An interesting new story comes out of Dark Horse this week. The tale infuses some subtle mystery with a large dose of science fiction to produce “Pariah”. There is a ton of space-related material already in circulation, but rarely in recent years is humanity the primary scope of the story. I’m not surprised to see the market flooding with material like this after Gravity, and I’m sure we’ll see even more grounded-in-reality sci-fi stories in the near future. “Pariah” #1 offers a decent start, but it offers little in the way of story or character development.
WRITTEN BY: Aron Warner and Philip Gelatt
ART BY: Brett Weldele
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE DATE: February 26
The book follows a group of people in Earth’s future who have volunteered to live on a space station. The individuals call themselves Vitros and each have certain skills or knowledge that give them a role within the team. Already things are going wrong with the mission. What exactly is wrong isn’t clear, and by the end book the situation isn’t completely hopeless, but not much has changed.
I have to admit at the onset of this book there is so much information thrown in your face in an effort to world build it took me more than one read of the first few pages to get the facts straight. Essentially all of the questions that popped up throughout the book remained unanswered by its end. I get that the mystery should entice the reader, but some more clear direction would have helped to bring me into the story. This left me a tad disgruntled, but the the book does pique my interest enough to find out just who these group of Vitros are and why exactly they find themselves on an out of date space station that’s not as safe as it seems.
The script is clever, with a lot a whit infused in the narrative that adds both comedic relief and insight some into the other characters, though not enough. As the story rolls on however, the plot draws me in and the events at the end of the book help to solidify my interest in the book.
The art is a bit of a miss, but, like the writing, it grew on me towards the end. It has a very cartoony look that lacks significant details. With a story that’s meant to reflect a futuristic time I would have liked the art to have more clean crisp lines and the colour pallet more vibrant than the softness that is offered. When the story takes place on the exterior of the station, it’s the only time I find myself satisfied. Unfortunately, there are a lot more panels inside the station than out.
“Pariah” has a lot of potential and even though the first issue leaves some to be desired. There’s something about the book that makes me want more, I’m just not sure what it is yet.
Reviewed by – GreenBasterd