I’m generally a sucker for the Nice Guy. “Average” white guys with brown hair are cute and, in comics, awkwardly charming. He is very trusting to a point of almost feeling naive, which falls into the awkward charm part of his personality. This bit was implied in the first issue, but Rob’s encounter with Luka, Malcolm, and Sam really plays it up. Strangers with Astral messages, leading him to go to the edge of demise and back. We root for him to grow into his position as The Occultist, hoping he’ll be able to do more than just read from that artifact called “The Sword”. Maybe even learn to enjoy himself instead of moping about.
So, I understand that The Occultist is a branch off series, but I feel even with that context the writers throw you in with the guppies. I say guppies because their writing is nowhere as biting as sharks nor as swift. We learn nothing in the first two issues about why he gained this abilities, though some very vague allusions are made about this other series, but instead of wanting to read that other series (nice try- my wallet’s staying with me), I just want to drop this one and move on to watch Tobey Maguire’s Spider Man 3.
First of all, is Rob really in college? Because it feels like he has none of the pressures Peter Parker faced and he has the social capability of someone who just hit puberty. I don’t care that he is/might be stabbed in the back by those close to him because I don’t really care about him. He’s a good kid, and I’d like him to grow, but I don’t feel like spending $12 pussy-footing to that point especially when he’s not really using or discovering his powers at all. The colors are pretty and the astral projection images are cool, but the panels are half heartedly placed with uniformity, making the reader skim over them rather than looking at them. None of Rob’s interactions and thoughts feel realistic or sincere. He is like a Marty Sue for vague Mage wanna-be’s that never got the role while playing D&D.
I might pick up this series again after a few more issues come out and I can gauge whether or not Rob goes, well, anywhere in anything. The supposed conflict at the end of issue 2 with lady troubles he pondered, no, pouted on earlier is boring and doesn’t come to mind right away. I honestly picked up issue 2 expecting more scantily clad Catholic girls, so I guess the ending was close enough. I don’t want to read this series for our Occultist at all. I want to know the stories of the his supporting cast instead. This imbalance, especially when so much attention and time are spent on him, makes it difficult to invest myself in the story. If Rob’s efforts in school and discovery as shown in the story are anything like what the writers are doing, then I wouldn’t hold my breath.
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