Genetically-Engineered Global Genocide: Pandemica #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
A series of diseases are wiping out ethnic minorities around the world. Wherever the disease hits, it only spreads through and kills certain groups of people while leaving others almost entirely untouched. The U.S., Mexico, much of South America, Africa, and Asia have had thousands of deaths each. Stranger yet, it’s not just one disease doing it: Chikingunya and communicable forms of Tay Sachs and Sickle Cell are burning through populations as well. Only one man, Moses Hale, thinks this is a deliberate act of global genocide, and the people behind it want him dead. Thankfully, Moses is already putting together a team of security, scientists, and investigators to prove that this is a deliberate attack on various groups of peoples throughout the world. Hopefully they can get to the bottom of it in time.

Pandemica #1 cover by Alex Sanchez and Jay Fotos
Pandemica #1 cover by Alex Sanchez and Jay Fotos

Pandemica #1 throws down the gauntlet with its bold narrative about bioengineered global genocide. This story of contagions, cover-ups, and calamity grabs the reader immediately with its surprising and potentially incendiary plot and message.
The story is thoroughly grabbing and unique, but that doesn’t mean that the book is without its flaws. The dialogue does get shaky at times, and parts of the narrative do strain believability. I’m willing to buy the liberties being taken with real-world disease and that some shadowy cabal of monstrous bastards would decide to sell bioengineered genocide, but it’s hard to believe that only one person would notice that this is going on. There are too many coincidences and seemingly deliberate targetings in this plot, and it’s not like bioweapons are a new concept.
That brings us to the characters, none of which really sell themselves to me in this opening issue. Moses is a little too self-satisfied to be likable and not interesting enough to be compelling. De’neesa is a little too flat to be especially engaging either.
On the other hand, Alex Sanchez’s artwork does give a nice aesthetic of grit and shadow to this world of ongoing genocide and bioengineered atrocity. Characters have a distinct, almost caricature-like appearance that makes them memorable. Jay Fotos’ color art is bleak and cold, well-suited to the world of Pandemica.
Pandemica #1 is an ambitious and grabbing first installment for this new Jonathan Maberry series. The plot is grand and apocalyptic, the art looks damn good, and the pacing is solid. While there are flaws, I still found myself completely enthralled with this first installment. It definitely gets a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
Pandemica #1 comes to us from writer Jonathan Maberry, artist Alex Sanchez, color artist Jay Fotos, letterer Shawn Lee, cover artist Alex Sanchez with Jay Fotos, and variant cover artists Alex Sanchez and Esteban Salinas.
Final Score: 7.5/10

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