We all have those comic titles that we’ve been meaning to read, but just haven’t gotten around to yet, right? You bought and read the first couple of issues the moment they came out, but then one thing leads to another and next thing you know the title has arrived at its’ final issue. Well that’s exactly what happened to me, with Aftershock’s final issue of Pestilence #6 written by Frank Tieri, art by Oleg Okunev, cover by Tim Bradstreet.
At face value the 6-issue min-series, is just another zombie story that takes place in 14th-century Medieval Europe with the shroud of secrecy of the Catholic Church as the back drop. What Frank Tieri has managed to do is reflect some of the same crisis of faith ills from that is largely demonstrative of what people feel about the Catholic Church today. The leadership of the Catholic Church would rather keep its’ secrets and put people in danger than have its’ claim to power over death come under scrutiny and thus lose its power over the people. This unwillingness not only undermines its’ relationship with the congregation but causes an internal rift within the church, pitting crusader against the clergy and sometimes crusader against crusader, so that Fiat Lux often ends up fighting members of the church than actual zombies.
In issue #2 creator Frank Tieri, and artist Oleg Okunev have managed to build a zombie apocalypse where the infected are more intelligent and more formidable than before, in the fact that instead of just biting and infecting, and creating chaos, the zombies conduct full on military operations complete with tactical retreats.
Reading this issue in a vacuum without the benefit of reading the other issues or at least Catholic Mythology is not advised. With so many characters in this story, there were a lot of underlying subplots and I had to take a knee a couple of times to research and figure out who and what I was reading about; However, Frank Tieri does find a good rhythm for the characters here and there.
Out of 5 stars I give it a 3. I wish Tieri had more time than 6 issues to develop this story. I appreciated that Tieri was trying to insert some Historical social justice issues into the comic, but there were several panels that I felt Tieri would have liked to illustrate his point in a little more detail, but suddenly had to move on, for the sake of moving the story along, Yet, I still want to pick-up the Book two whenever it starts.
(W) Frank Tieri (A) Oleg Okunev (CA) Tim Bradstreet