Serial Victim introduces us to Roy Hatzfeld. Roy has a gift, also a curse. If he comes into contact with a dead body, he can see the last few minutes of that person’s life. He relives their last moments, rethinking their final thoughts. He uses his gift for good, assisting the police in murder cases; he is often able to solve crimes by seeing what the victim’s saw. This is also a curse. More than just viewing the scene, Roy experiences a physical and mental ordeal as he actually relives these often violent moments.
Serial Victim rolls out a dense and lush story in bite sized scenes. We are shown just enough to keep the pace intriguing. The narration jumps through time and to alternating points of view, but it does so without becoming scattered and too complicated to follow.
The layout of the pages are well thought out and art is beautifully executed. Darkness and shadow reinforce the tone of the story. And while this is a fairly violent story, The more gruesome details are presented in a subtle, tasteful manner.
The only thing that detracted from the story were a few instances of awkward phrasings or questionable wording. I imagine this is due at least in part to the fact that it has been translated from Italian. I was mostly impressed with the authenticity of the dialogue, but there were times when things get confused in translation. It was noticeable, but the story that was unfolding was good enough for me to overlook these occasional tangles.
We learn how the case that Roy is currently working has ties to his own past. We learn of a man named Trent Alnoor who is pursuing Roy, but even Roy is unsure of why. The story stays fresh by never settling into one groove. Everything we think we have learned about Roy and the rest of the characters is overturned one small truth at a time.
We are taken on a wild and sometimes disturbing ride. There is a scene where Roy confronts a pit full of corpses where we learn just how horrible a curse his gift can be. The story takes a few leaps but they are handled with confidence. The narrator always manages to land on his proverbial feet.
Serial Victim is a dark but enjoyable world, and I enjoyed my visit. You can never be certain of what you see or what you hear, even up to the last page this tale continues to remove many masks.
Published by Arcana Studio
Simone Panepuccia: Writer
Andrea Bandini: Pencils
Danilo Montigiani: Inks
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