Written by PORNSAK PICHETSHOTE
Drawn by AARON CAMPBELL
Colored by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA
Lettered and Designed by JEFF POWELL
Reviewed by KrisK
Infidel updates the classic ghost story. And I know, a lot of people are going to say that you don’t need to mess with a classic. But I read this, and it was a cold, rotten breath of fresh air. Infidel takes place in a haunted apartment building in the city. There was a mass murder there, and most of the tenets have left. While they haven’t fully explained the details yet, it is hinted that it may have had to do with a terror attack, because all of the neighbors hate and fear our hero, Aisha.
Aisha is an American Muslim. She does not follow all of the customs of her religion though. The biggest break with custom is her engagement to Tom, a white non-Muslim, which has destroyed her relationship with her mom, and Tom’s mother isn’t happy about it either. She has gone so far as to talk to lawyers to see if she can take custody of Tom’s child, Kris, from them. Also, mommy dearest lives with them. Awkward.
Aisha is seeing ghosts in violent visions, and it is taking a strain on her. The ghosts seem to feed on the xenophobia of the residents, putting the hatred towards haunting Aisha. The spirits endgame though, is thus far unexplained. Aisha refuses to say anything about what she is seeing, the apartment is so affordable, and she doesn’t want to cost her fiance and stepchild this opportunity.
The issue is not the scariest comic I have ever read, but it might be the most compelling. I found myself drawn into the story and the characters. They are realistic, but they are never dull. They all have motivations for their actions, and those motivations are what is pushing the story forward.
The writing is superb. Pichetshote’s Image writing debut is stunning. He clearly picked up a lot while he was editing Vertigo. The dialogue is natural, and the pacing builds steadily. The story uses a modern cast of characters in a modern setting to tell a modern tell. None of it is forced or preachy. He proves you can tell a great tale from the POV of a non-white non-christian non-male that is highly absorbing and relatable.
The one weakness for me is the art. It reminds me heavily of old Vertigo comics like Hellblazer, and it makes it feel dated in parts. That is a personal preference though, and while I may not like the style, it is executed wonderfully. Campbell and Villarrubia are pros, and they know how to create a world that looks just like the real one. Just with, you know, crazy xenophobic demons. The other downfall: this is a five issue miniseries. And I know that five issues will not be enough for me.
Verdict: Buy! Like do it now. It is the perfect mix of creepy and compelling. The family drama is exciting as the horror of the ghosts and the mystery of what happened in that building. So pick it up already!