"Infidel #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Pornsak Pichetshote
Illustrated by Aaron Campbell
Colored by Jose Villarrubia
Lettered by Jeff Powell
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 20th, 2018
Aisha is in the hospital and might not make it through the night thanks to the xenophobic ghosts living in her apartment building. She is not the only victim of these creatures though, as they've already taken the life of her future mother-in-law and injured her future stepdaughter. Now Aisha's best friend Medina is looking for answers with the help of some of the other residents, but the ghosts aren't done yet.
Infidel is juggling a few different plot threads right now and they're all being handled perfectly. You have Aisha's story, which goes on hold for a little while as Medina takes center stage in her investigation, then her neighbors looking into the supernatural elements of the building left by the would-be terrorist that once lived there. These stories work independently to further the overall narrative and they're all super creepy.
Ethan and Reynolds meet up with a guy that used to live in their apartment and get a bit of an information dump. This could come through as a history lesson, but instead it's presented as this riveting conversation. Imagine going to a party and meeting someone who witnessed an occult ritual. You'd want to talk to them for a while, right? That's the feeling that comes through here.
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We get some more details about the ghosts in the building and where they come from in Infidel #4. This answers some lingering questions and puts their attacks into context. Writer Pornsak Pichetshote paces this well, taking you down this dark rabbit hole until there's no hope left, only to soften it just a bit with a single line. You'll know the one I'm talking about because even the other characters comment on it.
The tension builds steadily throughout the issue as Medina puts together pieces of the puzzle. It comes to a moment where she comes to a realization and her eyes practically pop out of her head. You turn the page and BAM! Artist Aaron Campbell scares the crap out of you with some of the most terrifying imagery put to paper. His creations look entirely unnatural, which give them a very disturbing quality. They're like a two-dimensional creature struggling to exist in a three-dimensional world, so the mind tries to understand what it's seeing and just gives up for fear of going mad.
This is just the beginning, as Infidel's terror level gets turned up to eleven as Medina returns to the apartment building. The ghosts are out in full force, creating a frightening haunted house experience. This is not your local haunted hay ride around Halloween or something like that. This is pure unbridled terror with otherworldly specters reading to feed off your very soul.
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I thought Campbell had already delivered some amazing monstrosities earlier in the issue, but that was apparently only a sampling. He ratchets up the scares with an ungodly creation a few pages later that's just as insanity-inducing. I keep trying to look at it now to describe it further, but it's just so friggin' creepy that I'm having a hard time.
Colorist Jose Villarrubia tops the scene off with a gritty palette seeped in shadow. The ghosts have an entirely different look and feel, adding to their unnatural qualities. It's like light doesn't reflect off them the same way as human beings, so they have this strange glow.
Additionally, the apartment building is shrouded in darkness, making it the complete opposite of the bright, sterile setting of the hospital with its always-on florescent lights. It's like Medina descends into Hell itself when she returns home.
Infidel is not only one of the scariest comics on the stands today, but one of the most relevant. It forces us to look at our current status quo through the guise of xenophobic entities from another realm, which oddly puts some things in perspective. Read this one with the lights on.