Review – Vinyl #2 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Doug Wagner
Artist: Daniel Hillyard
Colours: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Release Date: 28th July 2021 2021

As daring rescue plans go, sealing yourself in an underground bunker with a death cult might not seem the best idea, but Walter has faith, and Walter has brought his friends along to play.

I might have been a little effusive in my praise for this series last month, and I’m afraid I’m going to be worse this month, so apologies in advance for the fanboy gushing that is to follow.

This issue sees Walter and Victoria locked in a bunker under Madeline’s Sunflower compound, playing a deadly game of cat and mouse as he tries to draw out the real monsters barring his way to rescuing Dennis. This is the worst possible plan I can think of, one only a complete lunatic would come up with, but as the issue progresses you are reminded that Walter was not just a step ahead of Victoria and Dennis but so far ahead he was In a different time zone, and there’s better than even odds that he’s more than a match for any surprises Madeline might have in store for him and his friends.

I absolutely love Vinyl, and Walter is my new favourite fictional serial killer. He’s like some kind of murder savant, a Hannibal Lecter in a tattered carnival mask, with Bryan Mills’ “very particular set of skills, acquired over a long career.” There is also something almost childlike and incredibly endearing in the simplicity of Walter’s outlook on life that masks an incredibly skilled and ruthless tactician.

If you happened to have read “Plastic”, also from Doug Wagner and Daniel Hillyard, then you know what to expect from the artwork, but this time round, it’s like some kind of restraint has been lifted from Hillyard and he’s gone full tilt batshit crazy, backed up by a much more vivid and shocking palette than I’m used to seeing from Dave Stewart. It’s a bloody glorious display, and Wagner’s story really couldn’t be in better hands than these.

The issues we’ve had so far are simply not long enough to satisfy me, and this is a story that absolutely begs to be delivered as a complete graphic novel. The pacing, the bloody carnage, the tension, the sheer joie de vivre that Walter’s friends have in their work, just leaves you turning page after page and ultimately staring pathetically at your letter box waiting for the next issue (or, uh, that might just be me…)

There is an easy trap to fall into of wanting every great comic you come across to be made into a TV series, but Vinyl and Plastic are two titles that I would sell my one good kidney to see developed. I know we’re only two issues into Vinyl but damn it, I think it’s going to be an even better series than Plastic and that is a very high bar to get over.

Vinyl continues to be utter perfection for me. Wagner and Hilliard blew us away with Plastic, but Vinyl is on a whole other level.

Rating: 5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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