This is one of the strangest and best comics I’ve read in a while. The story is that Victor is travelling around America—trying to go unnoticed (because of his serial killer past)—with his girl, Virginia. She’s a pretty lady, for a blow up sex doll, and she quiets Victor’s urges. He talks with her as if she’s alive—has conversations with her. Often times he even mentions his mother as if she were with them, travelling in that small car. We don’t see the trunk, so, honestly, she might be… Things are going fine until some men make a move on Virginia. Victor gets mad and sends them to the hospital, if you know what I mean. One of the guy’s fathers catches Victor and decides that instead of killing him, he’s going to use Victor’s skills to his benefit. So, Victor becomes a hit man. Will he go through with the job to save Virginia’s “life?”
Clearly, Victor is dealing with some issues here. Writer Doug Wagner does some seriously amazing work with this protagonist. Victor is, obviously, mentally unstable. He isn’t quite living in reality and is beyond delusional.
There are two things I love about Victor’s character. One, Wagner has created a very unreliable narrator. So, when we see or read something, is it really happening? What does it mean? Two, because he is delusional, he isn’t afraid to do anything. This guy is willing to go to any lengths for Virginia, and it’s going to be really interesting to see how far his new “employer” pushes him.
Whether he intended to or not, Wagner throws a nod to the concept of mental health itself. No, it’s not something that we often talk about, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t. It’s a serious subject that deserves all the attention we’re not giving it. As a reader, it stays in the back of our minds during this issue, that Victor isn’t quite “normal” (whatever that means).
The script in this issue is really fluid. We don’t get any spots of hesitance or confusion while reading, and the dialogue is pretty self-explanatory, especially since most of it is just Victor talking to, technically, himself. He actually seems like a nice guy. And he has normal interactions with other people (aside from those trying to hit on Virginia), in a polite and respectful manner. He’s also very, very observant. When he gets kidnapped, he notices the smallest things like the size of the room, objects that stand out to him, location, names, everything. I suppose this makes him a meticulous killer, and is part of what is referred to as his “skill set.” Either way, it’s impressive and unique. He’s a character I can actually support, no matter how “bad” or “ill” he may be.
Artist Daniel Hillyard does an awesome job of illustrating this issue with clean lines and realistic details, like the folds in a shirt or shadows from potential light sources. The characters’ faces are really expressive, and emphasis is given on more important aspects of the story, like the detail in the broken body parts of the people that Victor fights.
Of course, that’s in large part thanks to colorist Laura Martin. She makes the issue look really interesting. Even though Victor is happy and cheerful for most of the issue, the colors look really dark, dull, and almost morbid. By the looks of the first panel alone, it seems like we’re about to read a terrifying horror comic.
This book is twisted and wrong in the best way. Issue #1 is a really great start to what I think is going to be a very intriguing series. If you’re someone who likes outsiders or loves the strange, this book is definitely for you.
Written by: Doug Wagner
Illustrated by: Daniel Hillyard