We have heard this story before: A man’s special powers ruin his relationships and life until he can harness his abilities and prove to everyone he is good, not evil. We read about this in Spider-Man, Superman, Green Lantern … almost every comic story.
However, Robert Kirkman, author of “The Walking Dead,” likes things a bit more creepy. He takes cues from “The Exorcist” and the powerful world of demonic possession, and creates a new comic book titled “Outcast.”
Kyle is living in the filthy home where he grew up. All through the house, he has flashbacks to a sinister time there, yet he is back there nonetheless. His sister, Megan, shows up, offering to help him, to get him proper food, and then later, tries to take him to her place for family time.
But on their way home, Kyle is stopped by Reverend (that’s what everyone is calling the pastor, though I couldn’t find a first name), who proceeds to recruit him to help with a demonic possession of a little boy.
The next day, Kyle stops by the possessed boy’s family’s house, to try to help. It is there he finds he has weird abilities: He can suck the demon out of someone and his blood causes pain to the demon inside the possessed person.
He isn’t so much a believer of God, he tells the Reverend earlier in the comic. However, he wants answers to why demons seem to follow him, calling him the Outcast and saying they need him. He needs answers to get his family back.
Robert Kirkman admits in the last page of the comic that zombies and the apocalypse aren’t real, though they are fun to write about. What are real are demonic possession, exorcisms and demons, and those makes a story like this even more scary than other stories Kirkman has written, he says.
I agree. This is a chilling tale, and after this first issue the story can take any turn. For now, it ties up nicely but leaves enough of a cliffhanger so that we are enticed to see what Kyle does next to save his well-being.
The art, done by Paul Azaceta, is especially creepy. Seeing the possessed boy smirk after kicking his mother in the face, breaking her nose, or the boy grinning at Kyle and say “I know you” just makes me shiver. Azaceta seems to take a cue from “The Exorcist” but it doesn’t make it any less scary and real.
If you love horror tales, Robert Kirkman or both, pick up “Outcast.” It is sure to be a popular title.
Comic Book Wednesday is a new feature that will showcase a variety of visually based books that fit into this wide category, to give a taste of this other form of reading.