After taking a month off (talk about bad timing. This book would have been great in October!), Outcast has returned, with all signs pointing towards the big confrontation we were promised in the last cliffhanger going down. Things should be getting scary now.
Is it good?
Outcast #5 (Image Comics)
Reverend Anderson and Kyle Barnes arrive at the West Virginia State Prison to meet Detective Luke’s former partner, Blake Morrow. They need to determine if he is truly possessed by some demon that caused him to kill Luke’s wife. Of course, finding out these kind of things and then being able to deal with them may be difficult…
Ah, how nice. Outcast #5 was much more eventful than the previous issue and the narrative feels like it’s going somewhere again. This issue was more plot-focused and gets back to the whole fighting demons premise we saw in the first issue.
This issue dealt primarily with Anderson and Kyle’s encounter with Blake and the aftermath, which was a very tense and nerve-wracking situation, since it’s never obvious whether or not the characters will succeed in what they came to do. It leaves you guessing and engaged for the entire ride, especially with the hints and minor developments that are dropped throughout. The entire scene (which makes up most of the issue) is rife with character development, excellent overall and the final bit at the end ties it all together wonderfully.
Umm, sir? Would you like a towel to wipe your face?
Kirkman’s writing on the book remains just as good as always. The characterization and interactions between are strong and everyone continues to get fleshed out in a skillful manner. Speaking of which, the dialogue is superb, especially during the interrogation scene. The pacing is great, moving at just the right speed and using some decompressed panels to really add to the mood. However, I must admit, even though we got back to the more demon-focused vibe and fighting we haven’t seen in a while, the book still doesn’t feel all that scary. It’s certainly tense and creates a very moody atmosphere, but it never feels all that horrifying unfortunately.
The artwork by Paul Azaceta remains pretty fantastic and well done overall. The characters look great and exhibit a solid range of emotions and expressions, especially done well with Blake. The biggest highlight with the art is its ability to create a fantastic and moody atmosphere like I said between both the colors and the use of shadows. Really great stuff.
Is It Good?
Outcast #5 is what we’ve been waiting for since the first issue, a return to the characters confronting and dealing with demons/otherworldly beings. Combined with some solid writing and fantastic artwork, this is easily the best issue since when the comic first started. Hopefully the next issue can continue this and close out the first arc on a high note.