Rating: 4/5 – Demonic Possession Gets the Kirkman Treatment!
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo.
Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta (Valiant Entertainment owns the trademark to the name “Outcast”) has been promoted as the next big thing from Robert Kirkman, writer and creator of the Walking Dead and Invincible. Before its release, it was already announced that Cinemax is developing the book for television and anything with a whiff of a TV deal flies off the racks these days. The first issue was an immediate sell out at the distributor level even though orders were higher than the current issue of Walking Dead and a second printing is on the way. With the success of the Walking Dead on AMC, it’s no big surprise that a television studio is jumping on this. With all this hype, and 44 ad-free pages for $2.99, this was something I was definitely going to try.
Kirkman’s new series deals with demonic possession. This first issue makes that clear from the start, with a scene that’s very much Walking Dead (or, perhaps more appropriately, Nailbiter, another of Image’s new books). But it’s not all about gore, as this series looks to be heavily character driven. I hate to continually make comparisons to the Walking Dead, but it’s really Kirkman’s style that we are talking about. His stories tend to be about the characters and their relationships to one another in whatever scenario they are thrust into, with the overarching theme being secondary to these relationships. A lot of characters are introduced in this first issue, like scattered puzzle pieces waiting to be put together. By the end, one can see the overall picture being formed as Kirkman masterfully intertwines them into the main narrative. What Kirkman probably did best, though, is make demonic possession seem plausible, almost acceptable. Not once while reading the story did I think of the story as being fantastical. It seemed perfectly normal. I think a lot of that also had to do with the art by Paul Azaceta. His style helped bring in the creep factor, but it also made things like a person floating seem normal. My only issue was that the heavy inks, which while helping to set the tone, made some of the panels unclear. I really commend the coloring by Elizabeth Breitweiser as well, which helped set the mood page after page.
This inaugural issue of Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta is definitely worth checking out. It’s a solid story that provides plenty to like, but also leaves plenty of mystery to unfold for future issues. If you remember what it was like to see the Exorcist (or some other movie that scared the hell out of you when you were younger) before you built up an immunity to all things scary over the years, I think this series will rekindle some of that feeling. If you’re just you’re looking for a good, character driven story, regardless of genre, I think this series could be for you as well. If you can find a copy at your local shop, check it out!
Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
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