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Veil #1

by Sean Tonelli on March 04, 2014

Veil #1

Following the success of Lazarus over at Image Comics, the eyes of the comic book industry have been fixed on Greg Rucka. Wondering just how he’ll top an instant classic, Rucka has decided to take a road less travelled and branch out his already diverse palette of work. Looking to try his style in a horror setting, Veil successfully translates Rucka’s signature style of world building and strong characters to bring us a creepy love letter to the filth of society.


The premise is an easy one, a young girl named Veil wakes up, nude, covered in rats in the subway. After wandering the grimy streets of what appears to be a pre-Giuliani New York, Veil is covered up and saved by a lowly street thug with a heart of gold by the name of Dante. Unfortunately for him, Veil is as deadly as she is gorgeous and things quickly turn south for the mismatched couple. Straight forward at first glance, but Rucka has layered this story well, particularly in painting in the image of the underclass society in which the story takes place.


Right from the get-go, the reader is bombarded with images of rats, trash, sex and violence, though in a more restrained fashion than what readers are used too. With those subtle images, the reader is transported into the mind frame of the citizens in Veil’s world and the sense of dread that follows. Veil herself is an interesting character who works in the same capacity as those manic pixie dream girls that were all the rage in the early aughts, though in a far darker capacity. It’s fitting that Dante would take Veil under his protection as there is no doubt she will start his descent into hell.


But none of this would matter if we didn’t care for the characters. Luck for us, Rucka is a master storyteller and knows just what to give to tug at our heartstrings. Veil is vulnerable and lost, slightly incoherent but her wide doe eyes and new-born outlook help the readers to care for her, much like Dante does. Veil needs help, and its up to us and him to make sure she gets what she needs. This also works in the case of Dante, his character design is that of a typical gang-banger, but instead of making him ‘hard’, Rucka gives him a kindness that masquerades as a weakness and will no doubt get him in trouble. A situation that is all too familiar.


Toni Fejzula’s art works perfectly in tandem with Rucka’s script. His ability to juxtapose the innocence of Veil with the darkness around her is a sight to behold. His colour palette is awash in subtle pastels as each panel jumps from red to blue to purple. It’s as if a seedy neon sign is flickering off panel somewhere. The lettering by Nate Piekos is a treat as well, as he manages to portray the verbal spewing of Veil’s jumbled thoughts clear and concisely. An overall excellent job by the entire creative team.


Rucka looks like he has another smash hit on his hands with Veil. This gritty and grimy world is filled with just enough heart and mystery to keep readers on the edge of their seat and all but ensure their return to the next issue. The question remains however; who is Veil? and is that really an answer we want to know?

Veil #1
Writer: Greg Rucka
Art & Cover: Toni Fejzula
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics


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