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Friday, August 10, 2018

THE VIGILANT, - spoiler free review

In shops this coming Wednesday (15th August) is the long-awaited issue of The Vigilant, Rebellion's one-off special that teams up several classic characters from past UK comics in an all-new story. The title echoes the type of classic comic of the 1960s (Victor, Valiant, etc) and also works as the name of the team. Good choice! The comic will be available in comic shops, - and newsagents too I believe. 

Although the story in this issue is self-contained, it's evident that it could lead in to a sequel, or perhaps even on ongoing title. (Or at the very least, maybe as a new series in 2000AD.) Simon Furman's story is dynamic and moves along at a fast pace but I do wonder if there are perhaps too many characters introduced at once for readers to adjust to and care about. It's a busy comic with a lot going on! Might it have been better to start off focusing on one or two heroes instead of presenting readers with a whole team and their adversaries? Audience reaction will tell soon enough. 

Most of the characters have been updated, such as Pete from Pete's Pocket Army and The Leopard From Lime Street , - now wearing a coat for some reason (wouldn't that get in the way of his gymnastic-type abilities?). The new Thunderbolt the Avenger is a woman, which may annoy misogynists (good!) and there's a new character, Yao. 

It was great to see Adam Eterno back in action; one of my favourite characters on the 1970s. I was less enamoured to see the Steel Commando included (who I always found dull and tedious back when he was in Thunder comic) BUT the way he was handled here was superb and made me appreciate the character for the first time. There are a few unannounced old characters who appear too, but I'll avoid spoiling those surprises. 

Simon Coleby's art has a good edge to it that suits this modernisation of the classic characters. It looks both contemporary and traditional, so a good choice to illustrate this saga. 

I was expecting this comic to only feature a full-length story so it was a nice surprise that there are also back up stories that focus on three of the team members. Each story ties into the main feature. 

I really wish The Vigilant well, and hope that we'll see it return as another special, mini-series, or ongoing title. 

Here's a few preview pages and the PR...

UK and DIGITAL: 15th August 2018 £2.75
NORTH AMERICA: 15th September 2018 $6.75

The Vigilant: Maelstrom
When the evil forces of Von Hoffman and Dr Mesmer team up and pluck the immortal Adam Eterno from the winds of time, all of reality is under threat! Only The Vigilant; a mighty team composed of super-beings, warlocks, warriors and monsters stand between us and total chaos! Join The Leopard from Lime Street, Steel Commando, Dr. Sin, Pete’s Pocket Army, Blake Edmonds, Yāo and Thunderbolt the Avenger on their premiere adventure. The Rebellion-verse Begins here!

YAO:The Demon Touched "Home"?
Following the death of her parents at the hands of demons, Yao searches the shadows, hunting creatures of the night and hoping to find those responsible. An injury she sustained during that terrible event has embued her with the power to pluck a vast array of unworldy weapons from another dimension, known as 'The Other Place.

Death Wish: Kids Rule!
Once upon a time Blake Edmonds had it all – fame, money, looks... and then the world-famous F1 driver suffered a terrible accident which left him hideously disfigured. After fashioning a mask to hide his terrible visage, Edmonds became a daredevil stuntman, flirting with death on a regular basis.

Steel Commando:In Between Wars

Developed by British scientists in WW2, the Steel Commando became a thorn in the side of the Axis powers. Due to a programming glitch he would only take orders from a lazy private named Ernie Bates. Now he follows the orders of Doctor Sin, who recently reactivated him for The Vigilant.

THE VIGILANT: MAELSTROM by Simon Furman (w) Simon Coleby (a) Simon Bowland (l)
YAO: THE DEMON TOUCHED "HOME"? by Bruce Leslie (w) DaNi (a) John Charles (c) Sam G (l)
DEATH WISH: KIDS RULE! by Karl Stock (w) Henrik Sahlstrom (a) Simon Bowland (l)
STEEL COMMANDO: IN BETWEEN WARS by Aaron Stack (w) Warwick Fraser-Coombes, Staz Johnson (a) John Charles (c) Simon Bowland (l)

Available in print from: book stores, Amazon, and comic book stores via Diamond


SID said...

My copy came through the post yesterday and I really liked it.

I liked how the characters had been updated but still (imo) kept true to their roots.

Yep, a very busy script with a lot of characters but I liked that too. Being a classic comic fan, I re-read the comic to identify all the characters. But even if you are not; as the (hopefully) series continues, they will become more clear to the casual reader.

And the homages - even to Action.

I thought it was a great start.

I hope this does manifest into a monthly series.

Unknown said...

Rebellion are doing a grand job of promoting this through their 2000AD presences offering free PDF versions of many of the characters first appearances. A spot on review and I agree the only negative is there are awful lot of characters running around.

Lew Stringer said...

The PDF reprints of the various characters' first appearances should help readers to know a little more about them anyway, if they know where to find those links. I'll post them here for the ones they've done so far:

SID said...

Well Rebellion is pushing The Vigilant in the latest issues of 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine. Plus, the Meg has an article too.

Lew Stringer said...

I hope it'll be promoted outside of their own fandom too. They should be able to get some publicity in the press if they go on the angle of bringing back much-loved characters. Many people working in the media today will have grown up on Adam Eterno, Death Wish, etc. so some of the journalists should remember them.

Kal said...

Loved the Steel Commando backup, didn't really like the rest that much.

Possibly, that's because - although I'm aware of most of the characters - the only one I actively followed back in the day was the Leopard.

As noted, it's very busy. Lots of action and lots of characters, but it felt like most of them didn't actually do much.

OxfordDickie said...

We lost our ,ain newsagents a couple of months ago, none of the smaller ones would carry this (probably no free gifts attached to it) so at the moment i'll have to do without...

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