Review: Outcasts #1
NEW HORROR SERIES FROM THE WALKING DEAD CREATOR ROBERT KIRKMAN! Kyle Barnes has been plagued by demonic possession all his life and now he needs answers. Unfortunately, what he uncovers along the way could bring about the end of life on Earth as we know it. It begins here – with this terrifying DOUBLE-SIZED FIRST ISSUE featuring forty-four pages of story with no ads for the regular price of just $2.99!
Skybound begins a brand new horror series this week with the release of Outcast #1. The story is written by Robert Kirkman with art by Paul Azaceta. Elizabeth Breitweiser handles colors with Rus Wooton tackling lettering. There has been a lot of talk about Outcast and its spooky demonic possession and exorcism story, but does it live up to the hype?
Kyle Barnes is trying to separate himself from the world. He has been followed by dark and possibly demonic forces his entire life, and he just wants to be alone. His ‘sister’ Megan barges into his house and demands he gets some groceries for his bare refrigerator and some sunlight. Apparently this a dance the two do quite often. After a little convincing, Kyle agrees to get out for one hour. Coming out of the grocery store, the local reverend spots Kyle and talks to him about a problem he’s having with a child presenting the same problems Kyle’s mother had when things started getting really weird for our protagonist. After a series of events revealing a little more about just how dark and dreary Kyle’s life has been, he reluctantly agrees to check the boy out. When he arrives, the demon that has taken hold of the boy knows all about him and his kind, the ‘Outcast.’ What is so special about Kyle that has drawn the forces of evil to him his entire life? What answers does this demon-possessed boy hold? Has Kyle just found himself pulled into something much, much bigger than he could ever have imagined?
Kirkman writes a very dramatic and intense issue. This is every bit as much of a character drama as it is a demonic possession story. Kyle is a very complex character and we see a layer or two peeled back to show us why he’s in his current predicament. He’s a troubled man who has found himself a whole heap of new trouble. In a world full of possession movies, you really have to do something to differentiate yourself from the crowd. There is one development that starts to show some of the differences, but there are several chunks that feel like more of the same. The first issue is more about Kyle and introducing us to his world, so that is forgivable for now. With a double-sized issue, you’d expect a bit more punch and scares. There’s a demon-possessed kid, so you have your standard contortion and twisted demonic face turning into a smile gags, but there isn’t anything spine-tingling just yet. Azaceta’s art manages to pull off the serious character moments just as well as the demonic elements. Azaceta has a great handle of characters and scenery that gives you a slight Chris Samnee vibe (which I use as one of the highest compliments possible). The artist draws a creepy demon-possessed kid that works really well. It isn’t so much scary as it is unsettling, but it works for what’s being introduced. You get the sense that bigger things are on the way though. Breitweiser’s colors are surprisingly colorful for the majority of the issue.
Bottom Line: Outcast is off to an interesting start, but it hasn’t completely broken out from the crowd when it comes to possession/exorcism stories. Forty-four pages for $2.99 is nothing to scoff at, and Kirkman likes to build things over a few issues, so this is one to definitely check out. 3/5
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