"Pestilence #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by AfterShock Comics
Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Oleg Okunev
Colored by Rob Schwager
2017, 36 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 3rd, 2017
We all know that the Black Death killed millions of people back in the 14th century. It was a widespead plague that took out a huge percentage of the population. Pestilence throws out an idea about its true origins. What if instead of a basic sickness it was the first zombie outbreak the world had seen? It would certainly account for all the dead, wouldn't it?
Pestilence centers on Roderick Helms and his group of assassins called Fiat Lux. They work for the church and they're very good at their jobs. Much of this first issue serves as an introduction to these men and showing them in action. They perform their duty with brutal efficiency. This particular mission involves taking down a rogue knight who has taken over a castle by most despicable means. Despite being outnumbered, Fiat Lux goes in bravely and does not back down. It looks like they've been up against tougher opponents so this is a breeze compared to what they're used to.
|Click images to enlarge|
Artist Oleg Okunev showcases the toughness of these men in their stoic facial expressions. I'm sure they're capable of smiling, but it's an act they probably haven't done in some time. They're serious and resolute. This determination is seen in the scars on their faces and the coldness in their eyes.
Okunev really excels in the zombie design. These are rotting corpses given life...or unlife. The very sight of them is enough to send a shiver down your spine or at least make you want to wash your hands. They look filthy and disgusting, but more importantly, they're scary. Sure, they're the shuffling undead and they're probably not all that fast, however if you saw even one of them, you'd probably run for the hills.
|Click images to enlarge|
Fiat Lux's first encounter with a zombie actually ends up being a little humorous. They can't quite figure out how to kill it at first, so the group is basically just stabbing the Hell out of it from atop their horses. It makes for a funny scene.
Colorist Rob Schwager casts an ominous tone over much of Pestilence, especially with the arrival of the first zombie. It's clad in a dark cloak that just screams trouble. Of course, there's plenty of blood to brighten things up a little.
Pestilence reads like an awesome Dungeons & Dragons game that you want to be a part of. You have a formidable party that's seen its fair share of adventures riding headlong into a horde of zombies that will present untold dangers and possibly little to no reward (except maybe some sweet experience points). They're doing this because it's the right thing to do and the people need them. They're the heroes the world needs, armed with swords and daggers, they will ride into battle.