Review: Vescell #8

I still don’t quite understand all of the “rules” for the world in this series, but it’s become a bit of a guilty pleasure for me to read. The plot is so complex that it can’t be summed up without becoming trapped in a run-on sentence. The characters dialog is usually exposition or at the very least three people can all sound like one; and yet I can’t stop reading it. I think a lot of it has to do with Upchurch’s art or that there’s this strange sexuality to the story. It’s not gratuitous like most comic books, but it’s not quite tasteful either as it walks a fine line. Whatever it is about this book that makes me like it, I accept it for all its faults… much like a relationship; it’s brings more happiness than anything else making it worth it. This issue has come after a bit of delay, so much so that I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one that was like, “oh yeah, that book” when they saw it this week. It’s actually a double sized issue which is both good and bad at times.

It begins in Tahiti as a little girl is crying over her dead fish. Her mother Rebecca offers her little in the way of comfort and comes across rather strange considering the situation. Soon the girl’s “aunt” Artaya arrives and the girl tells her about the fish as well. Artaya has a human response to the situation and sends the girl upstairs to take a bath and calm down. The mom and Artaya talk and it becomes clear that the mom is not normal as she brings up not having a soul.

vescell08_coverNext we cut to Mauricio’s pad as Artaya calls him. She has a business deal for him that can’t be discussed over the phone. He agrees to come help her and wakes up Machi his Fairy companion (or Shortwings as he calls her) and they get ready to leave. Once they make it to Tahiti and meet Artaya they find out about the job. Apparently the rogue K.A.T.I. unit that they helped earlier in the series has been put into the cloned body of the girl’s mother (Rebecca). Now she wants a soul so that she can love Mary (the little girl) the way she so desires. Mauricio meets with K.A.T.I. and is very reluctant to take the job. He’s still not convinced that the A.I. isn’t going to try and take over the world someday and wonders why he didn’t kill her the first time, but she offers him the location of Avery’s body. For those unfamiliar, Avery is Mauricio’s love of his life (or something) and he’s been searching for her body to bring her back to his world. Currently she’s trapped in another realm and can’t return until Mauricio finds her body.

The story goes on from there, but basically Mauricio agrees to take on the job and brings Machi, Artaya and Vega along with him. They end up going to the realm that Avery is in to get the soul and the living shadow that they need to make K.A.T.I. whole, but end up running into trouble… and also Avery. Mauricio and her have a bit of a falling out, but the events aren’t wrapped up 100% in this issue.

The good thing about the double sized issue was the amount of content. The bad thing about it was that because it was two issues in one, the issue doesn’t end smoothly. Had it been split in two it still would have been rough, but not as noticeable. A lot happens in the story and it builds and builds towards the ending and then just kind of stops. The good and possibly the bad thing is that it’s being continued in a graphic novel. That’s good because again the story is just too big and only getting bigger, but bad because I have no idea when that will be meaning the cliff hanger was frustrating. I’m guessing that’s why it was a double issue to hold fans over until the graphic novel is released.

I’ve never understood Mauricio and Avery’s relationship and maybe it’s because I missed out on the first few issues. Mauricio seems to get all sorts of tail and even shares a bed with Machi (who doesn’t mind him sleeping with other women either). There’s an entire scene where he tries to talk Vega into the bedroom with Machi and Artaya in the room and no one seems to care. But then when he sees Avery she calls him the perfect man and he’s upset about her being with another man/monster thing. Either they have a very open relationship or some strange agreement worked out… or the future is just like that I guess. It doesn’t bother me and it definitely does not weaken the story, but every time it’s brought up I’m forced to think about it and I don’t know if it’s really worth having anymore.

The writing is good, but it definitely could have been tighter. The ending is one thing, but the dialog tends to get a bit chatty. Also with the exception of K.A.T.I., all of the women sound like the same character when they’re together which lessens their unique personalities for sure. Again though, it’s a guilty pleasure and when the characters are rambling on and on, I’m completely entranced with their conversation. For its minor faults, that’s quite the accomplishment.

I love the art and it’s definitely supports the hell out of the story. The last few pages did come across a bit rushed, but after reading so many high quality pages I think maybe it was just my brain unable to handle the awesomeness. Also the fact that there were four artists/colorists on the book is pretty amazing considering how smooth the transition is. I wish more comic books were colored in the style of this series because it gives it a realistic and amazing look. It’s gorgeous just buy it.

With Upchurch working on Rat Queens (which I’m looking forward to), I’m not sure who will be the artist on the graphic novel, but I’m looking forward to it either way. This book keeps you coming back for more and leaves you curious as to how the plot will develop. The world is complex, but it’s so interesting that it’s worth being lost in sometimes. A good double sized issue is hard to come by, so even if this is your first experience with Vescell it’s well worth it.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Enrique Carrion Artists: John “Roc” Upchurch, Lorenzo Nuti, Dave Acosta and Chris Pyrate Publisher: Image Comics Price: $4.99 Release Date: 5/15/13