Friday, September 22, 2023

The Vigil #5 Review


Written by: Ram V
Art by: Sid Kotian, Dev Pramanik
Colors by: Rain Beredo
Letters by: Dave Sharpe
Cover art by: Sumit Kumar
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: September 19, 2023

The Vigil #5 lays all the cards on the table when Dr. Sankaran recounts how the members came to exist after an experiment during WWII went terribly wrong.
Is The Vigil #5 Good?

You have to hand it to RamV. He gets a lot of heat for wasting time with vagueries and not getting to the point until he doesn't have any issues left in a run. In The Vigil #5, Ram V learns at least one lesson by explaining everything. You may not like the answers, and you could argue that waiting until issue #5 leaves little room in the finale next month to tell the story that should have been told, but answers are better than no answers.

When last we left The Vigil, they narrowly defeated a meta who doesn't feel pain and can regenerate limbs named Dynamo. Dr. Sankaran made the bombshell announcement after the fight that Dynamo was meant to be part of The Vigil since the Dr. created him,,, as he did everyone else on the team (Wha...?!?).

Now, Dr. Sankaran explains it all. The Dr was part of a research team involved in the infamous Philadelphia Experiment during WWII. During the experiment, Sankaran, Dr. Maddison Cypris, and Dr. Feistus Hep were transported to an alternate realm where ideas and thoughts could be made real. Apparently, arriving in the idea realm was Hep's plan all along, and Sankaran was an unintended stowaway.

As time passed, the three learned to hone the powers of ideas and figured out how to project their powers of creation to Earth. Small changes that manifested invention changed the course of human development, but any attempts at big changes wouldn't hold. Eventually, Dr. Hep's desire to evolve humanity turned into megalomania, causing Sankaran and Cypris to team up to stop Hep. As a failsafe, Sankaran "imagined" members of the Vigil to act as a countermeasure to Hep's plans to reshape humanity against its will.

If you've been following Ram V's career over the last few years, the concept of ideas made manifest is becoming a predictable theme in his stories. In titles like Swamp Thing, the concept fails miserably. Here, it works if you excuse some pretty massive plotholes.

What's great about The Vigil #5? Answers are a good thing, and you get plenty of them. The team's origin is certainly original, and the possibilities for reality-ending conflicts are huge. The seed of a great mythology, that isn't typical superhero fare, is present.

What's not so great about The Vigil #5? The obvious, simplest answer is usually the correct one - If Hep went off his rocker and fancied himself a god, why not simply kill or permanently incapacitate Hep? At the very least, knock Hep out and drag him back to Earth where he would have no more power. Ram V's insistence on pursuing the "ideas made real" concept ultimately falls apart when he ignores covering the basics.

Overall, The Vigil #5 is one of the better issues in the series because now you can understand what's happening. Unfortunately, Ram V's poor pacing leaves almost no time to wrap things up, and his insistence on pursuing a concept leaves basic plotholes that are too big to ignore.

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

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Bits and Pieces:

The Vigil #5 finally gets around to providing answers about the team's origins and setting the stakes for Dr. Hep's plans. Unfortunately, the answers come too late in the run to build on them, and Ram V's dogmatic pursuit of a particular story concept leads to basic plotholes.


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