There's a mysterious dark-haired lady on the cover of Greg Rucka's latest, and it's not Forever Carlyle. Her name is Veil, we know next to nothing about her -- except that she has a knack for nonsensical rhyming and a lethal skill set -- and I cannot wait to learn more.
VEIL looks different from most comics; the art is watercolored and highly stylized, and it truly has that leap-off-the-page quality. Each panel looks like a poster; the shading has a very graphical quality to it (while still keeping the roughness that the textured, watery paints bring in), and everything is bold and dramatic. The story, too, is bold and dramatic -- it's not often that one first meets their protagonist in the middle of a naked parade from the sewers to the city.
Veil -- named that way on purpose, or incidentally via a neon sign -- is unexpected and wonderful. She's rich with possibilities -- a rhyming seeming-amnesiac with the ability to take out a small gang singlehandedly isn't exactly your day-to-day fare, and I'm already entranced. Her story (and its future direction) is open-ended and laced with mystique.
Rucka is never anything but careful with his words, and I found myself reading back, inspecting Veil's rhymes, watching how they played against the panel actions, looking for hidden meaning. VEIL is a think-y book, even if it doesn't pitch itself as such; there's just so much to interpret, to wonder about, to follow. Coupled with the backmatter -- in which Rucka details his personal thoughts on the story and its subject -- it's fascinating.
It's minor -- hardly a true "bad" -- but it seems as though every character in VEIL is in a state of perpetual shock. Everyone's eyes are rendered in such a manner that they seem a fraction of a second away from jumping out of the skull. Maybe it's intentional, maybe it's a style choice. I don't entirely dislike it, but I'm perplexed by it.
Greg Rucka appears to be keeping on trend with that whole "putting out killer creator-owned books featuring equally killer lead characters" thing, and VEIL is a welcome addition to my pull list. It's a miniseries, so there's no long haul to settle in for; just five very different, very fascinating issues to savor. Rucka and Fejzula are walking a tightrope between genres; horror and suspense and quite likely a few more are represented, making VEIL a solid selection for a wide range of readers.