Dark Horse’s Veil is Both Beautiful and Horrifying
Written By: Greg Rucka
Art By: Toni Fejzula
It is very easy to take a quick look at the opening page or scene of any story and determine if you are going to read/watch it right then and there. It is our job as the audience to not fall into that trap, even if the story is something that has an all too familiar feel. I had the lucky benefit of discovering this comic at the conclusion of its story, and was so intrigued that I needed to read the entire tale. With the mysterious arrival of an amnesia plagued buck naked woman, there are a few scenarios you would expect to encounter. In the final pages of issue one, Rucka writes to the readers about the issues he needed to avoid (and succeeded) and how he wanted to skirt the cliché. Without knowing where the story is going (though I did) you could safely assume this was a comic about how women are objectified in the public eye and in comics. As Veil, as we come to know her, wanders down the streets in the nude, she draws the attention and lust of everyone, everyone that is except Dante who wants to help the lost and confused girl. Which again is another theme that seems all too normal, the pure of heart savior. All of this seems “business as usual” for such a story, however, with Rucka at the helm this story takes a dark turn.
Throughout the comic’s 5 issues, the story expands and becomes more complicated and sinister than being a simple cautionary tale about objectifying women. The involvement of evil magic and pentagrams is alluring, but what really catches the eye is the art and coloring. Toni’s art style is great and only gets better with the coloring. The colorful shading and use of reds vs. blues makes it’s intentionally known when there is evil at work or present. Instead of the fully toned bodies being illustrated by finer lines fleshing out the characters, the use of shadows and darker hues keeps your eyes looking all over the panels to take in all the details as Veil’s true nature is revealed. The key to each of Toni’s panels was the angles and views that the artist wanted us to view the scene from to get a different perspective on the situation, which is the same as the writing by Rucka
At the root of this story, it is about the control and objectifying of women, but it also branches out into the struggle for the soul of a succubus and how one man just won’t give into the temptation of lust. Dante proves himself pure of heart, but not naïve as he questions setting the demon free even as he lays bleeding out. Ultimately he makes the choice of his own free will. What really peaked my interest in this comic book series was not just Greg Rucka writing for Dark Horse, or the discovery of a great new artist (that is better known internationally, but getting the deserved attention now nationally) but the combination of the both. It didn’t feel like the writing was carrying the art or vice versa, but both were using their own methods to tell the same tale. Do yourself a favor and pick up Veil as it does a great job of reintroducing us to a great writer in Rucka and introducing the art styling of Fejzula