Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Sea Lion Books
Source: E-copy provided by publisher
Mini-Review: A fascinating start to what promises to be a unique comic series.
Brent Marks is not a freak. He is one of the Pariah, a group of teens who become extremely intelligent after being cured of a genetic disorder. Although in most ways a normal teen, Brent is considered dangerous and is tracked down by the government who see these kids as an enormous threat. Can he evade them? What do they have planned for Brent and the others?
Aron Warner is the Academy Award®-winning producer of the animated blockbuster “Shrek” series. Mr. Warner joined PDI/Dreamworks in 1997 working as the producer on the animated film, Antz. He is currently in partnership with director Andrew Adamson in Strange Weather where they and partner Jeff Fierson are developing a slate of live action and animated feature films and television shows. He, producing alongside James Cameron, just wrapped the Untitled Cirque Du Soleil 3-D project, which was written and directed by Adamson. Pariah is his first graphic novel series.
When I was approached about reviewing a comic series on my blog, I felt a little over my head but I decided to give it a whirl. What came to me was Pariah, a story about super smart people called Vitros who have advanced knowledge and how they fit into the world of average people. Though I must admit that this first issue only serves to set up the world and its main character Brent Marks, it succeeds at whetting the appetite and I'm interested to see where this series might go.
Brent Marks is your average guy-- you know, he keeps science equipment in his room, gives class presentations that go over the head of his teacher and is way smarter than most people around him. In his world, he's known as a Vitros. What I liked about him was that he was very aware of how people saw him and he worried about it. In his world, the gap between the average people and the Vitros is growing wider and isexacerbated by the ending. Though we don't get to know much about him, we do know that he loves his parents even if they are weary of him and that while he is incredibly smart, he can't always foresee the consequences of his actions.
I'm interested to see why this story is going. By the ending of this first issue, things have gotten really bad for Brent and I'm not sure how he's going to get out of his current situation. I thought that Pariah really excelled in it's inventiveness. While the first few pages were a bit over my head (I think this was on person to showcase just how smart Vitros are), I like the action they set up and the world building. Usually, in novels and movies, people will always rally against the other but more often than not, the other is something supernatural like aliens. What I liked is that Vitros are people and that while regular people may have more numbers, I don't think they are going to be a match for Vitros, assuming that's whose really going to be the bad guy.
I hesitate to comment on the artwork as I am in no way or form an artist or any type of expert but I will say that I thought the blend of anime and western style worked really well for the story. I also really liked the usage of lots of color and that the backgrounds were generally very bright. It made the strips easy to look at and even the backgrounds were visually pleasing.
Overall, I would have liked a bit more action and to feel a little more connected to the main character but I feel like that will come with time. The world of Pariah is interesting, the art descriptive, and the ending is definitely a cliffhanger. If your a fan of comics or are looking for something a little different, I'd say go for Pariah.