Vix! #1

Written by Rantz A. Hoseley
Art by Matthew Humphreys
28 pages, color
Published by Image Comics

If you ask people what super-power they’d like to have the most, flying tops the vast majority of lists. It’s easy to imagine why; being able to just glide through the air is something that would have so many possibilities, as well as being something that will definitely be out of our personal reach for a long time to come (if ever). When it comes to Rantz A. Hoseley and Matthew Humphreys’s Vix!, getting that desire the fly out there is definitely the high point of the book.

Celeste can fly, from a basic hover to out-and-out zooming across the horizon. Only her best friend Tabs knows about Celeste’s powers, or at least that’s what Celeste thinks. There’s an organization out there spying on Celeste, with clearly big plans for our heroine. Meanwhile, she’s trying to juggling covertly saving people and surviving high school. No doubt, going up against bad guys will be a piece of cake.

The one thing I really liked about Vix!‘s writing is that Hoseley gets across the idea that Celeste absolutely loves flying. That’s the way it should be; her excitement about being able to do so is pretty infectious, and if the entire comic was Celeste flying around I think I’d have been just fine with that. The rest of the book, though, is pretty by-the-numbers predictable. We’ve got the evil organization spying on her, the strange things going on with her powers, the cast of stereotypes at her school. (Seriously, if I ever again see a character talking about someone else while that other party is standing behind them, it will be too soon.) And maybe I’m just missing a reference, but why does Celeste want to be called Vix whenever she’s out flying? Her world doesn’t seem to have superheroes (although I could easily be proven wrong in a future issue), so what’s with the code name? What does the code name even mean? I feel like this book runs a little more smoothly in Hoseley’s head than what we actually got in the script.

Then again, I feel the same way about the art in Vix!; on some pages, Humphreys really nails it, showing Celeste floating (or zooming) along in a nice animation-cel style that shows off all of his strengths as an artist. I like how he draws her, and the body language on display is outstanding. Then I turn the page, and suddenly everyone looks cross-eyed, or a little too stereotypical. (Did the little sister of the guy Celeste saves need to have pigtails, fat cheeks, and a missing front tooth? Add in a big lollipop and we’d have hit every single item on the checklist.) And strangest of all, halfway through the book, Celeste’s hair changes from blonde to brown, and her complexion goes from clear to freckled. What’s happening here? Is this a story point? (There’s no reference to it anywhere in the script so far as I can tell. Celeste is worried about people seeing her flying, so it doesn’t seem to be a disguise.) Were draft pages accidentally printed, ones before Humphreys changed his mind on how he was going to draw Celeste? It feels sloppy and confusing, and if it was intentional it doesn’t come across that way at all.

Vix! #1 isn’t a bad book, but it isn’t a great one by any stretch of the imagination. At its core is a good idea or two, but right now it’s weighed down by a lot of cliché and missteps. Hopefully future issues will get a little stronger; there’s potential here, but it certainly is not living up to that as of now.

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