The Occultist #1
Created by Mike Richardson
Written by Mike Richardson and Tim Seeley
Art by Mike Norton
Color by Allen Passalaqua
Letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Covers by Steve Morris, Paolo Rivera
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50
I’ve got a confession to make here, I chose to review this comic based solely on the title. I love horror comics and when a book is entitled The Occultist #1, I immediately think of Lovecraft, Cthulhu, and the like. So I dove in with some preconceived expectations, most of which never presented themselves. But hey, can’t blame a guy for trying…right?
Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong impression here. This wasn’t a bad book, quite the contrary. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. The main character, Rob Bailey, is in possession of an ancient artifact called The Sword. He’s described as a “mild-mannered college student,” but that just made me think of a certain super man masquerading as a newspaper reporter. I assume this was done purposefully, sort of tongue in cheek you might say. But Rob is a young man trying to unlock the secrets to this cryptic power he has been given. He’s not flying around saving the world…he’s saving it one haunted house at a time.
After battling crazed, life sucking undead babies Rob finds himself in close proximity with his partner, Detective Melendez. It’s obvious to everyone reading that he has a huge crush on her but she seems all business when working with him. He drops in to visit his mentor but it turns out his mentor isn’t exactly who Rob thinks he is. Throw in a little astral projection and you’ve got yourself a fairly good overview of this premiere issue. Something you may know, that I did not, is that there was a previous volume to this series, PS Hayes wrote up the first two issues here and here back in 2011.
Mike Richardson and Tim Seeley make a great team penning this story. The reader immediately feels drawn to the characters and even empathizes with them to some extent. Not too shabby for the first issue in a new series. And I must also congratulate the team for having Mike Norton handle the art, his work brings a certain depth to the comic that accentuates the overall atmosphere of the book. There’s nothing too complex here, just talented folks turning out some great sequential art and storylines.
This is the first in a miniseries of five comics and so far it’s got action and excitement written all over it. It was a lot of fun to read and it appeals to more than just those who have an interest in the paranormal or supernatural. There is so much potential here, it would be a shame if you didn’t get to enjoy it, too. Take a chance! How often has Dark Horse Comics steered you wrong? See! It’s totally worth the cost of a veggie burger to give it a try.