Pestilence: A Story of Satan #5 from Aftershock Comics hits comic book store shelves this week. It is the fifth and final installment of an amazing five-part series written by Frank Tieri with artwork by Oleg Okunev.
This issue starts out just like the miniseries began, with the Pope standing on a balcony surveying the people and a shadowy figure looming behind him, dagger drawn, moving in for the kill. The majority of this story has been a flashback leading up to this very moment.
The Pope has been taken over by Satan himself, and the zombie plague was really the gestation of Satan’s spawn seeded in human hosts. The demonic hordes have now hatched, bursting out of their victims and taking over all of Europe and the civilized world. For Roderick Helms, this is no concern at the moment since his son Abel was taken from him in an attack from the newly-formed Fiat Lux. Roderick along with his wife Jaqueline, his brother in arms Geoffrey, and the warrior Isabel are hot on the trail of the Fiat Lux in a desperate attempt to save Abel. Roderick is incensed and furious, striking them down one by one in a ferocious battle. He discovers that the Pope had sent men to take Abel from the Fiat Lux shortly after they abducted him. In the fray, Roderick is badly wounded and the party convinces him to rest for the night and make way to the Vatican in the morning. While Roderick rests and heals from his wounds, a lone member of the party slips out and makes their way to the Vatican to attempt the rescue on their own. This is the shadowy form at the beginning of the series and in the beginning of this issue. Knowing that they are giving their life up and will surely be killed, it is the one chance they all have of stopping Satan and his demon army and saving Abel.
Will this assassin succeed and save the world, or will their sacrifice be in vain? All this is answered in a climactic conclusion to this groundbreaking series.
The writing on this issue and in this entire series has been nothing short of epic. Frank Tieri pulls no punches with the horrific situations and language. This story is as thought-provoking and complex as it is disturbing and grotesque. Everything in this series has been leading up to this final issue and Frank Tieri delivers in a way that is intense and satisfying.
Oleg Okunev yet again fills the page with fantastic violent and visceral artwork. The level of action and gore is palpable and leaps off of every frame. The battle scene in the beginning as Roderick hunts down and kills the new Fiat Lux in search of answers about his son Abel is awesome. You can sense the ferocity and desperation of this father whose only concern is to save his young son and punish those who took him. Okunev’s artwork through this entire series and the volume before it has been masterful, and in this final installment, he really adds to the climax of this amazing story.
Overall this issue is the perfect finale to an epic mini-series and a must-have for anyone reading this title. It is not only intense and breathtaking but also very satisfying in its conclusion. Tieri also leaves the story open for further adventures in a new land.