Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The Vigil #2 Review


Written by: Ram V
Art by: Lalit Kumar Sharma
Colors by: Rain Beredo, Lee Loughridge
Letters by: Dave Sharpe
Cover art by: Sharma
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: June 20, 2023

The Vigil #2 brings readers up to speed on the team member known as Arclight when he's sent to infiltrate an Antenna Station with a covert purpose.
Is It Good?

The Vigil #2 is an okay issue in Ram V's passion project about a team of super-powered individuals designed to stop threats around the world. As a "get to know you" type of issue, this entry works well to give readers insight into the past experiences and motivations behind the team member known as Arclight. Where the issue falters is in everything else around Arclight's past and his current mission.

When last we left the Vigil, Saya and Dodge infiltrated a hijacked cargo ship containing potentially dangerous tech. The mission helped bring readers up to speed on Saya and Dodge's powers and methods on field missions. Now, it's Arclight's turn as readers get a flashback into Arclight's past trauma, as well as a present look at his powers and how he handles infiltrating a base that's hiding more than radio antennas.

Again, all the pieces of this issue that focus on Arclight, his past, his motivations, and his talents in the field, work well. You get a good display of his electrical powers, his coolness under pressure, and his ability to improvise when faced with the unexpected.

The pieces that don't fit are everything around and separate from Arclight's mission. Ms. Saha becomes increasingly frustrated and agitated with Dr. Sankaran because the good doctor appears to have a lot of information that he's unwilling to share. Saha and Dodge are off collecting evidence from a murder scene without any setup, context, or connection to Arclight's mission. And a super-powered assassin named Vander Wall kills a man on orders from someone named Hep. The multitude of seemingly disconnected events wraps up with Dr. Sankaran teleporting (naked) to someplace called Atneon with Salvador Dali-esque shapes and beings floating in the sky.

It's all too much. When Ram V was announced for the title, there was an immediate gut reaction that the comic would be convoluted, unfocused, and existential at the expense of clarity. Unfortunately, that prediction is partly confirmed to be true. All the extra gobbledygook adjacent to Arclight's mission is confusing, frustrating, and decidedly un-fun. If Ram V had just stayed focused on Arclight with a little intrigue surrounding Dr. Sankaran's hidden agenda, this would be a much better issue, but Ram V can't help himself, and the issue suffers for it.

How's the art? It's very good. Lalit Kumar Sharma has several opportunities to flex imaginative muscles, particularly during Arclight's fight scenes, and it looks great. Visually, this is a quality comic.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Vigil #2 is a serviceable issue that helps readers get to know the team member known as Arclight. The character's past traumas and present motivations are spelled out clearly, and readers get a good look at his powers in action. Sadly, Ram V uses this issue to start up multiple, seemingly disconnected plot threads, leading to a messy, frustrating read.


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