Greg Rucka and Toni Fejzula’s “Veil” #1 was a strange but intriguing book, with a woman who has lost her memory but who also clearly is part of something much larger than initially meets the eye. “Veil” #2 continues to follow Veil and her new friend Dante even as readers also start to meet some of the other players — and in doing so, the book gets that much more intriguing.
Rucka’s slow reveal of information feels perfectly paced out. “Veil” #1’s focus was extremely tight, centered on Veil herself as she wandered obliviously through the world. Here, readers start to see other people connected to her, and suddenly the intensity rises. Now that we know who’s looking for Veil and the kind of people that they are, things get much more serious. I also like how Rucka is showing rather than telling; the strange sort of beguiling power that Veil holds is never spelled out, but you can figure things out through the actions of everyone in the comic. It’s a respect for the audience that they’ll understand, and it’s very much appreciated.
I don’t think “Veil” would be half as effective if it wasn’t for Fejzula, though. His art is different and intriguing, like a stripped down John Van Fleet. Each panel looks like it’s a single painting, but one that avoids all the hard lines and where boundaries are determined by the shifting of one color to the next. It’s a great look, one that refuses to let Fejzula take short cuts (a lack of background would look rather odd here) and also stands out because no one else is currently drawing comics quite like this. He does a good job of the panel-to-panel progression as well, giving us a tight focus on Dante’s and Veil’s faces as they talk, for instance, and letting their expressions convey the meaning of Rucka’s script. When he changes perspective, like the ground-looking-up one of Cormac striding through the street, it’s beautiful. The skyscrapers rising up, the body of Cormac moving around them — Fejzula nails it.
With colors being the main focus here, there’s no doubt that Fejzula has a strong sense of how to make them work. Take Cormac’s glasses, for instance. Their small rectangles of glass are sharp-looking and trendy, but it’s the eerie green shade that makes them — and him — jump out at us. They almost glow off of the page, and they draw you in as a reader even as they also create a barrier by not letting us see Cormac’s eyes. And then, the rare times that we do? Well, Fejzula makes sure that seeing them is never a good thing. If anything, it’s a warning of something nasty just around the bend.
“Veil” #2 is a strong second chapter, and with three more parts to go I’m in for the rest of the ride. (And hopefully beyond, if there are more “Veil” mini-series ahead of us.) Rucka and Fejzula have created a dark and creepy mystery here, and it’s going to be fun following it all the way to its conclusion.