Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta #14 (Image)


Rating: 4/5 – Still Building the Mystery Behind Demonic Possessions
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

Will Outcast the comic get a lot more attention once the series hits the screen on Cinemax?  Only time will tell.  The Walking Dead comic exploded in popularity after the series hit basic cable so it’s a possibility.  Popular TV show or not, the comic will exist as it’s own thing regardless of the show.  If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a fan of comics you read.  Their interpretations for other media are fun to experience, but those other versions don’t supplant the original comics, which are creative works that stand on their own and are experienced differently when read than an acted version that is watched.

At its core Outcast is a supernatural horror series involving demonic possession and the relationship it has with the main protagonist, Kyle Baker.  Baker and his loved ones have had something to do with demonic possession since his childhood, and he has some kind of ability to affect those possessed, though the full extent and nature of these abilities are still being explored and defined.  This is a long form horror tale and Kirkman is slowly adding and revealing facets of the story, building issue after issue.  This slow build offers a different kind of suspense for the people who choose to read this monthly over people who will experience it in either larger chunks (in collected editions) or all at once reading it down the line after much more of the story has been revealed.

The part of the mystery that is most fascinating so far is learning what the demons are up to.  It seems clear that the possessions are part of a larger scheme and are not just random acts, the mysterious “Merge” referred to in earlier issues.  As clues are dropped and the story builds, the reward for me as a reader is joining in on the path of discovery as the plot and motivations unfold.  This issue features the return of Sidney (aka The Devil) and what seems to be a critical interaction between Sidney and Reverend Anderson that is surely setting up future story points.

Kirkman is following his standard style of storytelling in which he advances the story issue after issue, revealing nuggets of information fleshing out the world and the characters that live in it, and wrapping it up with a strong story beat that makes me anticipate the release of the next issue.  Paul Azaceta’s art is a character in itself.  It sets the mood and tone of the series and allows it to evoke a sense of dread in me as a reader.  This is a solid series and I look forward to each new installment.  If it sounds interesting, it may be worth jumping on board before the possible influx of readers from the upcoming TV show.  Fly your “I was reading it before it was a show” flag!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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