by Robert Kirkman, Paul Azaceta & Elizabeth Breitweiser
Whether you are a comic book fan or not, the name Robert Kirkman should sound familiar. His series The Walking Dead is one of the biggest comics and television shows currently running. So when Kirkman started a new series about exorcising demons, fans wondered what kind of series Outcast would be. Even though both The Walking Dead and Outcast can be defined as horror books, Kirkman approaches both differently with his pacing. With this week’s release of the eighth issue of Outcast, Kirkman continues showing readers how subtle he can be with the horror genre.
If there is any complaint readers could express about Outcast, it would be that they weren’t expecting Kirkman to bring a slow burn approach to the story. When it comes to his other series like The Walking Dead or Invincible, Kirkman is usually in your face with his shocking twists. Outcast is more of a looming dark presence that you can never quite put your finger on. Kirkman has always been great with character development through natural character interactions. Outcast‘s narrative relies solely on Kyle’s ability to expel demons out of people who have been possessed and Reverend Anderson’s guilt that his many previous exorcisms may not have been as successful as he thought. These two dealing with their dark pasts trying to make things better gives readers a slight sense of hope in a book that seems almost entirely engulfed in darkness.
The reason that Outcast has such a dark tone is because of the art team of Paul Azaceta and Elizabeth Breitweiser. Azaceta keeps Outcast looking realistic with very simple looking art. To the normal reader it sees basic and serviceable and you don’t realize how much Azaceta’s art gives Outcast that demonic look on every page. Azaceta found a way to bring out the darkness in everyday life and showcase it in the pages of Outcast. His subtle character interactions and facial expressions say more than any word balloon can and when he gets the moment for a big reveal, he delivers the kind of shock that keeps you reading every month. Elizabeth Breitweiser has been a huge stand-out in the world of colorists lately. Breitweiser has become the go-to colorist to get when you want a more realistic look to your book. Here she complements Azaceta’s dark inks with her own muted palette that is a huge part of what makes Outcast just look dark and disturbing. Not to say Outcast looks dull or bland, Breitweiser knows when to use colors to attract but not distract and that’s a sign of a true professional artist.
Outcast is a series that shows another side to Robert Kirkman as a writer. You still feel like you’re reading a Kirkman book, it’s just him showing another side of his writing ability. These are the perfect group of creators to tackle this type of story and that’s what makes Outcast so appealing. Every issue of Outcast isn’t going to knock your socks off every installment with big shocks, but it has its own way of making readers want to read more. Reading Outcast is similar to being possessed by a demon, once you’re in the darkness it’s hard to get out.