Aftershock Comics 2018
Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Oleg Okunev
Coloured by Rob Schwager
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
Knights, zombies, demons, corruption, death, betrayal and Satan...the Seven Deadly Ingredients involved in the making of this issue of PESTILENCE!
With each issue it seems Satan’s hold on this world strengthens and out intrepid band of heroes loom closer and closer to becoming either his minions or facing a true death. With the addition of his wife and son the dynamic has changed and I have to say the dialogue has never been better! I love Geoffrey and he really kind of defines the phrase boorish brute but he’s also damn funny in my humble opinion. I mean forget for a moment that the kids there this is the plague on steroids and Satan’s army is has come through the gate the kids gonna have to grow up damn fast if he’s to survive this and a few phrases here and there, or swearing in general shouldn’t be a problem. So yes it makes me laugh to see that the writing mixes the good the bad and the ugly.
Without knowing that it is the Pope who now houses Satan the small force heads to the most logical place to pick up weapons that would be of use in this fight. I am seriously impressed with how Frank is writing this book I mean the intricacies of how he manages to get characters where they think they need to be and how it would always seem like someone is one step ahead is so well done. I mean with the Pope being incognito and the Knights Templars informant inside the Vatican one would think things would be different than they are.
I love the tension that we feel throughout the story and when we see Thomas facing the reality of his situation while simultaneously Roderick and his merry band find themselves in a trap you don’t know quite exactly how to feel. It is wonderfully done and that kind of nail biting edge of your seat stuff that you never know how it will end. Though honestly I thought Thomas would be raped by that heavy set guy with the rather thick member holding his head down. And yes for the record the thought turned me on somewhat.
God I love the interiors here as well. The linework that Oleg has here and how he’s able to manipulate that with such subtlety is utterly amazing. From the way he can bring the church to life to the human body without being afraid of male or female parts and do it with respect, even during the fornication in the background is impressive to me. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a superb eye for storytelling. So with such attention to detail going on I do wish we’d gotten backgrounds in every panel, I mean wow what a way to expand the story and bring us the scope of this world.
So that this is as far as you can get from a traditional story involving the Church is utterly fantastic for me. That they have managed to take the Plague and make it something so much more than it was while keeping the whole devastation it caused still intact has been pretty genius. Then why not throw in zombies and then use those that were made whole again by the Holy Grail were nothing more than sleeper agents for Satan yeah everything about this keeps getting more intense, more complicated and just that much more fun to see unfold.
This is what I would like to see unfold on television now that traditional zombie’s are falling out of fashion. This is insanely smart writing, characterisation and dialogue alongside such evocative illustrations make Pestilence the beginning of a modern horror franchise.