Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2006
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Pariah Writer(s): Orlando Harding
Artist(s): David Miller
Publishers: Revolution Comics
From: USA
Price: $2.99(US)

Ronald is an ER doctor used to knowing what's going on and how to save his patients. This day he has to deal with something far outside his experience when a woman arrives missing several limbs and any measurable life signs. Not unusual so far, but the way that she keeps talking and seems to have impregnable skin is. Ronald suspects a prank is being played, but the woman soon reveals she knows him better than any person could, and has information she wants to share.

Like the strange female character with no life signs, I can't help feeling there is something missing in this book, even though I can't quite put my finger on it. The events that unfold take place in a hospital and for the most part consist of exposition. Characters seems amazed at the condition of the patient, while no one even mentions the fact that the outlandish nature of her skin-tight clothing. Perhaps lots of over endowed women wear hardy anything in that part of the city

Very little in the way of action is on display here, as Ronald mouths off about events, then lady x starts going on about demons, hell and other mumbo jumbo. There are several panels where mysterious characters are shown without any real explanation of who they are and exactly how they fit into the plot.

The most memorable feature of the book is David's artwork, which goes all out for a dynamic feel using a style that remind me of the work of Rob Liefield; a comparison heightened by the demonic nature of much of the imagery (not that Rob is demonic, just that.. oh, you know what I mean). The visuals are spectacular in parts, such as scenes of the underworld, fallen angel figures, and the great cover. In other areas the consistently strained expressions of the characters and awkward poses get tiring, as does the very dark colouring used.

This issue serves as a prologue to a continuing story that looks like it will involve the doctor from this issue, so we get a brief introduction to him, but the book fails to make the reader care what happens to him and doesn't make clear exactly what the nature of series will be. All the ominus portents of doom and spooky visions show flair as the artwork makes a good effort to energize an otherwise slow plot, but the book lacks spirit.

In a Word: Asystole.

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