Comics Korner: Outcast #4

By travis - October 2, 2014

cover for Outcast #4

Fighting demons is in Kyle’s blood, but now the world wants his help in the latest issue of Outcast by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta.

The next issue in the Outcast series came out last week. It is released by Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment, written by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Paul Azaceta, and colored by Elizabeth Breitweiser. Outcast #4: To Light Our Way is a slower moving continuation to the story of tag team demon hunters, who fight with the power of god to save the locals from the grips of demonic possession.

If you’ll recall, the previous issue ended with Kyle Barnes opening the door to greet Detective Luke Masters. We pick up as they continue their awkward meeting. Turns out Luke is a halfway decent detective, and was able to track Kyle down, and has some questions for him. At the beginning of Outcast #3, we see Luke’s wife get brutally murdered by his friend Blake, but it didn’t feel like the average motive of a killer. Luke is certain something changed inside Blake, and he thinks Kyle’s experience could help. While the two step inside, we can also see the creepy old guy that has been appearing in the previous issues. There’s a lot to learn about this guy in a few panels of no dialogue. He seems to stake out the house, cough some blood into a hankey, then knock on the door of Kyle’s elderly neighbor. His neighbor answers, and let’s the gentleman in under the ruse of needing to use a phone. I can’t get a good read on this guy. We see him save the little girl from the distracted driver in the last issue, then blatantly deceive this poor old guy.

We leave that brooding mess to find Kyle and the Reverend talking in the church parking lot. In a walk with me talk with me kind of way, the two run some errands around town while Kyle catches the Reverend up on Luke’s plight. Essentially what Luke wants Kyle to do is visit Blake in prison, but Kyle doesn’t want to do it alone. The Reverend seems hesitant, and the two drop the subject for a bit while they finish visiting the Reverend’s people. On their last stop we meet crotchety old Mildred. In a confusing scene, Kyle goes to help her into her chair, but in a fit of Aaagh! she freaks out at his touch. There is also two inset panels showing her cry a single tear while she tells the Reverend that he’s not to bring Kyle back. As the guys are leaving, the Reverend tells Kyle that he exorcised Mildred a while back. Maybe the Reverend wasn’t very effective before Kyle showed up? She can be seen creepily watching from the window, giving everyone the heeby jeebies.

Next is a quick trip into the kitchen of Mark and Megan as we experience the aftershock of Mark beating the crap out of Donnie in Outcast #2. The name Donnie seems to make rabid foam appear in both Mark and Kyle, but Megan isn’t pleased with the beating they gave him. Without further information, we join Kyle, Luke and the Reverend sitting at a bar. Luke is sharing the whole story with Kyle, how his partner reached out for help to him and his wife, how he was really able to track down Kyle, and everything else pertinent about the death of Luke’s wife. The trio spend a lot of time feeling each other out. At one point it looked like Luke might have overstepped his boundaries, but eventually Kyle and the Reverend agree to help and go meet Blake. Later, after the Reverend drops Kyle back off at home, Kyle stops over at his neighbors house for a quick visit. Instead of the kind hearted man he shared coffee with a few days ago, the creepy guy is there to answer the door. He tells Kyle that poor Norville went in his sleep, and that he is his brother Sidney. Sidney comments on how excellent it is to meet Kyle, and dismisses him with a very sinister smile. Kyle seems suspicious of Sidney, but doesn’t do anything about it in this issue.

The issue ends at the West Virginia State Prison. Luke, Kyle and the Reverend take the long trek through security on their way to see Blake. Some things struck me as interesting in these series panels. I liked how the guard already knew the Reverend, suggesting that he make trips out here regularly to visit with the inmates. Also, the guard tells Luke not to leave any bruises, but then quickly recants his statement. After all this, it takes a swipe of the card to open the door on one of the creepiest portraits I’ve seen illustrated. Azaceta has drawn Blake with heavy brushstrokes that only further highlight the malevolent smile on his face. Also, I really liked how Breitweiser colored the lamp in the scene to be a combination of splatter and halo. It puts a finishing touch on a full page of doom.

Outcast #4: To Light Our Way is definitely more character heavy than the previous issues. There aren’t any scenes of demonic violence, or even so much as a punch thrown. Really, the most exciting thing that happened was old Mildred screaming about Kyle’s touch. However, don’t let my pining for bloodshed mislead you. This issue continues setting the stage for some serious devilish destruction. I am very curious how the meeting between Kyle and Blake will go, and will be anxiously awaiting October 29 for Outcast #5: A Wrath Unseen. Judging by the teaser cover on the Image Comics site, it’s going to be brutal.

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