The Black Death, The Plague. We were told it was a devastating pandemic of the Yersinia Pestis bacteria causing the deadly Bubonic Plague. But what if history was a bit off? What if the evidence is incomplete and our theory is incorrect. What if this 14th Century pandemic was the first known zombie infestation? Pestilence, a new series from Aftershock Comics sets out to answer this very question.
The cast of characters in Pestilence are appropriately dark and gritty. Straight out of the Crusades, Roderick Helms leads a group of special soldiers known as Fiat Lux. If the Crusades had a Special Ops branch then Fiat Lux were just such a team. Along with Roderick is his loyal friend Geoffrey Ameil, assassin extraordinaire Giovanni Domenico, chief strategist William Moore, super spy Abel of Cyprus and the funny man of the team, James Howard. Each member, a specialist in their own right. Organized to be The Church’s assassin arm, Fiat Lux is sent out to quell a brewing uprising involving a renegade Crusader and his little militia. Of course, that’s when they realize the mission is much larger than anyone at The Vatican originally envisioned. The mission will ultimately evolve to encompass destroying the Undead zombies across medieval Europe.
The art is absolutely stunning in my humble opinion. Oleg Okunev is a Disney illustrator and the details in his line work is outstanding. Each main character has a very distinctive look and there is never an issue identifying who is swinging the sword at any given moment. Rob Schwager’s colours are equally as exceptional. While details abound the pages never look heavy or overdone. Tim Bradstreet will be providing the regular covers for the series which kind of speaks for itself as Bradstreet is just a phenomenal artist having earned an Eisner Award-nomination for his creative work. I even had a chance to take a peak at Mike Rooth’s variant covers which are equally as fantastic.
Frank Tieri, “master of violence, gore, and mayhem” spins a great little opening story which gets all the mundane introductory stuff out of the way quite efficiently. Of course, the opening issue asks more questions encouraging a peak at the second issue. I liked this book so much I am immediately adding it to my pull list at my Local Comic Shop.
Issue: Pestilence #1 | Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Writers: Frank Tieri | Artists: Oleg Okunev & Rob Schwager
Letters: Marshall Dillon | Editor: Mike Marts