"Pestilence: A Story of Satan #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by AfterShock Comics
Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Oleg Okunev
Colored by Guy Major
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 5th, 2018
Roderick is putting the band back together, but that has been a little unusual since half of Fiat Lux died recently. After curing the country of the plague, people went back to their daily lives, however Satan had other plans. The devil has revealed the true purpose for the plague. Roderick and his brothers in arms will have to find a way to defeat Satan before he can complete his evil tasks. That should be easy, right?
The depiction of the devil in Pestilence: A Story of Satan is top notch. We already know he is evil. I mean, he's the devil. This is next-level sinister. Everything about this character is unsettling. Letterer Marshall Dillon uses this rough and blistered font that you just know would burn if you tried to speak this way. The word balloons are ringed in fire for an added evil touch.
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Satan can speak through any of the infected, taking up residence in bodies as he wishes. This power overwhelms and transforms the human being into something so very frightening. Artist Oleg Okunev ups the ante in this chapter with some startling body horror. It's so simple in its description, but it's something that will haunt me for days to come. Picture a man standing in shock as spindly, blood-soaked fingers break through the back of his head, wrapping around the front towards his face. I'll understand if you want to take a moment to compose yourself after that. I certainly need to.
OK. You good? That's just part of this dark transformation. The man's body is twisted into this demon-like entity with clawed hands and rows of jagged teeth. This is a monster in every sense of the word. We already knew Okunev could draw great zombies. It's clear from this book that he can do tremendous horror work of all kinds.
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This disturbing imagery is eerily lit by the campfire. Colorist Guy Major casts this fiery light on the Satan being that contrasts against the cool blue of the evening. This is an otherwise calm night only to be disturbed by such a monstrosity. The fire also lights up Satan's eyes from within, making for a creepy look in the darker scenes.
Roderick's task gets more complicated, as there are other forces working against him. Satan isn't just pulling the strings of the undead. He's got connections that go all the way to the top of the church and that's a major obstacle for Roderick and his men. This takes an already engrossing horror story and mixes it with a thriller to make for a very exciting read.
Pestilence: A Story of Satan is poised to end with the next issue. I can't imagine how this harrowing tale will wrap up. Writer Frank Tieri has taken an already terrifying tale to new heights with this chapter and the mini-series as a whole. Pestilence took a new, undead look at the bubonic plague. Its follow up has brought in the biggest bad there is and will shake you to the core. This is grade A horror.