t really remember happening, is given some time off, so he drives home but his brakes are cut and he’s in a fatal car accident.

Then there’s a page of that dominatrix from last issue, she’s dominating a lady whose identity we don’t know. Then we’re at Miguel’s gymnasium, which is probably where Donny is staying, and Donny and Miguel yell at each other. Dorrie’s mother walks in and tells them to knock it off, so they research an ID number off one of the boats Donny saw whenever it was that he saw a bunch of boats. He pokes around the boat that night in his Vigilante garb and fends off some thug, then takes off on his bike but falls sleep while riding and skids into a junkyard with a couple of slavering junkyard dogs inside. The end.

I mean, this is really painful. What a complete mess. Moritat inks a few pages, which makes the art look a little nicer, but the problem with this book is not the gritty, dense artwork, but the storytelling. It just sucks. This thing needs to go back to the drawing board. Characters need to be named at least once every issue if you want the reader to know who they are. Characters should not change their looks in the same issue or within a story arc, unless that is dictated by continuity. Captions can be used to explain times, places, and internal monologue. There’s just so much wrong with this comic book. It’s a chore to read.

Bits and Pieces:

This book is not good. Do not read.

2/10
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