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July 23, 2010

Archaia Reviews: Syndrome OGN

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Written by: Jeff
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What if there was a way to curb sociopathic behavior forever? What if there was a way to prevent a mass murderer before he even killed his first victim? What would it take for such a cure to be a reality?

That’s what Archaia’s new graphic novel Syndrome by Blake Leibel, Daniel Quantz, R.J. Ryan, David Marquez, Bill Farmer, and Dave Lanphear wrestles with. This story follows four people and the roles they play in order to bring such a cure to life.

Syndrome begins with serial killer Thomas Kane, aka “The Bible Killer,” who has murdered numerous people and now stands on death row. However, not all is as it appears, as he is secretly whisked away by a mysterious doctor, Wolfe Chitel, who has a past with working with sociopaths, and is seeking redemption for his past failures.┬áToss in a Hollywood set designer with a God-complex and an unsuspecting improvisational actress, and Chitel’s experiment on how to cure a sociopath is underway.

The book was written by Quantz & Ryan, and is their first venture into graphic novels. They play with this idea very well, and their dialog seems to flow rather seamlessly. They certainly know enough about Hollywood to make this idea click along with all the psychological research that they obviously did to create a realistic Dr. Chitel. The pacing of the book is nice, too, with the various “chapters” that focus on the various characters. It’s always fun to get similar scenes from different perspectives, and Quantz & Ryan set this up really nicely.


The real gem of this book is the art. I was surprised to discover that David Marquez did all of the art digitally. His style is reminiscent of Phil Jimenez and looks like it is a traditionally penciled and inked work. However, the extras in the back show a bit of his process, which shows what a good artist Marquez really is. Extremely clean lines, pleasant-looking figures, and straight-forward storytelling. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of his art on the shelf. Couple that with Bill Farmer’s colors and Dave Lanphear’s letters, and this is a great book to look at.

Syndrome was a quick and easy read, and left me wanting more. I was surprised to see I reached the end. That might be my only beef with this book. They could have explored this idea much more deeply, and carried it for another 50 or 60 pages. I wasn’t wholly satisfied with the ending, but that might have been because I was expecting to read more.

If you are one of those people who looks up Jeffrey Dahmer on Wikipedia because you find his story fascinating and disgusting, you will definitely want to check this book out.

Jeff Jackson



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Mulder, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: Archaia Comics Reviews: SYNDROME OGN!! #comics #Syndrome @melcaylo […]

  2. How is it you review a book where a character has been named ‘The Bible Killer’? lol Glad it was a good read and the premise seems pretty cool, don’t know if it’s something I’d jump right into but who knows.

  3. Jeff Jackson

    I know, wasn’t that funny. There were some religious overtones in the book, too, ironically.

  4. […] WARS Blake Leibel (W), Josh Finney + Kat Rocha (A) Evoking 1950s sci-fi B movies, a group of soldiers in high tech […]

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