Outcast: The Whole First Episode & A Short Review (Robert Kirkman & Cinemax)

     Cinemax has done a couple great things for their upcoming series Outcast.  First, they posted the first episode in its entirety for our viewing pleasure, and second, they've already renewed the show for another season before its televised debut.  Outcast is based on the comic book of the same name from Skybound/Image Comics created by the team of writer Robert Kirkman, of The Walking Dead fame, and artist Paul Azaceta*.

     I wrote quite a while back that the show's creators appear to, "have given great life to this tale of demonic possession and the toll it takes on those that deal with it for their whole lives."  So far, I think I was spot on with those words.  Patrick Fugit's Kyle Barnes is a man trying to hide from a world that fears him, attempting to live his days in an odd form of normalcy compared to those around him.  Fugit does a great job of playing the role of pariah.  You can see how tired he looks as he tries to bridge the gap between the life he had, and the one the one he's currently struggling with.  A history of demonic possession is a dark path to tread and Fugit presents it beautifully.  He is extremely believable in this role, and I can't wait to see what he'll do as the series progresses.

     There's also only a handful of people that are willing to aid Barnes, including Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister), Kyle's adopted sister Megan Holter (Wrenn Schmidt), and Chief Giles (the always amazing Reg E. Cathey).  Each of them is distinct in their role and do a tremendous job of supporting Barnes.  As the series proceeds, they'll all get their chances to really shine.

     Cinemax has certainly gained me as a viewer.  The supernatural-horror genre has been relatively sparse on television lately, and what shows there are turn out pretty terrible.  Even Kirkman's The Walking Dead devolved from survival horror into something much less appealing.  I feel it's lost the grounded horror focus it started with.  It seems to have been missing the real psychological tension that hit audiences in the first season  That's coming from someone that read the first 100 issues.

     Anyways, I read the first two story arcs of Outcast as they hit the stands monthly about two years ago, and they absolutely nailed it for the show.  They captured the creepy atmosphere perfectly, and the tremendously eerie presentation of the possessed child in this episode is downright brilliant.  Seriously, that kid deserves an award for how disturbing he makes himself.
     This show has been handled extremely well so far, and now there's only 9 more episodes to go.  I'm now hopeful enough that I think the show will be far superior to the the source material.  That is definitely something I never thought I'd ever say.

     Outcast will possess us all beginning Friday June 3 at 10pm on Cinemax.

     *As a side note, I'd like to really, REALLY recommend some of Kirkman's other comic series' such as Invincible (the only series I've read monthly since it started!), Destroyer, and The Irredeemable Ant-Man.  As for the incredible Azaceta, I've been a fan of his since his art in the Grounded comic book series.  That's one that I would recommend to any longtime fans of superhero comics in general.

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