Retrovirus Hardcover RETROVIRUS

Story By Justin Gray & Jimmy Paliotti

Art by Norberto Fernandez

Covers by Amanda Conner

Publisher Image Comics

Released: November 21, 2012

Verdict: Fun story, good deal, definitely worth it.

When I initially started to see things about this book, it was being called a cross between Jurassic Park and Encino Man. Frankly I don’t see that, but I’m going to let you make up your own mind about that. RETROVIRUS is very much in the vein of Jurassic Park, there are prehistoric things found, studied, and they even make a JP reference to it. Dr. Zoe Wallace is our heroine in this tale. She’s an expert in viruses, and their evolution, so Zoe is our Dr. Grant.

When the story picks up, Zoe isn’t having the best of days, but from the very beginning we see she’s not a woman to be messed with. Zoe is offered a job with one of those big name pharmaceutical companies, they want to pay her a ton of money to fly to Antarctica and study something they found. Obviously she accepts the job and heads to the coldest freaking place on earth, from there things get bad very fast. Nothing is really what it seems at the research facility, and it all plays out very much like a sci-fi thriller movie.

Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray really came up with an interesting twist on a pretty common plot device. Don’t go into RETROVIRUS expecting to have your mind blown, go into it expecting to have a good time and be a little on edge waiting for the next bit of bad news to hit. Oh and we can’t forget the ‘WTF’ moments all over the place. If you’re one of those people that yells at the TV during a movie, you may find yourself yelling at this book, which is really pretty cool when you think about it. The fact you can get so invested in a story, that when someone in it is doing something dumb you can’t help but want to yell at them.

The artwork from Norberto Fernandez is top notch as well, there are some pretty violent scenes that are just done beautifully. Character designs are also done really well, and everyone has their own distinct feel to them. Emotional scenes are a little hit or miss, some of them are spot on, others seem a little over the top. It works for the story though and that’s what really matters in the long run.

As much fun as RETROVIRUS was to read, its got a few problems, there are some scenes about halfway through where it just doesn’t make sense. The character development for certain people is sorta thrown out the window for a few pages. There is also a fair bit of fanservice in the story, along with some harsh language and violence which isn’t bad, but definitely not for everyone.

At this point you may be trying to fit some pieces together as to what this story is actually about. Maybe you’re thinking that they find some extinct virus that devolve people till they’re nothing more than neanderthals. That would be wrong though, this book is a lot of fun though, and well worth reading. I’ve actually been through it twice so far, once for this review and a second time just because it was good the first time. RETROVIRUS is a fun ride, and won’t eat up all your time or money to read it either. At just a little over 70 pages and only $12.99 this would make a great holiday gift for comic fans, or as a little gift for yourself.

Now here’s hoping there’s a sequel in the works. . .

talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

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