The Vigil #2 review

The Vigil is back this month for more mystery and intrigue! I thought the first issue was a pretty solid start but felt a little lacking in characterization for the team. Can part two remedy this problem while maintaining what was already working? Let’s see!

I did enjoy this issue. Unfortunately, it also makes what could be a fatal error. The script here focuses almost entirely on Arclight. Granted, he needed a spotlight at some point (after doing nothing in issue one) but it results in the rest of the team getting no development. Assuming this series does come to an end after issue six, I can’t help but worry that there won’t be enough room to develop these characters effectively. There are only four issues left and as of right now, all we have to work with are introductions. I’d like to see these folks have a chance to play off each other and have distinct character arcs. At this point, I don’t see that happening. In fact, I don’t know how most of these characters could have a chance at an arc. This issue does take a step to make the mission personal for Arclight but for the rest of the team, this is just another day on the job. To me, a cool plot can make a story enjoyable but it’s the character work that makes it memorable. If the story doesn’t stick with people, I don’t know how this team is destined for anything but obscurity. Ultimately, this problem boils down to too many characters in too short a series, because I know without a doubt Ram V is very capable of strong character development. I’m not giving up hope yet, but I can’t say I’m optimistic.

That (rather significant) complaint aside, there was a lot to like here. We get a little more of the black-eyed killer from issue one, identified as Mr. Wall, including some hints at his power set. Again, it’s an interesting concept that I hope to see fleshed out. There are also some great action scenes here that showcase the best art in the issue.

The standout panel for me is this splash page showing Arclight’s powers.

While the rendering is merely good, what I like is that it very clearly conveys the scope of the character’s abilities and looks suitably impressive to match. It also helps that the script arrives at this scene rather cleverly. Arclight asks his newfound friend (a child with weather manipulation abilities) to make it rain and uses the water as a conductor, making his electricity more effective. I always enjoy it when characters use their brains in addition to brute strength.

Elsewhere in the issue, the art remains simply good. While I have to admit I would like to see something more visually exceptional from this series, I see the value in art that is competent and clear.

There isn’t anything wrong with this, it just gets the job done. Sometimes that’s all a series requires to be effective. As an aside, I am curious whether a different colorist would suit the linework better but that’s pure conjecture.

Recommended if…

  • You’d like to support original characters at DC comics
  • A strong plot is more important than character development to you
  • Workmanlike art isn’t a turnoff


I don’t think this series is as good as it could (or maybe should) be but that isn’t to say it’s bad. The potential just needs to be realized. That primarily means a stronger focus on character going forward. I hope that can happen because if it does, we could have something really special on our hands here. For now, I recommend it but there are other DC books that may be better worth your time if you’re on a budget.

Score: 7.5/10

DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.