Vatican City, Las Vegas is a deep and complex comic that will require a couple reads to really “get it”. The might sound like a negative, but I assure you, it is not. The story, penned by F. Rex with art by T Wolfinger is a twisted, satirical mind screw that points a lens at the greedy, corpulent culture of profit at all costs. Rex pulls no punches and delivers a comic that really has something to say. Blending metaphor and literary references, VCLV tells the story of the Vatican in conjunction with a corrupt corporation – with a cast of bizarre people wallowing in their own misery or basking in the suffering of others – getting into the business of running a casino, with the intent of further controlling their flock, to extort more money, and eventually, their soul.
The story jives well with the art, which is dark, gritty and unmerciful to the characters it portrays, giving them a glum existence that gives a tone to the comic that makes you want to run screaming into the night with the awful revelations it presents. It is witty, smart, and most of all full of enough glorious blasphemy to call down the wrath of a God who may not even be there anyway. The creators pull no punches and this comic packs quite a wallop that takes some time to sink in before sucker punching you in the dark. Then breathe a sigh of relief as you realize, “its just a comic”. But is it really? VCLV present an almost believable scenario where nothing is sacred anymore, and the cost of a man’s soul is nothing more than the flip of a card. I am sure my next visit to Las Vegas will seem far more sinister…
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