Review: Pariah #2

In my last review I said that I was worried that my favorite character may have been killed off too soon. While that’s probably true, this issue was for the most part a solid issue about our vitros in space. The problem that I’m finding is that there are only a handful of characters that are worth a damn and so while the series has mostly stuck with those characters, that means that there are annoying characters that the story is destined to deal with eventually. We meet Brandon as he and a few other vitro’s go to work on picking apart old space junk that’s orbiting close enough for them and striping them it for parts. Brandon compares this to dumpster diving and he’s not far off. There’s things they can take for sure, but it’s rarely the important things they need. It’s been 45 days since we last saw them, but not much has changed on the space station other than people settling in and niche groups forming. Brandon brings the haul back to the ship and he’s instantly asked by Sam (see the cover) about coolant stores. Brandon snaps at her because as much as he likes her he can’t make things appear so telling him how important they are isn’t constructive. They patch things up though, but then it’s revealed that they’re not even an item.

No in fact Brandon is the boyfriend of the vitro’s self-appointed leader Lila. Lila and the dude that supposedly betrayed the vitros are working on a secret plan to get them back to earth, but most of the kids including Brandon, don’t seem to care anymore. Brandon spends the rest of the issue acting as security on the ship trying to track a financial attack that one of the vitro’s is launching to specifically hurt someone back on earth.

PARIAH #2 coverI have some mixed feelings about this issue. Brandon is a decent character, but he comes off very average compared to the other vitros. I don’t know if this was an attempt to make him more relatable to the audience or if he’s just that way, but I’m having a hard time understanding what makes a vitro different since they all seem to have the same ability… intelligence.

The other thing is that Lila basically assumes that Brandon is acting like the police on the station already when he’s not. He doesn’t see the need for it until he starts looking around and talking to the kids. This made me like the kids even less. If the teenage X-Men were trapped on a space station they wouldn’t need a cop to govern them. While this makes them more realistic it’s also an angle that once it sets upon the story will burrow its way into every aspect of it and that’s just not very interesting with everything else that’s going on. There’s enough drama already so why add this extra layer?

The art is still wonderful and the really it’s all about the coloring for me. The blues to orange hues gives the book a distinct look, but at the same time captures the space vibe. The character designs also play a key role in the success of the storytelling since we’re dealing with a community of teens. Each character has their own unique look which is nice because sometimes artists use similar features and rely on the hair style to be the key difference. Brett Weldele does a great job of making sure they’re different. His style and abilities as a storyteller is one of the things that brought me back to this series after the first issue.

While I enjoyed this issue, it made it clear that this series isn’t a must read. It’s something that I may come and go on, but it hasn’t won me over as a steady reader. Maybe that will happen with the next issue, but that will depend on which character we’re following then. That in fact might be its greatest strength and weakness; by not having a steady narration from any one character for a duration of time, it might in fact make it harder for readers to latch on to it. At the same time it might be what keeps the narration fresh.

Score: 3/5

Story: Aron Warner and Philip Gelatt Artist/Letterer: Brett Weldele Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/26/14