When you hear the name Robert Kirkman, you probably think of The Walking Dead. That isn't his only comic, though; he's created several popular titles over the years, including Battle Pope, Invincible, and Thief of Thieves. While none of the series have soared to the heights achieved by his little zombie book that could, that doesn't mean his other creations are unfit for a television series of their own.
As of this summer, it seems that one of of Kirkman's other creations will have an opportunity to prove its live-action mettle, as the Skybound/Image Comics series Outcast is about to debut as a Cinemax original series. And now, a first look at season 1 has been released.
The Outcast promo introduces us to Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), a young man who's quite literally had to battle his demons his whole life. Becoming aware of unsettling events in the town where he lives, he endeavors to find out what's going on with the help of a local reverend who has a few secrets of his own. The promo only provides short glimpses of some of the haunted residents of the town, using the shots to give viewers a taste of the overall atmosphere of the series. Kirkman has described the comic as an "epic horror story" that actively seeks to give real scares to its readers, so it's likely this adaptation will feature more horror material than The Walking Dead.
Interestingly, Kirkman began working on the television adaptation of Outcast before the first issue of the comic was published. Though the comic is ongoing, Kirkman had a definite ending in mind before he began writing it. Whether this ending will be set up within the show or not will likely depend on how popular the series proves to be once it debuts; doing so could limit the length of the show, and producers may choose to keep it more open-ended to allow for additional seasons, so long as it remains popular.
Judging from the promo, there appear to be a number of horror tropes at play in the series. That doesn't mean that it won't be scary, mind you. Even if it's not treading new ground, the films some of its images call to mind are considered true classics in the horror genre. Weaving them together in a new narrative could produce a truly enjoyable show for horror fans (and more than a few sleepless nights for some viewers).
Of course, this assumes that the show will pull off classic horror tropes well. Demonic possession has been done to the point that it's hard to come up with an original take, and some fans might find Outcast's version to be silly or overdone instead of scary. Having the series air on Cinemax instead of bigger networks like HBO may well prove to benefit the show, as Cinemax has lately delivered some top-notch genre material with series like Banshee and The Knick leading the charge. This latest offering in the horror department will likely feel right at home on the premium channel.
Outcast debuts exclusively on Cinemax at 10/9 Central on June 3, 2016.