Like most indie comics, I’m walking into this one blind as a bat! I often do this, so I go in with absolutely no expectations and not let a thing like hype cloud my judgment. I’m letting this comic speak for itself and show me what it can do. Is it good?
The Occultist #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Rob Bailey has a double life. Regular college student by day and wielder of the Sword (a book of spells) and creature/demon slayer by night. There are many people in his life: from Detective Melendez, a cop who has gotten involved in a couple of cases with him, and Mr. Charles, the person who is training Rob in the ways of magic. While Rob may be getting good in his magic abilities, he still has trouble with the ladies and his teacher may or may not want to do something with him.
I have never read anything involving the Occultist before and I kind of feel I should have in order to get the most out of this comic. From my read through, there are many characters here with their own histories and relations with one another that implies there is a lot going on or would mean a lot to the fans. For instance, the ending shows this character I have never seen before doing something I have no idea what could be. A fan will probably know what this means, but not me. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing for newcomers if the comic makes can get one interested enough in wanting to check out the previous stories.
I will honestly admit that reading this comic did make me want to know more and check out the previous series. While I did not learn enough to say I know these people inside and out, I am curious to see where this goes and I do want to know more about them. The opening scene with Rob solving an evil spirit problem and Mr. Charles’ plan really hook you in and keep you interested. With some good potential and decent writing, Occultist is strong enough to get both old and new fans alike sucked in.
The art is by Mike Norton, who is also working with the writer, Tim Seeley, on Revival currently. Like with Revival, the art definitely looks good, the supernatural elements are eye catching, and the artist really captures emotion really well in the characters. However, he’s a problem when it comes to some of the female characters in this comic. Both the Detective and ex-girlfriend look the same, from their hair to their face, so it was a bit confusing when I saw the second one of them for the first time. Also amusingly, both of them look exactly like the main character of Revival as well.
- The writing is good all around.
- Lots of potential to keep everyone interested.
- The artwork is decent overall.
- May not be for newcomers.
- Two of the cast look the same.
Is It Good?
The Occultist has a lot of potential going for it. While it may be essentially a sequel or the next part of a previous story, the comic does a fair job in interesting the new audience, as the well as the old one, into wanting to keep going with it. Maybe check out the previous series with this writer first before trying this new one.