• Pariah #3

    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: Apr. 30, 2014

    Having met him at the very end of issue #2 as the lone hyper-intelligent Vitro remaining on Earth’s surface we’re now given the story of Hal Roberts.

    He’s the teenaged son of prepper-type parents who don’t seem to be that crazy. They impart the best lesson they can to him, though, in the form of this mantra: “Paranoia is a survival instinct.” Turns out to be accurate when the government troops come calling for him, only to find him having escaped his family’s compound. Hal continues to elude them, faking his own death and re-establishing his identity as a hot-shot young web admin.

    Settling into this life on his own he reaches out to Franklin Hyde in more of a spirit of camaraderie after that Vitro “comes out.” Soon, then, he’s contacted by Lila and Hyde from the Russian satellite that’s served as the background for the beginning of this series. Together, they work out a plan for Hal to infiltrate the servers of the National Space Security Transitional Authority, the NSSTA, in order to make that satellite untraceable forever.

    Hal is incredibly capable, quick thinking and very adept at his mission. He’s also successful, right up to the point that he’s finally cornered by representatives of the mysterious, nefarious Marinus Corporation. They’ve stepped in, over the government’s heads, to do what they can’t - namely, to terminate every Vitro on that satellite. They plan on using nuclear warheads to do so, lobbing as many of they can into approximate space since - thanks to Hal’s destructive code - they can’t specifically locate the satellite. As the missiles prepare to launch, Hal can only worry over finding some way of warning his fellow Vitros in time…

    Philip Gelatt takes Aaron Warner’s story to another level here, breaking from the previous episodes in setting and style, giving us a much more action-oriented, Mission Impossible-type story and it really pays off. The action moves swiftly and further helps define the Vitros by just focusing on one fighting (yet again, in this series) for the rest of them. Brett Weldele’s artwork is much tighter in this issue, seemingly restrained by the Earth’s gravity rather than the loose-ness of outer space in the previous issues. It all comes together quite fabulously in this issue and it’s well worth getting.