"Infidel #5" 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, 40 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 18th, 2018
Medina is in a tough spot. She went back to her apartment building to retrieve an heirloom for her friend Aisha, who is in a coma at the hospital. Medina finds her neighbors Sendhil and Ethan brutally murdered by the building's racist ghosts. That's when Aisha's fiancé Tom walks in. He jumps to the obvious conclusion, fueled by the otherworldly entities living there. This creates a life and death chase, as Tom's rage is amplified by xenophobia.
I've sung the praises of Infidel throughout reviews for every single issue. Does the series stick the landing? Most definitely. Somehow, it's even more shocking than everything that's led up to it. The focus shifts a bit from Aisha to Medina as she becomes integral in the battle against these specters. Writer Pornsak Pichetshote sprinkles in some solid horror tropes too, which only serve to heighten the tension over all.
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One example comes as Tom first confronts Medina. There's a small fight and one lands a hit that should be fine under normal circumstances. It isn't until artist Aaron Campbell reveals the true extent of this attack, first with the weapon in question, then with the effect. Yes, I'm being purposely vague because I let out an audible gasp when I turned the page to see what this caused. It's so worth experiencing on your own.
Campbell has only improved over the course of the series and Infidel #5 is a crowning achievement for his artwork. There's a mixture of styles to coincide with flashbacks, present day, and the absolutely horrifying ghosts. The occult entities are some next level stuff, equal parts unsettling and mind-bogglingly terrifying. Remember those trippy covers from from Dave McKean? Take that vibe and push it through a prism of metal album covers and you might have something close to the sheer terror at work here.
The ghosts are these bizarre visages that should not exist in our world. I have a hard time even looking at them because they're so unnatural and disturbing. Although some are scarier than others, they all have this quality. They also show up with no warning, so you'll turn the page and meet some new unholy abomination, covered in eyeballs and madness.
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The blood that's spilled in Infidel #5 feels like it has seeped into the pages themselves. Colorist Jose Villarrubia gives it this dark, wet quality that's so very realistic. This isn't just a splash of color. This feels like it was soaked in real blood.
Medina's terror-filled journey through the building grows more frightening with each step she takes. Letterer Jeff Powell matches this with an increasing font to emphasize the particularly tense scenes as Medina is struggling to find a way to survive.
Infidel is easily the scariest comic on the stands right now, let alone one of the best horror comics of the year. This book will chill you to the bone in more ways than one. Words of advice: Don't read this before bed. These ghosts will haunt you long after you put the comic down.