Category Zero #2

Story/Letters – Adem Kiamil
Art – Ton Lima
Colors – Derek Dow

Coming of what I felt was an excellent debut, Category Zero follows up with an equally impressive second issue. We were left with a gripping incident at the end of the first issue and with the second installment of the story, we’re diving right into the aspects of the book that separate it from similar books. 

In the wake of what is perceived as a terrorist attack by one of the One Percenters (those that have the gene necessary to activate the virus everyone is infected with) the government has what it needs to allow Sanaxus (the big evil corp) to start testing everyone for the one percent gene.  True to human nature and governmental control, the immediate reaction is to fear monger.  Immediately upon testing positive for the gene an individual is sent to what is, in truth, internment camps.  This mirroring of the current state of affairs is a very surreal kick in the pants.  Of course the fact that its also a look back into several instances from our past only makes said kick land even harder.  For me, the hidden excellence of the book is tying together and marrying the duel headed snake of human emotion and governmental control. 

We’re always looking for justification to condemn things we don’t understand out of fear of what may be.  As the second issue of Category Zero unfolds it is shown that the fear of the chance of danger had already prompted protocols to be in place.  They were literally sitting there waiting for the slightest event to use as an excuse to implement what assuredly is an overreaction.What this second issue does an excellent job of, is conveying the emotion involved from ALL sides of the spectrum.  There’s the irrational fear of the unknown, of prosecution, of possibility, of danger, and of that which you cannot control.  The fluid nature of how the individuals in the second issue are presented lends to the overall world that this book is presenting.  That, to me, is the biggest and most impressive aspect of Category Zero. 

I am immersed in, and believe, the world of Category Zero because it feels real.  I can understand and relate to everyone that was shown in this issue.  In fact, one of the best panels in the book is actually portraying someone that would be considered ‘bad’ or ‘in the wrong’ due to their attitude and actions.  However, the out letting of his emotions shows him to be just like everyone else.  Scared and angry.  What he’s feeling is very real, very raw, and very understandable.  

That is where the problems arise though, isn’t it?  It is understandable that the government would have swift and harsh protocols in place for something as potentially dangerous as this.  It is understandable that ‘normal’ people would be frightened to the point of blind obedience.  It is understandable that people would be so scared that they’d not care for the individuals that could be dangerous.  That’s how horrific things happen.  It isn’t some outlandish scheme that sets us on the path of self destruction.  No, it’s the understandable that leads us astray.

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