Mind Capsules – Outcast #1 and Superman #32

Outcast #1

Writer – Robert Kirkman
Artist – Paul Azaceta
Colours – Elizabeth Breitweiser

There was a lot of hype for this book and it was heavily ordered by all.  Did it live up to it?  Yes and no.  The title deals with the subject of possession, at least to the unsuspecting eye at first, and the remarkable ability of an unremarkable man.  The book is moody and atmospheric and has that subtle Omen/Exorcist vibe, and you can feel the chill coming off of the page.  The artwork by Paul Azaceta is fantastic and looks and feels appropriately dark for a horror book.  Page after page, you can tell that this is a horror book through and through and with the great script provided by Robert Kirkman of Invincible and Walking Dead fame, it makes for a great combination.  It works on many levels but only fails on one.  Expectation.  Perhaps waiting for the book and wanting the book for so long, with the numerous ads and interviews and articles about ‘the new Kirkman book,’ what ended up being delivered, while good, did not live up to the expectation of just how great it was supposed to be.  With the new wave of horror films like Insidious and Oculus and more, and even comparing it to Kirkman’s Walking Dead, it felt like there should have been more.  It was not disappointing per se, the book hit all the right notes but it was the prospect of something new and bigger than anything that had come before that was the letdown.  Ultimately, it was a great book and it is definitely worthy of purchase whether in single issue form or in trades and it would most likely make a great Showtime or HBO show, but if they had just quietly solicited the book and snuck it out onto the stands, it would have been more of a surprise and a little more fulfilling.

4 out of 5

Superman #32

Writer – Geoff Johns
Artist – John Romita Jr.
Inker – Klaus Janson
Colours – Laura Martin

Another book with a lot of hype was Superman #32 by the new creative team of Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr.  This book exceeded expectations because they were so low in the first place; almost anything would have been an improvement over the last twenty years of Superman stories.  There have been some bright spots, like Grant Morrison, Greg Pak and Mark Waid to name a few, but on the whole, Superman has just been a middling family of titles.  They never felt as big as the hero’s reputation and the stories felt a little flat, mainly because what can you do with a man that is all powerful and one that can literally do anything and withstand anything?  For the last number of years, Robert Kirkman’s Invincible has been doing that story better than anyone else.  So here in this book, we are introduced to a new start, not a reboot, just a new beginning, taking on some of the old and putting their best foot forward with some new.  And it worked.  The artwork is what you would expect from Romita Jr., and it even looks a little better than some of his last Marvel work and frankly, it is nice to see a different style on the title.  The standout part of the book of course is the story by Geoff Johns.  It is interesting and even a little exciting at times.  Clark does not seem so boring as he usually is and the rest of the cast is in top form as well.  Johns’ introduces a new villain and possibly a new hero, or at least someone Superman can relate to and by the last page of the book, it is surprising to find that you could easily keep reading if the story were to continue right there and then.  This was a good decision on DC’s part though the timing could have been a bit sooner and started at launch time instead of thirty-two issues in.  Whatever the case, this book now looks like one to get from here on out.

4 out of 5

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