Written by: Frank Tieri
Art by: Oleg Okunev
Colored by: Rob Schwager
Cover by: Tim Bradstreet
What You Need to Know:
In a time past, the black plague ravaged Europe, decimating the population. So many dead from what seemed to be an unstoppable virus. But what if it wasn’t just a disease. What if what became known as the Black Death, wasn’t death, but a living death? A zombie apocalyptic kind of death? In a time like this, It may be harder to survive in these circumstances. Well we’re going to find out. Let’s dig into Pestilence #1 from Aftershock Comics and find out what occurs for a group of soldiers called the Fiat-Lux.
What You’ll Find Out:
The story begins with a group of intruders being brought a church that was taken over by men who are supposed to be soldiers, living off of wine, food and pleasurable company. They ask these intruders who they are, but Sir Archibald, their leader, knows. The Fiat-Rux, led by Sir Roderick Helms, the most legendary heroes of the crusades, thought to be dead. They are here on official business for the Pope. To kill these men who overtook this place in the name of the church, but it wasn’t ordered by the Pope, they just wanted to. So the Fiat-Rux was sent to enact the vengeance of God.
The Fiat-Rux seem to be a strike team. A group of knights and soldiers put together by the Church to basically be the voice of God. However they aren’t some group of black knights with only the goal they have being vengence. They seem to be a group of men with dedication to their cause but still seem human in the dark times around them.
As they leave the battle and begin their journey back to the Vatican, they pass a traveler who one of them, a large one eyed axe swinging warrior named Geoffrey, asks if they have any wine. The traveler stays silent, but another one of the men, James, attempts to get his attention. To which the traveler bites James, infecting him. The traveler goes for the rest, but the Fiat-Rux slaughter him to ensure he doesn’t get back up. Their cypher, William, searches through the traveler’s belongings and finds a blank scroll. After lighting a candle, it’s revealed to be a secret message from the Vatican. This traveler is just like the people who are attacking the Vatican. What they are calling the plague has reached them at last.
What Just Happened?
Well from the looks of it, these gentlemen are in for a very long journey. Their world has officially ended and yet they still feel compelled by their duties to serve the church. It’s very true to that time period of how men were ready to die in service of God no matter how much sin they partook in beforehand. With one of their own bitten, and this plague now at the doors of the Vatican, one can only hope for a gripping tale of brotherhood, and bloodshed as this book continues. For a first issue, it definitely grabs your attention and makes you want to turn each page as story develops in each page.
The art compliments the story well. Again this book isn’t for the weak of stomach because there is a great deal of graphic imagery, but it’s displayed in a stylized way that isn’t the most realistic way like it’s a photograph. It’s definitely a comic book style and that’s a good thing. It doesn’t try to be the most realistic gorey book in the world. It’s just trying to tell a story and that’s perfectly fine.
Pestilence #1 is honestly a book that I personally needed after being so highly divulged into superhero comics. This was my first true taste of a comic from what is known as an “indie” creator. It is such a simple premise of “what if they black plague was a zombie virus” but it’s done in a way that doesn’t get dull. It gives you an easy introduction to the main characters, and gives them a quest to begin. Like mentioned at the beginning, this is not a book for younger audiences, but also people who aren’t on board for gore and such. However if you are of age and want to check out an epic quest to survive the zombie apocalypse in 1347, then this is a book for you.