I didn’t immediately jump on the Outcast bandwagon when the comic first came out. I’ve never read a Walking Dead comic, though I feverishly watch the show; and I think that Robert Kirkman is a fantastic writer (I have read his work on Invincible). When I saw that the comic had been picked up by Showtime to become a series starring Almost Famous‘ Patrick Fugit; I decided that I should take a look at it. If you’re only here for the TL:DR version of the review, I have enjoyed the groundwork for the story, but am not yet convinced that I’ll be along for the entire ride. For the rest of you, stay tooned for spoilers.
Outcast is the story of Kyle and the realization that he has the power to exorcise demons from people. He doesn’t know why, gets called ‘Outcast’ on a consistent basis, and has a very checkered past. I want to first focus on Kyle as a character. I think that Kirkman does a great job of making him a relatable character, though we aren’t fully convinced as to whether we should be trusting him or not in this first arc. He has had to use his exorcism powers in the past but didn’t know what he was doing or that it was actually exorcising a demon out of a person. It’s not until he pairs up with Reverend Anderson, that he finally starts realizing his potential. I like Kyle, but finding out about his backstory is interesting and also very slow. A lot of the times I just wanted to get to the next case of a demon and not deal with the psychosis of this character.
Reverend Anderson is a bit more interesting because it’s questionable as to why he even is a Reverend. He seems to believe in God and the Devil, but you’re not quite sure why. He gambles, drinks, and is almost searching for a bit of redemption alongside Kyle. I like that he’s a good person, but maybe not what you’d typically associate with a Holy Man.
The other characters in the comic aren’t as fleshed out, but then again, this is the first arc. What does truly bring everyone to life is the artwork from Paul Azaceta. I love the muted colors contrasted with the thick, rich, red blood that seems to flow very freely throughout the comic. The line work on the faces of Kyle and the Reverend are truly a masterpiece. I found myself staring at the panel often times, just absorbing the scenes and taking in the imagery. A lot of panels would be draped in darkness with little pieces of color shining through, and those did a perfect job of setting the mood throughout the story.
Overall I had an enjoyable time reading this comic, but I’m not sure if I’ll stick through the whole thing. It’s SO slow and with very little reveal as to what an Outcast is supposed to be. I know that Kirkman is all about the long haul, as you can tell from The Walking Dead and Invincible; but right now it didn’t quite suck me in. I’ll give it more time though, because I do like the characters. I also have a feeling that this will be better on television; especially with Patrick Fugit playing Kyle, since he’s a good actor. I just hope that the show can match the visuals of Azaceta’s artwork, because that’s truly the draw of this comic.
If you’re interested in picking it up and reading it yourself, you can order the Trade Paperback on from our favorite online store.
Disclaimer: A review copy of Outcast was provided for this article.