Thursday, November 24, 2016

Vigilante Southland #1 Review

"Vigilante: Southland" #1 from DC Comics

     Donny Fairchild, ex-basketball star of the European Pro-Leagues, is now an aimless, weed-puffing janitor at Del Pueblo University in South Los Angeles. Even though it seems Donny's lost all desire to make something out of his life, he's managed to snag one of the brightest stars on campus, Dorice Smallwood. Dorice is a real go-getter - she's a beautiful, highly intelligent, athletic, and tenacious young woman who speaks out against injustice wherever she finds it. But there is much more to her than that. What no one knows is that by night, Dorice is a vigilante fighting corruption in South L.A.. When Dorice is horribly murdered, Donny discovers her secret and sets out to may her killers pay...By any means necessary. Donny is awake, he is angry and he is out for justice, honoring his beloved Dorice by learning to use his brains, and her weapons - and by donning her midnight-blue vigilante costume. War is coming to South L.A..

     Cary Phillips pens this new take on The Vigilante. It looks as if this new iteration has nothing to do with any of the former characters who have been called by the same name. This series seems to be in a totally new direction with totally new characters. It is a gritty mystery disguised as a superhero story, and that is kind of exciting. Donny Fairchild is a very relatable character - he is lethargic, oblivious, unattentive, allowing his abilities to be wasted and the world to pass him by. That all changes when he loses the one good person in his life, the only one who hadn't given up on him. It is awesome to watch the fire ignite in him and to watch him change so drastically. I wish we knew a bit more about the antagonist(s) - all we know is that Dorice found out something that got her killed, and we know that someone had discovered her identity since she was killed in broad daylight on the street. Donny has his work cut out for him, and he is working with some unsavory people to avenge Dorice, which means this story is bound to become very complex and deal with some hard questions in coming issues. Elena Casagrande is on the pencils and uses light and shadow excellently to give the story a gritty, hefty feel. And the story is both gritty and hefty - it is about an urban, street-level superhero trying to solve a mystery that will lead him into a vertical struggle against extreme corporate corruption. It's seemingly a battle he can't win. But I've always been a sucker for the underdog. I'll stick around for a few issues and see where this goes; I have a feeling it's going very dark places. Cool.

RATING: 8 out of 10.

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