Infidel #5

Written by, Pornsak Pichetshote
Art by, Aaron Campbell
Colors by, José Villarrubia
Letters by, Jeff Powell

Aisha is in the hospital as is her stepson, Kris, after being attacked by a mysterious entity at her apartment. Medina, her best friend, is back at the apartment pursuing a remedy when she is attacked by these same entities. This is a story about overcoming horrors, both those in the spiritual realm, and those which are a product of hateful beliefs.

The story moves easily and quickly despite the amount of inner monologue, dialogue, and the number of transitions to different characters. The author utilizes flashbacks to create depth and highlight the impact of false beliefs, such as a group of tenants at Aisha’s apartment, years prior to her living there, who murdered a neighbor due to his ethnicity.  These neighbors become evil entities that now terrorize Medina as she strives to find a cure for Aisha’s sickness. The dialogue is on the nose but doesn’t feel preachy because it avoids generalizing and resists the urge to label groups or make direct correlations between ethnic groups and behaviors. The presence of evil entities is connected to the racist and marginalizing beliefs of previous tenants. The writer prompts awareness of the transferring of evil from generation to generation and the need to stop the cycle in a way that’s creative yet powerful.

The art sets the tone for the book through the use of colors and shading to depict flashbacks or time jumps. In addition, the presence of mystical entities is represented by blurred figures and deep, blunt lines that felt confusing in such a way that helped the reader experience how disoriented the characters were in those situations. The entertainment value rests in the evil entities and the tensions that’s created when good people stand up to them, the sacrifices the heroes make, and their commitment. My one criticism is also the greatest strength of the book: the story is dense and weighty, which could be hard for some to read. However, if you stick with it you will find this book to be one of the more satisfying horror comics of the year to date.

Overall = 9.5

Final Impressions

This is an entertaining and thought-provoking book with beautiful art. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy horror and mysticism mixed with some powerful lessons about how humans treat each other. The creativity of the writer shines in their ability to hit subjects head on while representing the issues with complexity and sensitivity. This is a book about the transformative power of relationships and loyalty.

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Tom Zimm
I am a licensed clinical social worker and trauma therapist that works with children. I've been interested in comic book heroes since I was a young child. However, it's been in the last 3-4 years that I've been making the weekly trip to the local comic book store to redeem my pull list. DC's Rebirth really won me over, especially Geoff Johns' 80-page book. My favorite properties include The Flash and The Incredible Hulk. My criteria for a good comic book include taking stupid and fun seriously while remaining self-aware.