Comic Book Review: Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta #39
Through Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta #38, we have a much better idea as to what it at stake for the people within the walls, but this was a great time to also address the stakes for the darkness. They might not be on the side that you would call good, but this is at the core a game of survival. That means anything goes when every move counts.
With each passing issue you can feel like we are getting to the end of this story. When the darkness starts to grow in power, the same can be said for the Outcasts and vice versa. No matter where the tide shifts, you know that this is all building up to one big confrontation where we are bracing ourselves for something extraordinary. And when I say extraordinary I of course mean something bigger than Kyle’s lightshow not too long ago. If stronger means that what we saw was just a taste? I think we all have some big things to look forward to. Especially when even now Kyle still shows some fears about what the darkness can still dish out. Putting all of those cards on the table in this issue was wise. Even in the face of victories, there still has to be one foot on the ground to where things can go wrong. It still takes an Outcast to defeat the darkness, and these people are still boxed in tents waiting for the enemy to come to them. Nothing feels like a true victory if these conditions remain the same.
Where this issue picked up from last month’s cliffhanger was an interesting turn of events. This could have gone like every other exorcism, or this could have given us a new experience. Fortunately for us, we were given a new experience which challenged the power of the Outcasts creatively. It helped to get a situation where the first move wasn’t to attack, and where the intent in the end was to send a message.
Seeing more of this Angelica really shakes things up. Up to this point it was easy to say that Rowland was probably the worst of the worst when it came to this enemy. It was one heck of a bomb dropped on our laps that there is even someone, or maybe more out there who you should fear more than this guy. That says a lot when Rowland is a big guy who almost immediately intimidates you with only his presence. How she also puts everyone else on their toes pushes this fact and creates a consistently tense atmosphere wherever she goes. Through her part in this issue, it was good that we could also see where her leadership skills differ from others. She can be cold, but there is more control to her fire. That kind of mindset is probably more dangerous than those who feel like they need to directly create fear.
Being that the title of this issue is ‘Infiltration’, that could only mean one thing. The approach to understanding this was excellent because we weren’t given too much information on who this person could be. Just enough to get some wheels turning in your head and anticipate what comes next.
Paul Azaceta and Elizabeth Breitweiser gave us another solid issue of artwork. Overall the consistency is probably what matters most when we are reaching the last stretch of Outcast. I admired how this month the cover art and what we got through the interior work matched very well. This one wasn’t a simple exorcism, and I enjoyed every opportunity this art team took to capture just how brutal it can get. Every reaction shot from Logan in particular made a big difference by showing just how dangerous someone controlled can be with the strength possessed during the merging phase. If that didn’t say enough, the visual of how Anderson looked after sent the message. That aside, the highlight of this issue was the new display of Outcast power. It’s something to get used to seeing that lightning effect, but the coloring for it is just the spark needed to make Kyle seem powerful.
The stakes keep rising, and the events of Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta #39 proved once again that no one is safe at the end of the day. When you’re ruled by either the unknown or fear, finding that fire to rise to the occasion will always be easier said than done. The end may be near for Outcast, but that doesn’t mean this story isn’t revving up to something big.