Retrovirus HC

by lucstclair on November 21, 2012

Professor Zoe Wallace is at the top of her field in microbiology and an expert on extinct viruses, after giving a lecture on the dangers of said viruses, she his offered an interesting proposition. The company known as Bio-Pharm wants to fly her to an undisclosed facility in Antarctica to identify an unknown virus. The job is top secret, but does pay a substantial amount of money and she’ll have access to state of the art medical equipment. For the sake of science & a little bit of curiosity, she accepts, but the brutal truth is far more terrifying than she realizes and becomes a fight for her very survival.

The Team

Written by Justin Gray (Jonah Hex : Bury Me In Hell, Time Bomb Vol. 1) & Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex : Counting Corpses, Wolverine & Black Cat). Illustrated by Norberto Fernandez (Quatroccentro). Cover by Amanda Conner (The Pro, Gatecrasher Vol. 1 : Ring of Fire). Published by Image Comics.

The Pros & Cons

With themes like biology, mutating diseases & isolation like The Thing & Mimic, this is a terrific sci-fi horror story that goes straight for the jugular. With all elements in place like a pharmaceutical company with a hidden agenda, kooky scientists and a top secret medical facility hidden far away, you have a truly horrifying tale of evolution gone horribly wrong. The protagonist Wallace is a confident & brilliant scientist, but sometimes a little too sexy for a nerdy labcoat. Is she a super model or a scientist? But these are minor complaints. The science boys at this facility have successfully cloned several Neanderthals which carry what they call the Phoenix virus, but this ain’t Encino Man, they’re more like super caveman and a thousand more vicious than Brendan Fraser.


The story is written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti, who are on familiar ground here with graphic images of horror, violence & gore. Check out their other body of works like Jonah Hex & Random Acts of Violence and you’ll see what I mean. The story begins with Wallace’s personal life going down the toilet and a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo, but quickly morphs into a balls to the walls horror story with plenty of action and enough plasma to satisfy any horror freak. The ending was very predictable and Hollywood and left me craving a different kind of ending, but for this story it’s about the journey, not the destination.


Illustrator Norberto Fernandez is from Spain and his body of work is mostly in Spanish, but I think this is very first English titled comic and it looks fantastic. His slick drawings and facial expressions clearly expresses the characters moods & fears and the Neanderthals look like a palaeontologist’s worst nightmare. The colours are vibrant and he’s not afraid to use copious amounts of red to fully illustrate the bloodshed. Wrap the whole thing up with a bad ass Amanda Conner coverand you've got yourself a one way trip to the terrordome.

The Outcome

This is the type of sci-fi horror story I freakin’ adore. A mixed bag of violence, blood, guts & mad scientists. It won’t change your life, but it’s damn entertaining and at 12.99$ it might be a little steep, but it’s worth it.


Our Score:


A Look Inside