An R-Rated Cartoon Villain: Pandemica #3 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead
Chick and De spend an intimate moment together before going onto another operation for Pandemica and Moses. They attack another laboratory responsible for spreading the designer diseases across the world. Their raid is successful and they discover something even more abominable in the basement of the lab. Meanwhile, one of De and Chick’s old teammates comes back to attack Pandemica headquarters. He wants De’Neesa and Chick to meet up with him and to return all the information they’ve stolen on the Ark.

Pandemica #3 cover by Alex Sanchez and Jay Fotos
Pandemica #3 cover by Alex Sanchez and Jay Fotos

Pandemica #3 brings Chick and De into conflict with one of their own teammates who has been working for the Ark project. They’ve not encountered one another yet, but they are working parallel to one another. Their reunion is inevitable.
This may be a strange observation this far into Pandemica, but the villains of the comic are wandering into the realm of “cartoonishly evil.” The operator from De and Chick’s old crew has just about every negative quality a person could imagine. Like his bosses, he’s an unrepentant racist; he’s also a rapist, a sadistic killer, and even seems to just swear more than other characters. There’s nothing interesting about him. I’m not asking to have redeemable or even likable racist genocidal antagonists, but it was preferable when the Ark was just a group of largely absent and shadowy political and corporate leaders. While I’m not opposed to over-the-top and cartoonish villains on principle, the serious nature of Pandemica‘s narrative calls for a more skillful touch in this regard.
We also touch on De and Chick’s own history as PMC operators. Chick acknowledges that they were definitely the bad guys in some other people’s stories, but it would be nice if we learn a bit more on how they got from there to here. Otherwise, they seem like the bloodsoaked and monstrous villains of the story, sans the racism and rape.
Pandemica #3 art by Alex Sanchez, Jay Fotos, and letterer Shawn Lee
Pandemica #3 art by Alex Sanchez, Jay Fotos, and letterer Shawn Lee

Alex Sanchez’s artwork is once again one of the strongest aspect of the comic. While there are moments where the action isn’t especially clear, the gritty detailing and linework adds a lot to the apocalyptic tone of the comic. Jay Fotos’ dark and dingy color work is appealing as well and it gives the book the atmosphere it wants.
Pandemica #3 gives the indication that this comic series’ problems are only going to worsen as it goes on as opposed to working themselves out. The dialogue is still shaky and even unpleasant at times, the villains of this apocalyptic narrative aren’t even interesting–regardless of whether you could draw real-world analogues to them–, and the pacing is very stop-and-go. I can’t quite recommend this one, unfortunately.
Pandemica #3 comes to us from writer Jonathan Maberry, artist and variant cover artist Alex Sanchez, color artist Jay Fotos, letterer Shawn Lee, and cover artist Alex Sanchez with Jay Fotos.
Final Score: 4.5/10

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