"Pestilence: A Story of Satan #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by AfterShock Comics
Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Oleg Okunev
Colored by Rob Schwager
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 27th, 2018
Roderick Helms thought he stopped the Black Death. The plague that ravaged Europe by creating hordes of zombies was over thanks to the Holy Grail. The infected were cured. Now Satan has re-infected everyone that was freed from the disease, ready to make his mark on the world and destroy the man who stopped his evil plans. The devil takes aim at Roderick's family to hit him where it would hurt the most.
Just in case you had any doubts about Pestilence: A Story of Satan, this is one dark comic. I mean, we're dealing with Satan himself here. He proves why he's the most evil being ever to exist in this issue. I won't spoil it here, but suffice it to say there are some truly shocking moments contained within these pages. They will definitely make you cringe. If you're a religious person, you'll probably be more than a little offended, but again, we're dealing with the devil, so you should know what you're getting into.
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Artist Oleg Okunev is back with more incredibly drawn zombies, although these look way more sinister than those featured in the previous series. These are controlled by Satan so there's an added darkness to them. They don't stay dead when they're killed. Instead, Lucifer forces their bodies to stand up again, propping up broken bones and torn muscles in unnatural ways.
These zombies border on the lunatics seen in Crossed, but they're not going around humping everything. Instead they're this force of death that just keeps moving forward. Whereas before they were mindless corpses, now there is some thought coursing through their minds, powering them forward. It's one thing to see a decaying body shuffling towards you. It's quite another when it smiles at you with a mouth full of blood.
Satan's voice comes through the zombies and the body he inhabits in a guttural, jagged font. Letterer Marshall Dillon frames the word balloons in a creepy orange, as if they're coming up from Hell itself. No one else speaks with that quality in the book, so Satan's words definitely stand out.
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Colorist Rob Schwager creates a great contrast between Satan's movements in human form and his attacks with the zombies. The former takes place in a seedy sex dungeon as he commands a group of infected clergymen into a raucous orgy. This is lit by candles, filling the room with reds and oranges while also creating shadows looming all over. The latter is primarily in the daylight as Roderick defends his home from the undead attackers. It's clear that hope lives on in this man and his family. He just has to get through hordes of zombies to even hope to combat this threat.
Pestilence: A Story of Satan ups the ante with this issue, getting even darker and more horrifying. Writer Frank Tieri takes this story to new heights with Exorcist-level scares. This is a horror comic that scratches nearly every itch with insane blood and gore, zombies, and the Dark Lord himself. It's like horror bingo and it's a clearly a winner.