As soon as I found out that Greg Rucka was writing this book, I instantly jumped on this book to review. Now, I haven’t been into comics nearly as long as my Bastard brethren-but one of the first books I picked up when I was seriously getting into comics was Lazarus. It continues to be one of my favorite books each month, so I was definitely excited to give Veil a shot. Veil basically follows a woman (whose name we eventually learn is in fact Veil) waking up naked in a rat-infested subway and not remembering anything-who she is, where she is, or even how to talk. The first few pages are her just waking up and spewing out nonsense. For example she sees the rats and then starts basing everything she says off of how the word ‘rat’ sounds. She makes her way up to a sleazy part of town, where everyone is quite eager to see a naked woman. People obviously are making comments under their breath about it, and one man named Vincent assumes she’s a stripper. He creepily claims that he and a few of his friends will ‘take care of her,’ when another man named Dante steps in to Veil’s aid. Vincent was already mad because when he would talk to Veil, she would basically repeat what he was saying. This wasn’t intentional, it was just Veil trying to remember how to speak. Vincent took this as Veil making fun of him, and is even more furious when Dante steps in. Dante puts his coat over her and realizes that she’s lost and confused. Dante seems to connect with Veil since when he asks her name, she replies ‘Veil.’ When he asks if Veil wants to go home with him, she says yes. They walk away while Vincent furiously looks on.
Dante takes Veil back to his place and gets her clothed. He tries asking her if she was mugged, and assumes that she was raped, but she can’t answer him. The ending comes out of nowhere and I won’t spoil anything, but let’s just say Veil remembers one thing about herself.
The art by Toni Fejzula was great and fit the story perfectly. The presence of the art is strong in this issue since it was essentially driven by it. There’s not much dialogue and it’s normally one-sided with Veil either uttering back what the original speaker said, or her just blurting out nonsense. There could be a method behind the madness as to what she’s saying, but we aren’t given a whole lot to work with story-wise, which I enjoy. Greg Rucka sure isn’t spoon-feeding anything here, and to anyone who’s read Lazarus knows what I’m talking about. The art really stood out to me in the emotional sense like in Sheltered. Fejzula does an incredible job of conveying the confusion of Veil and makes the story makes us feel like we’re in her spot-not sure of anything and searching for answers.
The interactions between Dante and Veil were also made very interesting by the art. The way that they look at each other on different situations really makes you wonder what Dante’s real intentions are or perhaps he is as good a person as he leads on. I think it’s safe to say Dante is definitely attracted to Veil though, as he has trouble putting together a sentence when she’s changing in front of him. Veil tends to look at him trustingly though, so it should be interesting to see how their relationship progresses and what will become of it.
Stylistically, to me it seems like the art looks as if you’re just catching a glimpse of something which really helps with the overall mystique of the book. The first few pages are perfect examples of this as we see a lit candle around a pentagram, an up-close shot of an armed man, the wind from the subway portrayed by papers floating around, and the exchange of money to name a few. What does it all mean? I can’t wait to find out. Veil is one of the most refreshing books I’ve read in a while and proves to be one of the reasons why comics are just as a legitimate literature medium as any.
Writer: Greg Rucka Artist: Toni Fejzula Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 3/5/14