The International Company known as Vescell specializes in what is commonly known as ‘Vtrans’, the transferring of a person’s mind and spirit from one body into another. Former Icarus City Detective, Mauricio ‘Moo’ Barrino is now Vescell’s best agent, handling the most high profile and dangerous cases. In the seedy world of a high end corporate espionage, where mysticism and guns clash, and money is tainted with sin, Agent Mauricio Barrino fights against the demons of fate while trying to reach the heaven of his destiny. Be prepared for the bar-raising, sci-fi noir epic that is VESCELL.
Written by creator Enrique Carrion and drawn by John ‘Roc’ Upchurch, Vescell is a book unlike anything on the market today. It’s a mix of science-fiction and the supernatural, with a healthy dose of secret spy-action. Like a James Bond movie directed by James Lynch. The lead character, Mauricio, is a bad ass Black/Latino man, who makes Shaft look like a eunuch. He can kick ass, take names, and love the ladies, like it’s all in a day’s work. This story is set in a world where Earth co-exists alongside a magical dimension they call Banerealm, so Mauricio often utilizes various magic rituals while on the job, and encounters beings from the Banerealm, some who are friendly, others who are not. As you turn each page, you never know when a fairy, a demon, or a cyborg might show up. This is not a title for the casual reader, you can’t just skim these pages, to need to pay attention and really read it. Carrion packs a lot of details into each issue, to make sure you get your money’s worth.
In the first issue we’re introduced to the world the lifestyle of Mauricio, and learn that he has a lover named Avery whom is trapped in the Banerealm. Mauricio can temporarily “channel” her spirit to possess a woman on Earth, so he regularly hires prostitutes for Avery’s spirit to possess. We also see him at his job, making arrangements for people to go through the Vtrans processes, including one married couple who wants to switch bodies so the husband can be the woman that he always felt he really was, and the wife can stay married to him by becoming a man. And that’s the least unusual thing in this issue. And the action just picks up and gets weirder with each proceeding issue. And Artificial Intelligence wants a baby, a terrorist is looking to create magical spells that can cause mass destruction, a beautiful blonde woman who contains the soul of Hitler and begs Mauricio to have sex with her because she knows that Hitler can feel it, all the while a demon is trying to hunt Mauricio down. It all wraps up in the double-sized 8th issue, which serves as the “Season finale”, with a cliffhanger that will leave you begging for more.
As I read the series I kept picturing Daniel Sunjata playing Mauricio in a live action film/TV show. Or maybe the Old Spice Guy. And while I’ve praised Carrion’s storytelling, I must also single out Upchurch’s artwork, which is the perfect style for this title. He handles the art chores in #1-7, but only draws the first half of #8, which is instead completed by artists Lorenzo Nuti and Dave Acosta, who both do a decent job on their pages, the switches in art styles between the three in this one comic is a bit distracting.
Overall, this series gets a Chacebook rating of 4 STARS, and I hope more people will pick up the available issues now, to show support for a “Season 2” of Vescell. And if you STILL need convincing, check out this trailer:
There is no collected trade as of yet, but all 8 issues are available, for only $1.99 each, via COMIXOLOGY and COMICSPLUS. And for the luddites, you can order print copies via MIDTOWNCOMICS.COM or MYCOMICSHOP.COM
Categories: INDIE BLACK COMIC-BOOKS