Review: The Occultist #1

I wish The Occultist was ongoing because I missed this series. My first expose to it was the one-shot a few years back that set up the entire world and story. Then came the first mini-series which only enticed me further even though it had its share of ups and downs. Now we have the entire team behind Revival on the series and I’m just spoiled. I want more. This is one of the most unique magic based stories I’ve read in years, which says a lot considering how damn many there have been. The issue begins with the Occultist aka Bailey and his Detective friend Anna on a case. Lately a lot of pets have gone missing which lead them to believe something in the area was taking them and… never given them back. Well they find the place with the disappearances and find a few baby skulls which completely changes everything. Bailey uses the Sword aka the magic book to look up what they’re up against and it turns out to be an angry spirit that was starved as a human and now eats to sate its hunger, known as wight. They hear a baby cry and Anna jumps to it thinking that the creature has a fresh baby, but Bailey realizes that the wight they’re looking for are babies…

There’s plenty more to the story as we check in with Bailey’s teacher and his sinister back story that’s still not fully revealed to us, but getting creepier and creepier. We also see Bailey’s ex again as a reminder of the mistakes that he’s made. Overall the issue really feels as if we never left after the last series.

The Occultist #1 CoverSeeley has improved on the story. As I said I had some minor problems with the last mini, but I really didn’t have any problems with this issue. It was a great reintroduction to the series without treating it like it was a brand new beginning. Even without a ton of back story I think that Seeley gives the reader enough info to either begin reading the series or to be reminded of what they previously read. What I enjoy about this series is the characters. At times they’re corny like when the Detective says that they make a great duo and then heads home to shower, but then other times when Mr. Charles is being super creepy and demented the tone is very different. It’s those two dynamics that make the story interesting as they both work in the context of the world.

Mike Norton on art… nuff said. Seriously though the machine is back at it; he’s taken zero breaks from Revival and has already pumped out a ton of work this year and yet he managed to fit in a five-part mini-series with Seeley. Well they’re a great duo (pun intended, but comment seriously meant)! Norton illustrates undead creepy babies tastefully which is the best sentence I’ve probably ever written in a review. Anytime you have babies and people fighting with them you get sensitive people who are offended just because it’s a fictional baby. Well I wasn’t and again the team did a great job of handling it and even delivering some great revenge for the babies, so shut up and enjoy the baby fight.

Some people might be a little lost on this series if they’re just starting here, but I think the book does a good job of catching you up as a reader. For those of you that enjoyed the previous Occultist series you will definitely enjoy this issue as well.

Score: 3/5

Story: Mike Richardson and Tim Seeley Writer: Tim Seeley Artist: Mike Norton Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 10/2/13