Since the very first issue of Death Vigil, I have said that this series is like anime/manga and that’s been true all the way to the end. This is a very anime ending and so if you’re familiar with the formula that Stjepan Sejic has been following then you’ll likely seen how it’s all going to go down. I know I did, but the thing with Sejic’s storytelling is that he always makes it worthwhile. The journey is always the best part of the story. Since it’s the finale I won’t say much. The first arc is wrapping up and since Sejic is going to be exclusive at Top Cow, it looks like we’ll get more Death Vigil from him in the future. In the meantime, our Primordial has been released and actually reveals itself to its “mother.” After that the Vigils are put to the task of taking down the big bad and we get to see Bernie go hardcore reaper mode.
What’s really rewarding about this final issue is that Sejic ties up every story thread that needs to be closed. He plants seeds for the next arc and gives us something scary to deal with involving one of the main characters. But otherwise, every minor story element that you may have thought would be lost in the ending are actually touched upon. There is a great scene between Sam and Bernie, but then an even better scene between James and Sam involving his Vikings. Like I said, nothing is forgotten.
There’s a balance to the finale that is just perfect. The pacing of the previous issues has always varied and been the right fit for that particular issue, but this is the right pacing for the end of the arc. The humor is balanced and placed at the right moments and you get the overwhelming sense of comradery between the different characters. They function like the family they’ve been built up to be and its incredibly rewarding. It also makes you wonder how something like the Fantastic Four manage to miss the mark so consistently.
The art is of course great. I mean have you seen Sejic’s artwork? He’s one of the best in the industry and this series in particular locked him in as one of my all-time favorites. My one and only complaint is the black dialogue boxes with yellow or red lettering. It’s hard to read no matter what, but that’s seriously the only thing and I love that he just went for it so I’m not taking anything away from him. Sejic’s facial expressions continue to be one of his strongest techniques as they add a shit-ton of personality to the story and characters.
If you haven’t read Death Vigil, then frankly you need to. This volume met with some delays due to health reasons, but it’s been an amazing journey and story. It also proves what I’ve long said, that the Japanese style of storytelling can work in American comics if blended together and that’s part of what Sejic does here. As much as I’m looking forward to Sejic’s next series Switch, I’m going to be patiently waiting for the next volume of Death Vigil, because this has become one of my favorite series.