Created By Blake Leibel
Written By Daniel Quantz & R.J. Ryan
Illustrated By David Marquez
Colored By Bill Farmer
When I first got Syndrome, I was in the process of moving to my new apartment, and received it when I was halfway through moving all my furniture. I was able to skim through it, and really enjoyed it, but ultimately moving got the best of me and it fell into the review pile, where it woefully sat. I’ve tried to find words but it’s difficult because, as I’ve established in the past, I just can’t gush on and on about something good. And Syndrome is very, very good.
Set in Colorado in modern times, Syndrome is the psychologically driven tale of a hidden research experiment which aims to prove that evil is merely a syndrome that can be cured. Started by Dr. Wolfe Chitel after he failed to identify a young serial killer. Deep inside the compound, a team of actors and set designers have been hired with the hope of diagnosing and curing The Bible Killer, whose execution for an undisclosed (but incredibly high) number of serial killings was recently faked.
It’s in this unique premise that the novel runs free, jumping back and forth to play with our sense of time, while still presenting us with a single, thought provoking question: what is evil? The book makes an effort to examine this through the eyes of all around and how they are affected by the project, which is portrayed as overwhelming in scale. The story plays out like a big-budget thriller, with gorgeous visuals that draw the reader in.
Ultimately, the only downfall of Syndrome is it’s length. With it’s combination of jumping back and forth in time and rather dense back story, it feels incredibly short, almost as if it’s ending just as it begins. But while it does feel like a short story, it’s brief time leaves an impact, and lends itself to be re-read and shared with friends and family alike. Syndrome is another example of comics evolving beyond the spandex super hero into something more mature and adult and, while the caped crusaders of old will always have a place in the industry, it’s graphic novels like Syndrome that will bring in new readers and keep them begging for more.