What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta #44. The previous issue made me happy to have this book back in my pull-list for what is now the final stretch of the series. Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta #43 was worth the wait because the stakes are higher than they have ever been before and its a new game with all the pieces now on the board. I couldn’t help but get swept up in the anticipation for what comes next now that things don’t seem so one-sided.
It was one heck of a twist we were hit with last month with the reveal and introduction of The Light. I gotta say that they really took their sweet time with this development. For how many issues we have seen the darkness come through and spread, and without an opposite force to keep them in check? I think this would have driven us crazy if we went any longer without something happening on that front. This issue for the most part was engaging for the fact that this creative team jumped right into the role that this new ally is meant to play in what is building up to be the final battle with the darkness. All cards were laid on the table for the heroes whether they understood the opportunity that was now presented to them or not.
I think their reactions to this was great considering the state of mind everyone has been thrown into. They say don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but how can you not when nothing about these current events have made any sense? How does one entity turn the tide of a war? What does it truly add to their arsenal that they haven’t been able to do themselves? What does any of this mean for Allison who did not ask to be drawn into the war like this? Questions on top of questions pop up, and these are the kind that would make you very skeptical about uncertainties.
Speaking of uncertainties, I was surprised by what came of Rowland’s storyline. You would think that this guy’s tale would be coming to a close, and then just like that they turn things around for him to keep things interesting. When we lost Sydney, I was worried that we were going to forever lose that one strong connection to the darkness. A character from their side who we could invest in. The good thing is that we got that in the form of Rowland. For everything that seems free and liberating from their perspective, it was about time that we could see where some may have a problem with the Great Merge.
With this issue not being too eventful, that would usually give the art team little room to really play with the interior work. Imagine my surprise when not a couple of pages into this issue my eyes were treated to some new visuals. It got pretty trippy for the way they approached The Light telling its story. Excellent perspective, use of radiant colors without getting too wild. Not to mention a lot of the facial shots were on point for the way they threw Allison and The Light into a transition of control. It takes some attention to detail in order to give the person back their humanity and then strip it away by blanking out the expression. Beyond this, what little action there was still managed to catch your eyes for the way that each motion from a character flowed into the next. There have been times in the past where they got choppy which would make things hard to follow.
This turned out to be one of the slower issues, though not at all in a bad way. The thing about a book like Outcast is that many of the chapters are met with a steady pace. Something you can appreciate because everything which unfolds comes naturally. Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta #44 continues to create hype for what the rest of this final arc has in store for us.