OutKast Comics is a UK based comic company formed by Ben Green. Green is working on creating a new UK based action packed comic universe. If looking for more information about OutKast comics check out the Facebook page or you can grab the comics from Comix Central. Right now OutKast Comics has four books out, which include All in Good Nature, As Cold as Ice, Hot Head and Jokes on You. All of these issues are stand alone issues with the exception of the main character in one of the books is also in Jokes on You. The reason for these being considered stand alone books is that while these characters are all in the same world, they aren’t really interacting with each other yet . I’ll be covering this a little bit different from some of my other reviews and the first three books will contain spoiler with the cliff notes of what happens, and review the final with with no spoilers. So if you want to read the first three books I would skip down to Jokes on You, before reading more. Also Green is working on Ice to Meet You which you can find out more about by following the Facebook page.
All in Good Nature – This is the first of the books and is an origin story of a teenager named Zack who is bullied by his classmates. While trying to hide from his bullies he finds himself in a running into a Geneco storage unit where he gets shot with a bullet that flies through a chemical substance. The shooting is called by a hooded figure who we don’t learn to much about. After waking up in hospital bed, he comes to find out he has the power to control plants, which helps him protect himself from the doctor who appears to be working with Geneco, and has said Zack has seen to much. The story ends with the police coming into the hospital telling Zack not to move and asking what happened.
As Cold as Ice – The second book starts off with Nat the main character and her father. We come to find out during Nat’s mothers pregnancy an old woman touched her mom’s stomach and started doing a weird chant. While her father didn’t realize what was happening he stopped the old woman as soon as he noticed. After the birth Nat’s mom passed away and a few days later her father is approached by a second old lady explaining the first old lady worked for a demon and explains the powers Nat will have and shows how she used her powers. We flash forward to Nat getting visited by another hooded woman who is telling her Snamot foretold her future and to join the women, but Nat disregards her. Later Nat is woken up by what appears to be the first real villain of these books who is a skeleton with a skull in his chest. Her father then gives her the reveal that the bad guys name is Skullsinner Sr, and that his brother and him were both part of a group called the sigma alliance. As they are driving away her father gets shot, but tells her to meet up with her uncle who can help here. Her uncle Serg helps bring her to England, dropping her off and flying away in hopes to get Skullsinner off her tail.
Hothead – The third book starts two years in the passed as we watch an explosion happen at Stelle INC, in which the main character finds his mother getting put into a body bag and his father badly wounded. Fast forward to the present, our main character is heading to his training and happens to walk by the old Stelle Inc where he sees a giant blue man who tells him to leave. After running away he swears he remembers the man and looks into his parents death and finds it was caused by Dr. Thomas Haley, who appears to be the blue man. After going to his mother’s grave, he is confronted by his dad, who doesn’t seem to believe that Haley is alive. After confronting his son the father takes a call and has to leave. The main character appears to be exploring a factory when he finds some metal armor and an ax and puts it on. He finds a friendly parrot and is approached by the blue man, who wants to be called Dr Deadline and best him in hand to hand combat. Later we show our main restrained to a board without his armor as Dr. Deadline is administering him with some type of super serum. Dr Deadline then tells him how he is going to force him to kill his father next. This causes our hero to use his newly acquired powers to blast Dr Deadline back and then burn through the shackles. He then grabs the parrot and leave Dr Deadline in the back and rushes out at what appears to be super speed to end the third book.
Jokes on You – This is the first book in the group that focuses more on a villain then then superhero, in which we meet Giggles, who is a very similar to joker, but appears to be more bizarre and out of it. This books follows him as he wreaks havoc in the prison and then brings in one of the heroes from the previous books to help contain him, and also brings in another hero to add to the OutKast universe!
You can tell that after working on the three books this one is the most polished and both the writing and art has much improved. It’s also nice to see some of the characters come back along with having more characters added into the world.
Review – While these books don’t all link up, I’m pretty excited to see where they go. Green is setting up a new world, and has a lot of characters built into this world. While some of the writing can be slightly predictable, I think once the world starts to settle into itself it will really start to work as a whole better.
The art style is a bit different from some of the modern day superhero comics. It’s a little bit more raw and in some of the first issues it’s hard to take some of the smaller details, like in In Good Nature it’s still hard to tell if Zack is throwing poison/acid or if he is controlling the plant that you are when the cops come in. However it really shines on the end pages and the solo panels, and keeps improving throughout the series.
One of biggest takeaways I get from reviewing all these books, is to see the improvement in both art and writing through the four books. Proving as this takes off these will only improve more.
If you can only grab one book, I think Jokes on You is the best over all product, but I think seeing the backstory of the others books is going to be very important to what is to come in the future.
Overall: 2.75/5 – A lot of world building in a superhero-like world is happening and I think as Green grows this universe, this series is just going to get better.
What is everyone else reading? Any book you’d like me to review? Hit me up on Facebook or let me know in the comments!