Dearth Vigil Volume 1 by Stjepan Šejić

Death Vigil Volume 1, compiling issues 1-8, is a fun read full of heart and action. Yes, there is nothing original here; Neil Gaiman’s Death has been transplanted wholesale into a fairly typical good vs. evil story and certainly none of the twists and turns will surprise. But the characters are engaging and the artwork well suited for the story. Once started, I never became bored.

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Story: The Death Vigil are a group of resurrected ‘heroes’ allied under a grim reaper figure named Bernadette. Each has a unique weapon used to prevent monsters from crossing over into our dimension. When a nefarious plot by necromancers threatens to summon a big bad, the group will have to use all their talents in order to thwart the summoning. But each of the group has a weakness they will have to overcome to succeed and not perish.

The story follows three main characters: Sam (the lunky love interest of Death), Clara (recently turned to the Death Vigil after being murdered by her necromancer boyfriend), and Maria (so desperate to bring her daughter back that she will work with the evil dudes). There are many smaller characters that are each interesting enough to hold interest and have their own minor storylines.

The tone is light, not heavy or horror, and an emphasis is on quirky and heart rather than dreary seriousness or introspections. The art is bright, easy to follow, and works well to forward the story. Clearly, this is done by a pro at the top of his game.

Death Vigil Volume 1 follows a defined story arc and ends on a satisfying note but with room to continue the story. Sure, there is nothing new here and the title has a lot of recycled plot lines. But a winning set of characters make up for the lack of originality. I hope to see a Volume 2 in the future. Reviewed from an advance reader cop provided by the publisher.

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