Outcast continues to disappoint. In issue 14, Robert Kirkman’s writing remains at a sluggish pace and introduces more plot points that weigh down the story. Without Paul Azeceta’s masterful artwork, this comic would fall completely flat.
The issue revolves around Kyle, Reverend Anderson, Megan, and Sidney. The police were called to Megan’s house after Megan, or the demon inhabiting her, pushed her husband, Mark, out the window in issue 13. Although the end of last month’s issue teased that Sidney would kidnap or possess their daughter, Holly, much of the issue was devoted to Megan frantically searching for her, who was inside the house all along with Sidney. Sidney still remains mysterious and intriguing, but this issue’s writing fails readers. The Reverend assaults Sidney and faces time in jail once Sidney presses charges. Why Kirkman thought this would be an interesting storyline is baffling.
Azeceta’s art is great in this issue as usual. Interestingly, the cover—featuring Sidney—is the first without Kyle, which seems to foreshadow the part Sidney will play in the larger story. With Sidney’s body language and sly grin, the cover suggests that he has something up his sleeves—as we all already know. But what the full story is, we’ll soon find out. Or will we? We don’t really know how long Kirkman will lead us on.
Azeceta depicts the fight scene between the Reverend and Sidney especially well—the clenched fists, gritted teeth, strained expressions. The reaction shots the comic portrays really set the artwork apart. Once again, Azeceta’s panels along with Elizabeth Breitweiser’s coloring make readers feel as if they’re right on the page with the characters.
The first two issues in the new story arc do not impress. Kirkman needs to pick up the pace if he’s going to keep readers along for the ride month to month. The story continues to drag causing readers to get bored waiting for something concrete to happen. Sidney is the only character that keeps the comic interesting, and Azeceta’s artwork is the only thing the comic has going for it at this point.