Thursday, June 22, 2017

Watch the Show

Outcast Volume 2: A Vast and Unending Ruin (2015): written by Robert Kirkman; illustrated by Paul Azaceta: If you've watched the first season of Outcast, Volume 2 of the comic book collections is sort of beside the point. You've seen it all, and surprisingly, the TV show is better than the comic. Robert Kirkman's other supernatural series (a little thing called The Walking Dead) is a lot less interesting to me than this one. 

Outcast involves the supernatural, though what's really going on remains unclear 12 issues into the story (or one season into the show). There's a demonic invasion, there's one man who can drive the demons out of people (the titular Outcast), and there's a lot of murkiness about what these demons really are. 

Paul Azaceta's artwork is a bit too mundane for the story: the mundane works well right up until something supernatural has to be represented, at which point Azaceta doesn't seem to know how to combine the normative with the fantastic. 

Kirkman's writing is solid so far as it goes, but this volume seems much more padded and attenuated than the first one. Or 'decompressed' as we say in comic-book land. Where there should be a density of information that drives a story forwards to a conclusion in 20 issues or so, Kirkman instead doles out the material parsimoniously, apparently aiming at something more along the lines of The Walking Dead's nigh-endless run. But the material here, presented as it is, doesn't warrant the drawn-out treatment. We're far further ahead in the story after one season of the TV show than we are here after 12 issues of the comic book. Lightly recommended.

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