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Pariah #5 Advance Comic Book Review


Pariah 5After a long wait, we finally get the continuation of Aron Warner, Philip Gelatt, and Brett Weldele’s science fiction thriller Pariah, which follows a group of hyper-intelligent teenagers called “Vitros.”  Genetically modified, in Vitro, as part of a genome experiment and scattered all over the country, the Vitros and their families do their best to assimilate into society, attending high school, working jobs, and occasionally exploiting their intelligence for personal gain.  That is until the vitros are collectively blamed for a deadly lab explosion, becoming the terrorist du jour, persecuted by the public and hunted down by the government.  Needless to say that in addition to the science fiction angle, there is a light dusting of topical social commentary.  All for the better.

The series is told in chronological order with the occasional flashback, but the narration is handled by a different Vitro in each issue, allowing for a variety of equally interesting and valid perspectives to be represented.  It’s unusual to be jumping around to different narrators so often, and it is always slightly confusing at the beginning of each issue; until the narrator identifies her/himself, the reader isn’t quite sure who s/he is following.  That isn’t helped by the fact that, as far as I can tell, all of the vitros have identical fonts and narration balloons. Despite the slight and temporary disorientation (which actually feels intentional), the likeness of inner voice serves the story remarkably well. It provides a powerful sense of community that is diametrically opposed to the antagonistic way in which they act with one another, netting complexity and the distinct impression that no matter how different and horrible these people are to one another, they are ultimately bound together by something much deeper.

Issue #5 picks up after the MONSTER cliff hanger that was Issue #4, and we get to see the first problem that the vitros have to come together to solve.  It’s messy and moving and I can’t tell you too much more, except don’t miss it.  It’s coming out soon, so if you haven’t checked out the series, you can preview and order the first four issues here.


Sam Rhodes


Favorite MovieYojimboFavorite Game:  The newest version of HaloFavorite Beverage:  Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA


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