Outcast #1 Review
A good introduction to a new series with a chilling story and disturbing moments. The artwork and coloring fit the story's tone perfectly and panel layout techniques are unique.
Some cliche moments. Some of the scare factor relies on the reader's beliefs. Nothing hugely new or groundbreaking.
From the mind of the man that brought you The Walking Dead comes another horror comic, this one supernatural in nature. Is Robert Kirkman’s latest title one that will get all his attention or will he get bored with it in four months? Read on for the review!
Previously in Outcast: New series! No background needed.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN DEMONS?
Robert Kirkman is certainly an idea man. He’s great at coming up with concepts that intrigue and are usually executed quite well. His main problem is following up with all the books and many times some get left behind or forgotten. I’m kind of hoping that isn’t the case with Outcast as it’s a strong opener for the series.
The book starts with a disturbing finger munching scene as we see a young boy possessed. We are then introduced to Kyle, a loner living in filth who seems to have some past connection to the supernatural. A priest enlists Kyle’s help to stop the young boy’s possession and we learn there is more to Kyle than we know. There are some truly disturbing moments in Outcast #1 (see finger eating) and Kirkman uses his Walking Dead strengths here. It’s creepy, emotional stuff and is sure to affect readers at least a little bit. Your overall enjoyment and how much the book will scare you relies on whether you believe in things like demonic possession. It’s not a make or break factor but when using these concepts it can alienate people. I’ve never believed in such things, but that shouldn’t mean I can’t get scared by them. The Exorcist is a great example and if Kirkman takes Outcast to the dark places teased in the opening issue, then I’m sure to get more than a little creeped out. None of the exorcism moments come off as corny, though some have been seen before. Inhuman strength, levitation and evil voices are staples in this genre of horror so it’s to be expected even if cliche. It’s nothing groundbreaking but I’m still interested to see where Kyle’s story will go and learn exactly what makes him an outcast and why this demon wants him hurt.
PANELS WITHIN PANELS
Paul Azaceta handles the book wonderfully and nails the tone down. His lines are thick and shadows heavy which work to the books advantage. It’s not a heavily detailed style but he captures mood quite well. Faces sometimes look strange but is more of my issues with the style than the artwork itself. My favorite feature is the small panels Azaceta uses to emphasize a moment or zoom in on details. In flashbacks we see square panels of Kyle’s reaction inside the larger ones of the past and how the two correlate. It’s a wonderful storytelling technique that works well throughout. Elizabeth Breitweiser’s colors are strong as well and really emphasize the story’s creepy nature. It all comes together in a nice, tight package that works for the title.
BOTTOM LINE: THE POWER OF KIRKMAN COMPELS YOU
Robert Kirkman seems to have another winner on his hands with Outcast #1. It’s a compelling, if not completely innovating, start to a series that could become quite creepy and scary. Some of that will rely on the reader’s belief in some elements but shouldn’t hinder it completely. The artwork’s tone is perfect and the unique panel usage makes the storytelling even better. At $2.99 and a high page count, there’s little that should deter you from picking this chiller up. Let’s just hope that Mr. Kirkman doesn’t lose interest himself.