The leader of The Vigil takes center stage, but what are the secrets of Arclight? Your Major Spoilers review of The Vigil #2 from DC Comics awaits!
THE VIGIL #2
Writer: Ram V
Artist: Lalit Kumar Sharma
Colorist: Rain Beredo with Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Jessica Chen
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 20, 2023
Previously in The Vigil: Evidence shows there is a link between Arclight’s military history with the pirates who have taken control of a boat along the coast of Thailand and the island destination where the contents of the boat were headed. What secrets does this island contain, and is it another government experiment covered up as a conspiracy only believed by heretics?
THE REQUISITE BLEAK BACKSTORY
We open with a flashback, as Captain Aqib Khan receives unwelcome news about the death of his family in what seemed like a random accident. Afterward, he is obsessed with trying to figure out the person or persons responsible. In the present, Aqib has become the vigilante Arclight, who is breaking into a mysterious metahuman containment facility where he encounters El Niño! Their powers are perfectly counter-matched, leading to a back-and-forth battle as Arclight tries to convince the kid not to kill him, interspersed with flashbacks of his life before The Vigil. At the same time, teammates Saya and Dodge are trying to track down an assassin in the employ of the mysterious Mister Hep. As the issue ends, a battalion of men is dead, a target has been shot in the head, and Dodge is starting the question The Vigil’s methods and motivations, making for more than enough problems for the remainder of the series.
SHADES OF “SAGA”
The most disturbing thing about the issue for me is the sight of El Niño, who has either had their head bolted inside a strange steel box or had it removed and replaced with one. It’s really unnerving, but also looks remarkably like the presentation of techno-organics like Prince Robot in the pages of Saga. Much of the issue is similarly recognizable, from Arclight’s costume design (which resembles a hybrid of two Rob Liefeld designs of the 1980s) to the Checkmate-style plotting. My biggest complaint about the first issue of The Vigil was the intentional obfuscation of information about the team and its handlers, and that continues here. Even with the reveal of some of Arclight’s past, the story continues to play it coy with information, and the transitions between flashback and present-day scenes aren’t always clear, It took multiple reads to get everything straight, and even then, there are still unclear moments within these pages.
BOTTOM LINE: ALL OVER THE PLACE
The story’s time jumps aren’t all clear, and the visuals all feel a bit too familiar, which makes The Vigil #2 a less-than-satisfying read that earns 2 out of 5 stars overall. When it’s all collected, it may not be as noticeable, but readers who pick this up as their introduction to The Vigil won’t find a lot of reason to return for the next issue, which is kind of a shame.
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THE VIGIL #2
A strange, brutal tale featuring a lot of back-and-forth in time that never quit settles down enough to cohere.