Review brought to you by OBS Staff member Dawn
Pariah Issue #1 by Aron Warner is a futuristic tale set in the year 2025 in Akron Ohio. Brent Marks is a Vitro who has elements of an advanced space craft in his room. Vitros have a high level of intelligence; their minds are always working, they never sleep and they’re kids albeit not normal kids.
The story begins with Brent, at school, giving an oral report in front of the class. His audience isn’t interested, in fact they’re sleeping or ignoring him.
One girl, Anna, seems to be interested in Brent’s ideas. He wonders if she likes him and of course he hopes they kiss. Brent wants to wake up happy each day as Anna does. He asks her to teach him how.
After school, Brent heads home where his parents are in front of the TV as usual. Breaking News: an act of genocide takes place at a laboratory in an effort to kill Vitros. It’s suspected that a rogue Vitro did it. Over 1000 people were killed. Brent’s parents suspect him of being involved despite their assurances.
Brent goes back to school the next day despite all Vitros being declared terrorists. At school some boys refuse to let him in and they make it clear, they want to hurt him. The bullies chase him to a hiding place where Brent creates a small device that can burst ear drums. When Anna sees what Brent has done she turns on him and he runs home.
At home he is arrested.
The first few scenes are technical in that they zoom out (showing the world) and zoom in (showing Akron Ohio). I thought it was a clever way to stage the setting.
The artist captured the teens’ facial expressions perfectly, the apathy of youth. I haven’t been in school for years, but I know those looks. I found myself studying each page. They’re very detailed and interesting.
I really liked the way the author portrayed the bullying and the fear of the unknown that causes people to act in stupid ways. The bullies wanted to kill Brent for being different.
I found it really sad that Brent’s own parents turned him into the police. By the end of the story, Brent is truly alone with no one on his side. I bonded with Brent as a kid who is different and struggles with it. He wants to be accepted and have a normal life and a girlfriend.
I’m looking forward to the 2nd installment.