Outcast Volume One: A Darkness Surrounds Him Review


A brilliant book with multi-layered characters that are typically easy to cheer for, but can be easy to despise. But if you pull those polarizing figures from the picture, and what Outcast truly is, is an evil, exorcism tale. Now drag those personalities back into frame and what you’ve got is a battle between good and evil that runs parallel to an intricate examination of magnetic characters.

Robert Kirkman may end up being remembered for The Walking Dead and little else, but he’s accomplished so much more than just creating The Walking Dead, and his ability to chill to the bone sure as hell isn’t dependent on the inclusion of zombies. Kirkman could make your backyard patio set terrifying, if he wanted to. He can certainly handle evil, self-doubt, violence and even maybe a hint of schizophrenia, as well. Pretty versatile, if you ask me.

As for this story, the focus rests on Kyle Barnes, an insanely troubled 30-something with a past he’d prefer to forget. But he can’t forget, because evil beings have been following him since day one. His only answer (a leery one) to this problem is to stop being the pursued and begin pursuing. Kyle embarks on a mission to rid the world of the evil beings capable of possessing the human body.

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Kirkman makes this one a rugged affair, as we see some unsettling imagery, creepy ideas brought to the page and an unrelenting evil that has a score to settle with Kyle. It’s a brilliant read, and this comes from someone who isn’t a fan – in the least bit – of religious horror stories.

This one feels different. It actually doesn’t feel like an exorcism piece in the slightest, and that works for me. It reads differently, as though the small community and the mysterious and unknown are designed to take center stage over crosses and holy water. Again, big points for knowing when it’s time to move in a different direction.

I’m interested in seeing where Kyle heads from here. Robert Kirkman’s writing is top notch, and Paul Azaceta and Elizabeth Breitweiser’s artwork proves to be a magical fit for this gripping story. One volume in and I just can’t get enough of this aggressive piece of artwork.

You can order volume one right here.

Rating: 5/5

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