Comic Review: Veil #1

Veil #1
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Toni Fejzula
Colors by Toni Fejzula
Letters by Nate Piekos
Cover by Toni Fejzula
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 5, 2014
Cover Price: $3.50

Writer Greg Rucka’s comicography reads like a wishlist of every kid who ever dreamed of creating comics. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Punisher, Spider-Man, Wolverine, the man has penned all the main eventers. Lately, Rucka has focused on his creator-owned comic Lazarus. Veil is his latest project. Rucka claims that this concept has been fermenting in his mental brewery for over 20 years. Shit, man, that’s all you had to say!

Veil #1 opens with a bizarre scene in an empty, locked subway filled with rats, pentagrams, money exchanging hands, a gun, and a crazy naked chick with amnesia. It makes no sense. Two pages into the book and my mind was already loaded with a cross-examiner’s list of questions.

The story pays homage to the Terminator flicks as the nude girl escapes the subway and roams the city’s slums. The difference is that Veil, the girl’s new name, has no apparent mission and speaks like a Dr. Seuss character. Veil is eventually taken in by Dante, a Good Samaritan who seems intent on protecting her from the rapey degenerates that wander the city’s seedy underbelly. It’s with Dante that Veil startlingly reveals a hint of her true power — and I get the feeling that there’s more to come.

Greg Rucka doesn’t reveal much about Veil’s character — hence her name. All we see in this issue is a confused, possibly psychopathic, young woman who sports some crazy hidden superpowers. Dante appears to be the helping hand that can guide Veil through her journey to discover her past. Beyond that, the issue hints at a satanic ritual that may have some bizarre connection to black rats. It’s deliberately vague, but leaves you eager to learn more.

Toni Fejzula’s beautiful and emotive artwork reveals instant character depth that’s rare for comic art. This isn’t your standard Big Two fare. The subdued painted aesthetic flavors a stark urban setting with an impending sense of desperate unease. The characters’ lively, cartoonish facial expressions mixed with the decidedly non-cartoony color palette tell a subtle duality that enhances each panel.

While I enjoyed the art style, I wasn’t initially sure whether I loved or hated Toni Fejzula’s characters’ hauntingly large eyes. These eyes aren’t the cutesy anime eyes we’ve become accustomed to over the past few decades. They’re the nightmare-inducing eyes of that creepy ass doll sitting in the corner of your grandmother’s guest bedroom. The style adds a horror feel to story that’s not yet horror-ish, which makes me wonder what direction this series will take.

I’m intrigued. Veil #1 poses a torrent of questions that simply can’t be left unanswered. The beginning feels vaguely reminiscent of a Terminator movie, but quickly takes a fascinating turn that promises a wild ride as we learn more about Veil. I’m not entirely sold on this comic, but definitely count me in for Veil #2. This series has the potential to rapidly navigate its way to the top of my monthly must-reads.

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