Pariah #1 (Dark Horse)


Rating: 4.5/5 – Suspense filled sci-fi at it’s best.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

Pariah is a gripping sci-fi tale by Aron Warner and Philip Gelatt that dropped me right into the middle of a situation with the characters trying to figure out what to do.  We quickly learn that we’re dealing with a spacecraft full of ‘vitros’, genetically engineered people who appear to have been exiled from the face of the Earth.  Almost as quickly (within the first few pages so not really a big spoiler) we learn that their orbit is decaying and unless they can figure out how to reverse that situation they’re pretty much screwed.  This is told though dialogue, narrative captions, and the expressive art of Brett Weldele (probably best known for the sci-fi tale The Surrogates)

Weldele has a pronounced style, soft textured color delineated by strong, fine ink lines.  It’s a style that I personally like a lot and it worked for me to set the mood for the story.  This story falls into the “hard sci-fi” category, heavy on technical detail and just a few things beyond today’s technical capabilities (such as the existence of the vitros themselves) that the reader needs to suspend their disbelief for.

This first issue is pretty much a character study.  What better way to get to know people than to put them in a time-sensitive ‘life or death’ situation and watch while they puzzle out a way to save themselves?  Not a spoiler, this isn’t a one-shot so it was a pretty fair bet that they weren’t just going to fall out of orbit and burn up on re-entry.  What’s more important is that while learning about the characters we get a taste of the larger world and why the vitros could possibly have been put into this situation in the first place.  This is the story that I’ll be back to follow as the series progresses.  Tense, suspenseful action (as opposed to shoot-em-up/car chase action) + sharp characters + an interesting world I want to learn more about = a series that has landed itself on my pull list.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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