Outcast has been developing and fleshing out its characters well, though the plot has been moving slowly and it hasn’t been particularly scary.
Nevertheless, things like that can easily change and turn around for the comic given how great it has been. Here’s the latest issue, so let’s give it a look: is it good?
Outcast #4 (Image Comics)
Detective Luke Masters has come to see Kyle Barnes. He’s heard about Kyle’s recent incident helping a boy who “hasn’t been acting like himself” and is looking for his help with dealing with a similar problem he has encountered. As such, Kyle checks in with Reverend Anderson to get his thoughts on the matter.
And by that, I mean you’ll be doing all the work and I’ll supervise.
Now last issue, I both praised and criticized the story and both of those things still hold true with this issue. It’s still a character-focused issue and continues to flesh out the cast, including the new character Luke. The characterization and humanization of these characters (flawed and troubled, but still very human, relatable, and likeable) is done fantastically. Hell, I would say the character work is easily better than nearly any of Image’s current series, even Saga and Satellite Sam. Then again, on the flipside, the story is still almost nonexistent and the comic barely feels like it’s going anywhere a lot of the time. Last issue I thought the comic was going to get going once more and up the excitement levels, but instead came off as setup for the next issue. The slow pacing here really isn’t helping the comic and is just killing its momentum, no matter how good the character work is.
Kirkman’s writing is still solid and well done regardless. Like I said, the character work here is excellent and the drama shown feels really genuine. You really do buy into these characters’ stories and get wrapped up in them. The dialogue is excellent, feeling very natural and helping with making the characters feel human. While the mood and tone are also excellent and built up well, the book still unfortunately is lacking in the horror and scare department. It never really feels scary until the end (which is also when the story finally gets going), but of course, it ends before it gets good.
I always do like when things just fall into my lap.
The artwork by Paul Azaceta is strong as usual. The characters are great, very expressive and believable. The layouts are excellent, well-flowing and easy to look at. The art helps a lot with the tone and mood in the issue, especially towards the end with the use of the dark colors and shades. Now, there wasn’t anything really creepy or scary looking this issue that could really show off the artwork, but that’s alright; hopefully we’ll get to see some of that next issue.
Is It Good?
Outcast #4 is a good issue but a very slow one.
Honestly, the slow pacing and lack of story for most of this arc have really hurt the book’s momentum. Sure, it has subtle hints of something going on and the ending is setting up for something epic next time, but for the comic to truly shine, it needs to pick up the pace. The character work and artwork are great, but they need more to truly become something special like the first issue was.