by Greg Rucka and Toni Fejzula
There was a lot left unsaid in the first issue of Veil from Greg Rucka and Toni Fejzula. The opening story made for a great teaser of this new world and the oddities at play. Who is Veil? What happened to her? Most importantly, though: what is she capable of? With the second issue, readers are shown a bit more of the world and the mysteries grown deeper.
Dante has Veil by the wrist and the two are on the move early in the second chapter. After the surprising and violent conclusion last time, they are on the run, and for good reason. Dante brings her to a diner for breakfast, to catch their breath and try to figure out what is going on. Day is breaking, and so far the story has only covered a few hours. Fejzula uses a really great color pallet in these outdoor scenes to convey that pale hue at daybreak. It’s an odd thing to describe, but the art depicts the lighting very well.
After an issue and a half of this focused following of Veil, the story shifts to a few new characters and Rucka widens the scope. Men named Cormac and Mr. Scarborough talk of sacrifices, results, as well as realities and time and space. It unfolds in such a way that it adds layers to the mystery rather than explanations. Rucka shows great restrain in this sequence, as he offers no clarity. The characters would have no reason to explain every bit of their exchange and therefore readers are left to wonder how these new elements factor in. Fejzula does a great job with his rendering of the men. Cormac, the man who seems to be conducting some type of experiment, wears green tinted glasses and has pale blue hair. Conversely, the man calling the shots has slicked back hair and wears a suit. He has a larger frame and appears to always have his chest puffed out. Even without dialogue, readers can learn a lot about these two men from Fejzula’s choices.
Veil #2 does a lot more showing and not a whole lot of telling. After this second issue, readers have gotten to see a bit more of this world. Veil is no longer speaking in rhymed riddles, but she doesn’t know much more than she did. The two new men are clearly involved, but there is very little notion given to how the two groups of people are connected. And then, the rats. It is not terrible subtle how involved these vermin are, and it is likely that Rucka has much in store for their interplay with this world.
Another interesting aspect to Veil is the art direction of Toni Fejzula. Both issues have started with a nine-panel page that is not quite the classic grid structure. The panels depict snippets of imagery like pieces of a puzzle that don’t seem to quite fit together. It is not clear if these are meant to be pieces of Veil’s memory or if their purpose is to communicate something else. Either way, they are a curious aspect to the book. In addition, Fejzula often includes quiet panels, one of a man’s shoe, or hands, or even a menu item that fills out the setting a bit more. Throughout the book these images appear amidst the story sequences, affecting the tone and pace. Fejzula’s coloring and overall vision for the series is very unique and it is fascinating to watch even absent of Rucka’s well-crafted script.
There is a lot of care taken in the decision making and sculpting of every aspect of this world. Veil is taking its time in letting readers in on its mysteries, but it is doing so in an engaging way. With the inclusion of the character, Cormac, things look to pick up quickly and that makes for a long month waiting for issue 3.