GR Cleanup Project. Read in October 2011.
Issue one of Pariah sets the stage for a dark edged story featuring super intelligent teens that are hunted down by the government. Everything seems normal enough at first glance despite the 2025 timestamp. An intelligent teen named Brent Marks declares to the reader that “he is not a freak”, later he is seen ineptly attempting to woo a beauty and a little later being bullied by jerks. He returns home to parents who appear to be glued to their couch with zombie-like expressions on their faces. The drawings are washed out in shades of grime and their dreariness helps set the tone of the book.
An incident occurs that leaves many dead and releases a deadly virus that affects only humans. See, there are humans and there are enhanced humans called vitros. The vitros are super-smart teens immune to whatever virus has been released and they apparently have the capacity to do great harm (I’m not sure how they ended up this way but hopefully we’ll find out in a future installment). The human population, already a bit wary of them, believes the media and politicians when they call this a terrorist attack. This instantly makes all vitros a target and sends them into hiding, including Brent Marks who I fear will never get the girl with the luscious lips now!
I found Pariah interesting in that it takes many modern day fears and puts them in a not-so-distant future where intelligent teens are the enemy. It makes perfect sense that the tv obsessed population would fear these brainiacs. I felt for Brent, who was an outsider from the beginning and whose depressing life takes an even bleaker turn as events unfold. Brent’s character was well developed for such an action packed, short piece of work. Now that things are set up, I’m looking forward to checking out future issues to see what happens to these kids.