Writer: Frank Tieri
Artist: Oleg Okunev
Colorist: Rob Schwager
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
A review by Josh Rose
During the 14th century the Plague, also known as the Black Death, swept across Europe. Or so we were told. What if it was really the first zombie plague but history decided to keep it a secret? Pestilence #1 explores this idea with stunning art and compelling characters.
The Church has sent the Fiat Lux, their assassin group led by Roderick Helms, to deal with a situation involving a rogue Crusader and his army. After they dispatch the leader and accept his army’s surrender, Roderick and his men are traveling when they come across another wayward journeyman who bites one of them when they attempt to speak with him. Soon after encountering their first zombie, and learning how to kill it, they come across a new set of instructions from the Vatican concerning their next mission.
This is the first book and I’m already hooked. (I was hooked by the premise when it was announced but anyways.) I’m not usually a zombie fan but its combined with a historical setting, and one that I find personally fascinating. Frank Tieri does a great job not only on dropping amazing hooks that would make the Walking Dead jealous, but he also on spending time introducing us to Roderick’s merry band of misfits. They each have their own story and personalities that will be explored later on.
The art in Pestilence #1 is violent, bloody and gory. Everything you need in a zombie comic! The panel layout is easy to follow and feels cinematic at times especially with the text boxes narrating some of the action scenes. Oleg Okunev does an excellent job conveying an incredible sense of horror during the zombie scenes and how awful the Crusades could be.
Buy It! As I read Pestilence #1 I learned a little bit more about the Crusades. I learned about rogue armies, a little more about the medieval church, where the bubonic plague began, and I learned that medieval zombies are cool!