Stand Guard With The Worldly ‘The Vigil #1’ On The Wednesday Run

There’s a preponderance in North American superhero comics to have the superheroes hail from and, most of the time, operate solely in North America.

Historically, stories that feature these characters that take place in other parts of the world are meant to push the characters and their readers out of their comfort zones. All stand-ins for real-world locales, comic book exploits that occur in such far-flung lands like Bialya, Qurac, Kahndaq, Markovia, Santa Prisca, Latveria, Madripoor, Slorenia and Sokovia, among others (whew!), carry the weight of the unknown along with inherently unknown threats. For readers, this heightens a sense of drama and danger, chiefly because they probably haven’t been to the real-world locations these lands have been based upon, bringing unknown cultures and customs to a somewhat naïve readership. It’s using a kind of xenophobia to drum up interest in a comic book publication.

Broadly speaking, North American superhero comics have also historically suffered from not publishing stories from the perspective of anyone other than those who are male and Caucasian. The world is a big place. If there really were superheroes, you’d think whatever was happening on this side of the world, would be happening pretty much in all parts of the world.

Now, there have been exceptions. Off the top of my head, I’m reminded of the Global Guardians superhero team, which originated in the late 1970’s, The Outsiders from the mid 1980’s and then the New Guardians who came out of the Millennium miniseries from DC Comics, back in the early 1990’s. Those titles all starred characters from countries other than America. There were others, sure.    

But we live in a new day and age, don’t we? With immigration and increased travel, more than ever before, North American comic book readers want to see more of themselves, their heritage and the places they’ve lived and visited in thee superhero stories they eagerly pick up at shops each and every Wednesday. More writers and artists want to tell tales of where they came from and what they dreamed about as kids reading those New York city-centric Batman, Superman and Spiderman tales.  Which brings us to today’s releases of The Vigil #1.

The Vigil is written by award-winning author Ram V (Swamp Thing, Detective Comics, Grafity’s Wall, The Many Deaths of Laila Starr) and illustrated by Lalit Kumar Sharma (Daredevil, Nightwing, Firefly, Planet of the Apes), whose expressionist artwork here somewhat reminisces the legendary illustrator Joe Staton, who, incidentally, was the artist on the previously mentioned Millennium series. How’s that for a decade in-the-making global hero tie-in?

The Vigil is a six-issue miniseries that stars a rogue, meta-human superhero group, that loosely operates out of the Indo-Pacific region of the world. In the first issue, the mysterious team intercepts a pirated shipping vessel off the coast of Thailand. Beyond targeting weaponized illegal tech on the ship, the big questions remain: who are characters that make up The Vigil? For whom do they operate? And how do they fit into the larger DC Comics universe of heroes and villains?

Lots of questions, here. And that makes for an eagerly-anticipated second issue, out next month. Travel the world and see how the heroes are heroing on the other side of the planet! Make the run to your local comic book shop and pick up the mysteriously enticing and altogether globe-trotting, The Vigil #1 today!  

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