Tim from Last Week Reviews: Outcast vol. 1!

Creator, Writer: Robert KirkmanOutcastVol1_Cover
Artist: Paul Azaceta
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: 1/28/2015 (Volume 2 released 10/7/2015)

Robert Kirkman holds a fairly significant place in comic book lore. As the creator of The Walking Dead, his legend will live on, forever. Robert is also unique in that he is an officer in Image Comics (Chief Operating Officer), and is the only member of that particular team that was not part of the founding of Image Comics, back in the 1990s. New boy does good. He has also written a ton of comics for Marvel Comics, but now does all of his work through Image (including his own imprint, Skybound Entertainment, a little corner of Image Comics for his creator-owned work to reside).

Paul Azaceta has worked on Spider-Man, Daredevil, Captain Marvel, and Captain America (Marvel Comics), Hellboy and Conan (Dark Horse Comics), plus a bunch of stuff with BOOM! Studios.

I had heard great things about this book, and it has been received well enough that it is currently in production as a new show for Cinemax. However, I was not super excited by this book. Some of my issue comes directly from the art. Well, not the art, exactly, but the panel layouts. Much of the action is told through big panels interlaced with small panels. Unfortunately, there were several times where my eye did not follow the action, correctly, and a few times where the panel layout simply threw me out of the story (I needed to stop and think about the panel layout, as opposed to thinking about the actual story). I also had difficulty following some of the movements of the “demons,” so I am unsure if I even have all of the story, at this point.

I feel so distracted by my concerns about the visual storytelling, that I am less intrigued by Kyle’s story, which I think I really do want to know. This is the first full story of Kirkman’s that I have read, so I do want to give him a chance to hook me. While I am curious about the demons, Kyle’s past, and how they connect, I am more interested in the “little things” – a hint of a relationship for one character (which, if it happens, will, of course, somehow end badly) – Kyle’s sister’s own marriage. Mostly small, character things that could impact the bigger story, but that just seem interesting on a character development level.

Even with all of these concerns, I intend to read volume 2. I suspect I will not find all of the answers within just these 2 parts, but if some of my needs are fed, I might find this to be a really deep ride. Outcast is published monthly (#14 was released on 12/23/2015), and is priced $2.99 per issue. Volume 1 of the trade paperback collections (“A Darkness Surrounds Him”, #1-6 of the monthly issues) is priced $9.99, and volume 2 (“A Vast and Unending Ruin”, #7-12 of the monthly issues) is priced at $14.99.

Outcast, and other great comics, can be found at Johnny Destructo’s Hero Complex located at 4456 Main Street in Manayunk, PA! Visit him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jdsherocomplex/

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