Earth is in peril. Hundreds of thousands of people are dying from a virus that is spreading like wildfire. Entire countries have fallen off the communication grid; the only hope for humanity is a lone space station full of genetically manufactured geniuses. Geniuses treated as pariahs – disowned by their families and shunned by the world. Naturally, the chaos on Earth should be none of there concern however; there are a few souls upon the Vitro Space Station who feel otherwise. It’s these souls who convince the lead Vitro that, despite all the cruelty and adversity their kind has faced, it is up to them to cure the plague that threatens the only home they have ever truly known.
This comics gets serious fast. The second page contains a small description of what the Vitros are and how they ended up in space before diving into the plot line for this issue. It is immediately clear that the crew of this space station is divided; many want to leave Earth’s orbit and explore the galaxy, try to find a new home – a new Earth. Meanwhile others believe they can return home and convince their families that just because they are genetically manufactured doesn’t mean they aren’t human; that they still have feelings and still want to live among the denizens of Earth. This tension is exposed within the first few pages of Pariah as Shelley, one of the youngest crew members, breaks into anger that her leader wants to abandon Earth for a planet light years away that shows promise for habitation.
The tensions increase when a decision is made to both create a cure for the volatile virus wiping out humanity and focus on a launch to travel towards “New Earth”. In a space station so removed from humanity, can these genius children maintain morality? Can they truly cure something so deadly? What risks will they take for a world that has exiled them? There is much to consider with this comic. A lot of controversial discussions take place in under 30 pages of content; discussions that present politicians can’t even work through. While the art for this series is sub-par (the artist(s) use rough sketches and neutral colors to push the focus towards the story), there is something to be said about the arguments presented in its text.
If you are interested in a mind-teaser and don’t mind rough artistry then Pariah is definitely a good series to pick up.