This issue had me sweating! When I posted the preview yesterday I had to do my best not to look at the pages for The Occultist because I wanted to read it in one sitting. Damn was this a good issue. I don’t read comics on the edge of my seat, but if I did, this would be one of those issues for sure. If you’ve been reading The Occultist then you’ve know that Rob was being duped for a while, but it’s not until this issue that we learn what the “play” against him is exactly. At the end of the last issue the Restless Dead found the spirit of the man who gave Rob the sword, Mr. Elder, and told him that Rob was about to break the pact. The sword apparently has a pact that keeps the jealous dead behind a gate that prevents them from raining hell upon the earth. The Restless dead are okay because they don’t want to harm the living, that’s cool right? Mr. Elder helps Anna relax so that she can venture into the spirit world and we learn a little about the man she visited in the hospital. Meanwhile Rob is unaware of how much he’s flaunting his life in front of the jealous dead and the gate… well it begins to crack. What’s worse is that the sword is beginning to reject Rob which was James Charles’ plan all along.
I’m telling you this issue is intense and the ending was rewarding. There’s still one issue left, but I have a feeling it’s going to set the world up for the next mini-series. What I like about this issue and the potential for the next is that the cat is out of the bag. There’s going to be a lot of consequences for Rob and the events of this story will once again wreak havoc on his life. In a lot of ways he’s the magic Peter Parker since he has all this power, but nothing he does betters his life and when he thinks it is… well, it gets ruined quickly.
Tim Seeley does a fantastic job of finally revealing a big chunk of the story as a lot of plotlines come to a conclusion in this issue/series. Even if you just started reading The Occultist with this volume, you should still get a lot of satisfaction out of this issue. If you’ve been following the series throughout its existence than get ready for some huge payoff that connects so many elements that it’s well worth the read. Rob’s character development in this issue alone is great, but even better considering the growth over the series.
Mike Norton brings his fantastic abilities to the issue. His ghostly images of the characters still hold so much personality that you’ll be able to read every emotion on their bluish faces. Norton and Seeley’s experience collaborating on Revival really shines through here as they complement each other well, yet again. Norton in particular has brought life to this world with his vivid expressions and detailed body language for the characters. I don’t know if this series would have been quite as successful without his artistic abilities.
I really want to drone on and one about this issue. It’s the best issue of the series and really left me with a ton of excitement. I’ll be sad to read the last issue next month, but at the same time I’ve never been more excited to read the conclusion. This was the story that the series needed and hopefully the next mini-series isn’t too far behind. If this was the only volume you’ve read then I would definitely recommend buying the other issues on Dark Horse’s digital store just to see how great the build has been to this issue. Damn, this issue was good!
Writer: Tim Seeley Artist: Mike Norton Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 12/31/13