Comic Review : Retrovirus

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Story by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray
Art by Norberto Fernandez
Cover by Amanda Conner
Publisher Image Comics
Cover Price $12.99
64 pages
RetroVirus started life as a Kickstarter campaign. I have to admit that I did not support the campaign, rather I picked it up when I saw it on the shelf at Westfield Comics in Madison Wisconsin when visiting in-laws one holiday weekend a while back. 
Taken from the KS page:
“THE STORY: When Zoe, a brilliant young scientist who specializes in identifying extinct viruses is offered a job away from the city at a remote research facility in Antarctica, she soon discovers her employer has unearthed a perfectly preserved Neanderthal. That is only one of the many dark secrets lurking at the facility as Zoe races against time to stop a global pandemic.”I need to start off by saying I enjoyed this book. I was not bummed out that I had spent my money on it, and would do it again if I could go back in time…Having said that I do have some issues with it, and I want to talk about them a little.I am a big fan of End of the World stories and Plague stories, so when I heard about Retrovirus I wanted to check it out.The story started out strong. They established a good strong main character in Zoe. Standing up to sexist remarks from her peers, and walking away from a relationship that had obviously gone south. Then she goes on her mission and it feels like that all just kind of melts away. She goes as far as using flashing her chest at a guard to get her way at one point. This just seems the total opposite of the feel for the character I had in the beginning.

My other problem is that this story was just way rushed. This could have easily been an amazing full sized Graphic Novel, instead it is just a good hardcover comic. We end up getting some really amazingly drawn battle pages, but they are combined with characters that are not given enough time to show any personality short of a cardboard cut out. I like comics where I feel a pang of grief when a character is killed, because no one was given time to grow this fails to happen in this story.

Retrovirus was a good book, but it could have been an amazing one…

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