Book review: Outcast, Vol. 2: A Vast And Unending Ruin

Outcast, Vol. 2: A Vast And Unending RuinOutcast, Vol. 2: A Vast And Unending Ruin by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This will be a short review, largely because there’s not a lot to go on. You could probably read my review of the first volume and apply it to this one and you’d be fairly well set. The art remains affectingly retro, cinematic and draughtsman-like, and the pacing – while languid – is tight. So, second verse same as the first?

This isn’t a problem for me, as I’m quite interested in seeing what happens. I want to see how the story unfolds. But a lot of other readers don’t share that view, it seems, and want the narrative to be speedier. I don’t know how long The Walking Dead took to get started in its comic format, but it seems a lot of readers are trying to give Kirkman the hurry-up.

Me, not so much. Though this is, like the other series, a monster series, it’s a more internal, more subdued form of evil. The undead want to eat your brains and attack you with an animal-like ferocity, whereas the force of possession is insidious, living in the shadows of personality. The action can’t unfold in the same manner as a narrative arc based on brain-chomping because of this fundamental difference.

That’s not to say there’s nothing happening. There’s confrontations with evil that appear to be turning more physical, more difficult than those of the first:

The stakes are slowly ratcheting up, and there’s a greater sense of the personalities behind the characters. The story doesn’t push on much, it’s true, but I’m receiving more of a sense of place than I had expected to, and certainly more than I’ve felt from Walking Dead properties. Everyone has difficulties, and everyone wants to find an out – I’m hoping the tension from their interlocking lives will fuel the next couple of trades.

I’m happy to see what comes. Let’s see.

My Goodreads profile is here.

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