‘Infidel’ Draws Creepy Vibe, Sinister Visitors

It’s taxing to find good horror on comic book shelves. Many titles that try their hand at the genre are underwhelming while others may just come across as kid-like and are more goofy than scary. Now don’t get me wrong. The horror gems can still be found out there. The first to come to mind is Joe Hill’s resounding Lock & Key, which not only turned some keys, but plenty of heads as well. This title didn’t garner international attention because the covers were pretty. Content was solid to say the least. Yet that brings us to today when horror comic books aren’t exactly commonplace. Let’s correct that right now. I give you Infidel.

Before we continue, it is important to define the word “infidel” so we have a decent grasp on what it means and how it applies here.  The dictionary describes it as “a person who does not believe in religion or who adheres to a religion other than one’s own.”  That brings us to our main character, Aisha, a Muslim woman married to a non-Muslim man with a daughter of his own.  She’s certainly going against the grain when it comes to Islam, but cultural differences are about to be the least of her worries.  While she, her husband Tom and his daughter live in a modest downtown apartment, all is not well on the home front.

It’s quite the contrary when Aisha starts experiencing dreams, then visions that seem to offer fragments of their occurrences in the conscious world.  A broken glass on the floor from a dream becomes a broken glass on the floor in reality.  Murdered victims from the floor above…well, I don’t want to go into too much detail now, do I?  Just trust in writer Pornsak Pichetshote (Swamp Thing) to deliver dialogue that works off of some rather effective momentum to create a few shivers down your spine.

One cannot mention the title and its writer without also giving a nod to the detailed, shadowy, creep-functional artwork as well as the Spielberg-esque views found throughout some of the panels.  Just as the famed director has a knack for an unconventional and attention-drawing shot, artists Aaron Campbell and Jose Villarrubia deliver a similar feel here with some of their panels, which works wonders for creating suspense.  The pair also worked on the cover of issue #1 together and it’s nothing short of stunning.

So, if you’re good on Star Wars and super heroes for a moment, then I suggest giving the recently released first issue of Infidel a read.  It’s certainly not your grampa’s comics and it’s definitely not meant for kids.  Image Comics has been known for going off the beaten path and succeeding.  I think they just nailed both of those again.

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