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‘Outcast’ #11: The Sins of the Mother

‘Outcast’ #11: The Sins of the Mother

Outcast #11Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 6.44.26 PM

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Paul Azaceta
Colors by Elizabeth Breitweiser
Published by Image Comics

Kyle Barnes hasn’t been very forthcoming about why he and Allison got a divorce. In past issues, Kyle says he hit Allison. In Outcast #11, Kyle says that Allison may have done something to spook their daughter Amber, but this is another mystery that Robert Kirkman is keeping wrapped. It’s these looks into the life of Kyle that are what’s most interesting and rewarding about Outcast. Sure, the ghostly aspects of the series are exciting, but the more human oriented horror about Kyle’s past is what keeps the series fresh. It would be easy for Outcast to tell the same exorcism story over and over again and get boring, but that’s not how this series works.

Outcast #11 starts off with Reverend Anderson and Sidney’s confrontation from the last issue. The short scene shows a braver Reverend Anderson, who is determined not to be scared by Sidney and not back down from his threats. The issue then shifts to the consequences of Kyle being outside Allison’s house. Kyle has a sweet moment with Amber, who says she loves him. Kyle is partially saved by Megan who pulls him away from the bad situation. Later in the issue Megan is found by her husband as possessed by a demon.

Kirkman is doing a wonderful job balancing the exorcism, relationship history, and blood and guts in Outcast. Each issue delves into something different than the one before it. Because this issue dealt with a more emotional aspect of Kyle’s background it’s easy to infer that the next issue will be an exorcism supernova between Megan, Kyle, and Reverend Anderson. The storytelling ability of Kirkman makes this a very satisfying comic book. All the interactions between all of the various characters change within the Outcast vacuum and have yet to be bogged down by anything mundane or clichéd horror archetypes.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 6.45.27 PMPaul Azaceta continues his great work by adopting a more subtle tone for this issue. There are no demons exploding out of mouths or any amount of gore but the interactions between Kyle and Amber are handled with care and precision. There is more read in Kyle’s faces during this exchange than any text bubble could accomplish. Likewise, Elizabeth Breitweiser can take colors from our collective dreams of being happy and in the same issue twist them to the colors of our nightmares.

Overall, Outcast #11 is a completely filling comic book. Kyle’s journey continues to be a kinetic and hard-wired look into how split-second decisions can destruct many different lives. Kirkman continues to dangle snippets of what is truly happening in Outcast while also tugging at the emotional aspects of a life seemingly wasted. This series should be sought out and read by all horror aficionados and dramatic wanderers.