Pariah Volume 1
Outcast because of your genetics, what would you do when people with your particular genetic code were suddenly public enemy number one? Pariah explores this very question in the first volume published by Darkhorse. The first volume follows the stories of a few teenagers who are a special sort of human. They’re called “vitros” due to their specialized genetic code and are smarter than your average human. With inflated intellect and a society that is constantly side-eyeing them, life for vitros isn’t easy.
It gets even worse when a lab explodes and a group of vitros are said to be the ones at fault for a catastrophe that is killing “normal” humans.
The story follows the point of views of four teenagers who are caught in the crossfire. Perhaps the coolest part about the story in the first volume is the fact it switches from one teenager to the next in terms of point of view. This particular technique is what drew me in to George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. The problem with Pariah is that once you start it, you won’t be able to put it down because you’ll want to know what happens next. At least, that’s what happened to be and the next thing I knew I had finished the first volume.
Pariah volume one exemplifies the science fiction genre within its story. Science fiction always strives to be a reflection of reality and Pariah has got that in spades. Within its confines the reader will find a story about teenagers fighting against society and trying to find their place in it. Even though they are rejected, they don’t lose hope and don’t cease to exist. They continue to press forward, even into uncertain waters, with the hope that there will be better days ahead.
This story tackles the ideas of otherness, of being on the outskirts of society, and of being a teenager in a big, complicated world. In other words, it reflects life in its simplest form. Everyone is different and everyone has, at some point or another, been pushed out of the “in-group” and forced to be on their own. The great thing about Pariah is that it explores these concepts safely within the realm of fiction and gives teenagers and anyone who has ever felt ostracized the chance to empathize with the characters.
On top of the story line, the art is fantastic and Brett Weldele really outdid himself to provide the perfect tone through his art for a story of this magnitude.
Pariah gets five out of five starts from me and I can’t wait to dig into the second volume.