Lied to, betrayed, sent on an emotional roller coaster, Rob Bailey is out for revenge again the man who started all this trouble in his life. Something which this story has been building up to for a long time and surely the defining moment for Rob as the Occultist. The last issue was intense, you couldn’t have asked for anything more than to see Rob take command of his power in a way that he hasn’t before to protect those he loves most. Now things comes to a close and not knowing where his head at other than revenge is the best part about it.
Now what made this issue better than you would have expected is that there was little focus on just revenge. After the very climatic battle to end a war between life and the afterlife, this was the issue we had all been waiting for which gave depth to the character we had known as Mr. Charles, or Aiden Beck, or whatever name he had taken since his fight against death began. We now know who he was at the very beginning, his motivation, all the lives he stole along the way and in general what makes him the villain that Rob should fear. The suspense built up to this moment was handled very well as it wasn’t something in which Tim Seeley wanted to go big for, he was simply trying to bring closure to this chapter in Rob’s life as the Occultist.
Finding out the true purpose of the Occultist as well was a great reveal because up to now we all would have assumed it was just the book and the power that came with it that made him special as the Occultist, but its so much more than that. The importance of The Sword is now known and with it we now have some indication of the kind of hero that Rob will come to be because of what he is capable of. All of this which he had to rise to the occasion and accept who he now was in order to find out.
Then at the end being able to connect this to Project Black Sky. I liked how they describe the heroes of Dark Horse. A Monster, a Ghost, a Dead Man, a Mad Man, a Shadow, and a Grim Reaper. This showing a clear unconventional take on heroism that they are going for rather than the typical capes.
While the artists working on this book are still the same, somehow it feels that this issue alone really looks the best visually as if they put a lot of their effort into it. The coloring by Steve Morris especially as it was bolder which made things pop out which could have easily looked flat before. This really made everything pseudo-supernatural about the story stand out from the first page where you see Rob flying to confront Charles. Even making what was the past pale was well done to make sure there was a different between the past and the present.
Overall this was a great conclusion to a book which brought about a hero who has a lot to offer in the world Dark Horse is building. The Grim Reaper so to speak and that enough reason to take interest in Rob who has a long way to go now that he knows what his role is in the world. For five issues Tim Seeley didn’t waste time developing Rob as a character who was a hero of circumstance, putting that and his relationship with other character above over the top action. You want to read this because The Occultist is a thrilling supernatural take on super-heroics, as heroic as it can get.