I had the absolute pleasure, being an Angelino, to find myself at a premiere screening of the first two episodes of Robert Kirkman’s (The Walking Dead) new series, Outcast. Based on his Image comic series of the same name, created by Kirkman and Paul Azaceta, and having premiered on Cinemax on June 3rd, the show was projected on the wall of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a crowd of excited fans. For those who know nothing about the comic series, it’s a show about exorcism, but not in the way you think. Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) has lived a troubled life, one surrounded by demon possession in his family members. Not a great mix. It’s created a debilitating sense of guilt and self-loathing in him. He also has an inherent power, one that somehow can fight the possession. He just doesn’t know how it works exactly or how he got this supernatural power or what that makes him.
There’s a poetry to Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County. A poetry of words, images, and ideas - a sense of place and time like in no other comic today. There is a feeling that stays with you that a place like Harrow County could actually exist out there. That’s the nature of myth, and Bunn and Crook have tapped into that myth-making paradigm. I don’t think it’s something any creator specifically sets out thinking they are going to accomplish; it just sort of happens as you’re going, but it is something that they have achieved nevertheless.
Have you ever entered someone else’s nightmare? Probably not. That’s what it is to read Peter Tomasi and Ian Bertram’s House of Penance. It’s like that feeling you get when you’re falling asleep that something is crawling on you, so you reach down to scratch but nothing is there. It’s eerie and - while stuck within two-dimensional frames on a page - feels alive in so many different ways. There’s a synchronicity of vision happening here that breaks the boundaries of your typical collaborations.
I haven’t been following the comic book, but I just finished the most recent episodes of Doctor Who Season 10 and the Christmas Special. There was a lot of weeping and sobbing, both from the bittersweet taste and the awesomeness. For those that follow the TV series, this promises a good place to jump in even if you haven’t been reading the comic. Clara is gone, what shall the Doctor do? Who will he meet? How will he maintain?
The world needs more Eccleston as Doctor Who. Cavan Scott does a fine job bringing both his Doctor and the era of the series to life.
I wrote the review of Prometheus: Life and Death #1 a week back which is the issue that takes place after Predator: Life and Death #4. I wish I had reviewed them in the order they were supposed to go. I feel like I would have gotten a little more out of Prometheus. Not because I didn’t understand what was going on or didn’t enjoy it on some level, but because now I see how the stakes have been raised. That would have been helpful.
As a society who has embraced entertainment on a euphoric scale, we seek happy endings to the point at which we’ve forgotten what a good horror story should be. One that plays on our fears, even as the lights come up. And if there is a happy ending, what was lost to get us there? What part of ourselves or others have we given up? Other horror stories have taken this idea to the nihilistic extreme, treating the sheer act of unavoidable torture as something that is scary. The art of the horror story has been (for the moment) mostly lost. That’s why when a tale like Cullen Bunn’s Death Follows comes around, I let loose a huge sigh of relief.
Inspired is the word that comes to mind after reading Issue 6 of Sam Humphries and Tom Patterson’s political satire that borders on full-blown, the-beginning-of-the-end-of-America nightmare called Citizen Jack. Glorious is the second word.
Dan Abnett continues the newest Dark Horse cross-over cycle, picking up from his Predator: Life and Death with Prometheus: Life and Death #1. His Predator sequence was fun and lively, and Andrea Mutti's artwork was just disturbing enough in how it ever so slightly distorted reality to make it relatively frightening, especially for a Predator story (which I tend to not find scary). It was a job well done.
I spent the entirety of my first review giving reasons why Matt Kindt is a genius. Now, let me take this second issue and focus on why Sharlene Kindt is a genius.