Story: Frank Tieri
Art: Oleg Okunev
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
What They Say:
Roderick Helms and the former members of Fiat Lux find themselves scrambling to counter. Can they prevent this newer deadlier version of the Black Plague from evolving any further?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The second series for Pestilence has been a lot of grisly and vulgar fun in a way a lot of books don’t attempt to operate these days. It’s not something for everyone and it’s certainly not something you want to see in a lot of books. But Frank Tieri slots it perfectly within this book to give it a kind of grim and brutal feeling that it needs to stand above other similar works. Oleg Okunev really brings that kind of vulgarity to life in the way the characters look and the settings themselves while also just making sure the fights are intense. There’s a power behind a lot of it and the way it unfolds makes it thoroughly engaging with all the details put into expressions and costumes.
A decent part of the opening is focused on Isabel’s story with how she survived, and how those who fought with her before have to struggle with the idea of her being a her. That she was infected toward the end of her fight before and fought hard until she realized none were trying to kill her made clear that they don’t attack their own, but her life was saved through the end of the plague itself and later with Shaw bringing her the healing elixir that saved many that had fallen to the pestilence. It’s one of those close call things where she should have fully turned and died in order to be seeded properly but instead ended up at the cusp and manage to survive because of it and to have a little more knowledge and sense of self about it.
The story as told to the others makes for some chilling moments but it doesn’t get to really sink in since James, bitten himself, has now turned enough for Satan to take over and just laugh at the ridiculousness of Roderick and his men. It turns into a lot of bravado and boists by the guys as they face off against him while trying to get James to fight back but James is largely lost at this point. It’s got a lot of brutal moments as the former James starts to spawn what’s inside him as part of Satan’s larger plan to bring the demons into this world and it all becomes more complicated when those that perverted their truth steal into the night with Abel as well, making it all very personal for Roderick and the rest to face going forward as the next installment is somehow going to conclude this.
Pestilence continues to be a pretty fun book for something that’s all about Satan orchestrating events to bring his side into the earthly world. The stories are well told here once again with Isabel really shining well in telling her tale before everything turns bad for the group. I love Okunev’s artwork throughout it as it just has such a richness to it with the details and what is brought to it with the color design. It’s brutal and violent at times and Tieri doesn’t avoid playing with the vulgarity of the men of this time and how they’d talk. It’s definitely an intriguing book.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: September 5th, 2018