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Vigilante #6

Vigilante #6

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 28, 2005

Cover date: February 2006

Writer: Bruce Jones
Penciller: Ben Oliver
Inker: Ben Oliver

"Into the Night"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Detective Sovereign, in a strip bar, talks to Lansky, the photographer on Vigilante's tale. He relays that he followed Rene to Powell's office. Sovereign, getting a lap dance, expresses his disinterest.

Rene confronts Powell about being Vigilante, and Powell feigns ignorance. She points out there's no way Vigilante could get in, with the window having no latch.

Powell walks into the next room, returning as Vigilante, claiming that he's the dominant personality and nothing can change that.

She throws something at Vigilante, who fights her back. He explains that Culkins abused Powell. She tries to escape, and he knocks her out the window. He leaves.

She falls, and he catches her a flight down, after she tells him that she can help him meld with Powell and make a stable personality.

Lansky tells Sovreign that Kort is outside, heading into the building. Lansky drops the phone and follows.

In the office, Rene hypnotizes Powell to merge the personalities. As she does, Kort comes in and attacks Vigilante, who beats him soundly.

Culkins arrives, holding Rene hostage. Vigilante stops beating. Culkins shoots him in the arm.

Lansky steps in, takes a photo, and all attention turns to him. Culkins moves to shoot him, and Lansky uses his camera, actually a gun in disguise, and shoots Culkins, who falls out the window, holding on by a thread.

Culkins begs Vigilante to save him. Vigilante goes to the next floor down and offers to catch Culkins. Culkins lets go, and falls to his death.

Cut to Vigilante, now prowling the night.

2Story - 2: This ending doesn't do much for me. Then again, neither did the series. It wasn't absolute garbage, but there are a ton of other projects more deserving out there that this shouldn't have come before. Particularly given the constant lateness, the unfulfilling resolve, and the unnecessary idea that the DCU needs a Punisher. First off, we have a good one. A great one, actually, in the Spectre.

This story resolved none of the real character dilemmas presented to all involved, which was the only saving grace this story had, its character.

Vigilante started as a murdering psychopath. He ends a murdering psychopath.

Rene begins in love with awful, confused men, and ends up with a murdering psychopath.

Lansky got his story, I guess. But he's complicit to the murder.

Culkins got killed, but at the cost of Vigilante's status as a hero, ever.

Kort just disappears, no punishment there, really.

Sovereign ends up with a stripper, never completing his dilemma.

This in SIX issues. Let me tell you what I could do in three issues. This whole story. Easily.

I'm frustrated on a couple of levels. The inside, where the story doesn't deliver, and the outside, where comics are an insular, mostly elitist media where the rule really is that you've got to deliver or it's not worth doing (a philosophy I agree with but know abides). The outside tells me that a story with character that crams more into one issue than this entire series (Majestic, for instance, just cancelled), gets the axe, doesn't get the DC main label, and yet this is delivered with the DC logo, late, with a poor story, and art that just doesn't suit the storyline, and that's supposed to be okay?

The cynic in you is probably saying, "Oh, Neal, you're just a bitter geek who wants to be writing this book, you just wish you could do a six issue series, so you're biased."

No. Because I can and DO make six issues of comics on a regular basis. I don't have to get published to know a decent story and write one. This comic is a prime example of how the good is overlooked and tripe propagated.

The urge as a reviewer is to flay, so with this one, I tried in every way to give things the benefit of the doubt. I really did. When things started picking up halfway through, I figured, with three issues, anyone could tie things together, resolve the characters, make it tick.

What happens? We get a paradigm of the rewarded murderer, coupled with strip bars, anal prison rape, murder as humor in the end, and very, very little resolution.

From the instantaneous costume change mid-issue to the camera that fires bullets, from the predictable twist of one of the three mains being Vigilante to the ending, which glorifies the horrible thing this dink has done, I'm just finished. I can't believe I spent so much money on this.

Furthermore, I can't believe DC green lit this and stood by it when other, better books go by the wayside.

A tale of a guy who systematically hunts down and murders people because they're evil instead of taking them to jail? Am I reading the wrong company here on the logo? DC heroes are punished if they kill wantonly. Where is Superman for all of this?

Superman would CREAM this guy for what he's doing, and should have. That's how it should have ended, some kind of retribution for his acts.

Instead, yeah, kill the murderer. That solves things.


3Art - 3: The artist is allowed to explore what he's good at, the action, in this issue. The splashes are pretty typical, and the rest of the issue where there's dialogue is rather tightly packed for the extra, unnecessary splash pages peppered through the thing.

Gotta give him credit for the action, but it can't save itself from the script, or the fact that there's nothing really astonishing in the work here. Just typical, static, average comic imagery. Which is professional. But nothing special that makes you remember certain panels.

3Cover Art - 3: Very busy, kind of irrelevant to the issue in a lot of ways, and confusing. This isn't a story about justice, as it proclaims. This is a story of a murderer getting away with murder gleefully, and characters we've learned to like sanctioning his actions.

There's also a lot of white noise, that kills my eyes.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2006

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