My time is finally freeing up, so once again I can do comic reviews! Hurray! I certainly have plenty backed up. So to kick things off, let’s finally get to Vescell, Issue #4. As usual, my reviews will contain spoilers!

The cover to my copy of Vescell #4

Things kick off with the introduction of Chantel, a singer who has all the best qualities of Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and, well…maybe Ke$ha combined. And it seems like her popularity would be rivaled only by Dethklok‘s.

The problem is, she doesn’t want any of it anymore. She made the realization that none of it is real, and her life has been taken over by marketing and press releases. She reveals all of this to her brother, Frankie, before going off to her own hotel room for some time to think.

Frankie, it seems, has a little jealousy issue…well, that’s not the only issue. After Chantel leaves er puts on her clothes and make-up, pulls out some of the paparazzi panty shots, starts singing and yelling about how if he can’t be her he at least wants to fuck her, and starts masturbate to her picture.

This activity is interrupted  when he hears a nearby door open and close. Frankie eavesdrops on Chantel talking with an old boyfriend, Ronny. She tells Ronny that she’s going to have a V-trans so she can escape fame and the two of them can be together (even offering to do up her breasts as Double Es since Ronny’s a breast man). She wants to make love to Ronny one more time in her birth body, but before they get to it Chantel decides to do a line.

Such an activity is never a good idea, and Chantel reacts badly to the drugs. Hearing what is going on, Frankie burst into the room (still in his sister’s clothes) and instructs Ronny to run and get Chantel’s personal doctor. While Ronny is gone Frankie manages to revive his sister, and he berates her for wanting to give up her life. Frankie convinces Chantel to sign over her birth body to him so that everyone can get what they wanted (Chantel a new life, and Frankie her life).

Everything seems set to work out for everyone, but then Frankie gets a little paranoid. He realizes that Chantel could reveal the body switch at any time she regrets it for any reason. So he grabs the nearest pillow and smothers his sister to death.

Ronny shows up too late, and Frankie calls Vescell. Because Chantel chose the “Doe X” plan anyone who reveals she has died will be terminated by Vescell. The extraction team arrives in time to pick-up Frankie and his sister’s body before rigor mortis sets in, and Frankie’s mind is placed in Chantel’s body. From here forward, I will refer to her as Frantel.

Frantel immediately founds the Church of Fame, whose goal is to teach celebrities how they must worship the God that has created them; their fans. One night after an enormous concert she takes an up-and-coming actor who wants the Church of Fame to help him back to her room.

The two of them mutually agree that the young actor needs a good strap-on up his ass, but before they get to it Frantel checks the message boards for fan reaction – which is overwhelming negative. To relieve her stress Frantel kills the actor as she rides him.

This wasn’t the best of ideas…Agent Moo and his lady friend Claire Abbencourt attended the concert. Claire is the daughter of a media mogul, and when she and Moo saw Frantel talking to the young gentleman after the show she suspected hanky-panky and arranged for cameras to be hidden in Frantel’s room. The next morning she and Moo are shocked at the footage, and Claire plans on releasing the footage to impress her father.

Those plans are fouled up when two things happen; Vescell calls Moo and orders him to eliminate Frantel before it gets out that they helped a psychopath, and Lt. Vega shows up to put the kabosh on both the ordered hit and Claire’s story so the PAA can arrest Frantel.

Claire acquiesces, but Moo does not. It becomes a race between Vega and the Vescell agent to see who gets to Frantel first. Their own fight alerts Frantel that they’ve arrived at her church, and she realizes her time has come. She attempts to commit suicide and immortalize herself in the population’s eye by leaping off the high balcony to her death.

Lt. Vega uses her abilities to leap off the balcony and catch her mid-fall. Moo employs Machi to guide his fall and he shoots Frantel in the head in the middle of Vega’s arms. On the ground Vega and Moo part ways, vowing to never underestimate the other again, while Frantel’s body unceremoniously splatters on the pavement.

THE FINAL VERDICT: Another interesting Vescell story that is a fun read, especially when Vega and Moo start the all-too-short competition to get Frantel. Throw in gender-swap and about 3 pages of Frantel nudity and you have another classic issue.

The Final Verdict blurb pretty much sums things up for me, I don’t have a lot to elaborate on beyond that. The Church of Fame aspect was a neat commentary on society’s obsession with celebrities that fit in nicely within the Vescell universe, and it was cool to see the two protagonist characters encounter each other in an explosive manner. It’s set up some great possibilities for future issues. Great dialogue and the usual quality art makes it another recommendation from me.