REVIEW: Sickness or Sorrow #1 (2022)

A Comic by Matt Hardy, Domenico Pagano, and Rob Jones

It’s been a while since I dove into my pile of comics that I’ve helped crowdfund on Kickstarter. I always intend on reading them in a very timely manner, but life always seems to get in the way sometimes. Anyway, today’s review is for a mature-themed comic from Mad Robot Comics that seems to be the beginnings of some sort of super-villain-ish murder team book. In this world, it appears that some people have the same sort of gifts that superheroes would have, including a young girl named “Chloe”. That said, in this book we look at how people blessed with those sorts of powers would not always seek a good path for their talents. Chloe has the ability to sense and escalate people’s undiagnosed and perhaps dormant illnesses, a power that she uses to great effect as an up-and-coming serial killer. She makes some mistakes and comes under the eye of the police, and a shadowy organization that seems to be looking for individuals such as herself.

To see the original Kickstarter push, click HERE

“Sickness or Sorrow is the 32-page opening issue following these four killers and the shadowy organisation seeking to use their gifts to change the course of human history. Your modern day psychopath has to contend with DNA testing, facial recognition software, toxicology reports, and ballistic evidence. Thankfully it’s now impossible to get away with Murder. Unless you are ROSA, TABBRIS, FORFAX or CASSIEL. Each of our four protagonists has developed a method to murder that is unique to them – each able to stalk their victims and kill without a single, tangible trace. Issue 1 focuses on ROSA, who can feel the slow creep of illness and disease in the body, taking these simple maladies and making them fatal.”

The artwork in this book is pretty good, which some real thrills in the gore and sexy departments. It’s not over-the-top in any way on either front, but one can see why this is not for the kiddos.

This issue is fairly short, we don’t get a ton of world-building as of yet, and a lot of my conjecture up there is exactly that. However, what we do get is an interesting hook for a book that seems to be on a path to doing a storyline you really don’t see too often. I know that showing that people with powers as probable sociopaths is no new feat, but this is taking that idea into some sort of true crime territory that stands out. It will be interesting to see what happens as we’ve now seen two of the advertised four main characters in action. What could be the plan of “Sorrow”, the shadowy organization I was speaking of? Time will tell, and I hope the creative team does more.

Overall, I enjoyed this comic and will have to look into other works by this publisher. I see they also have books about the Thunder Child from The War of the Worlds, which is definitely up my alley. I won’t say this book has totally grabbed me as of yet, but the ideas are interesting, and the art is solid – both surefire ways to get me to at least get issue number two.


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