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'The Deviant' #5 features striking character acting
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Comic Books

‘The Deviant’ #5 features striking character acting

‘The Deviant’ #5 reveals a darker side to Michael.

After nearly three months, The Deviant returns this week with The Deviant #5. Picking up where we left off, Michael has been interviewing a man wrongly accused of killing people in 1973, but why does Michael have a bloody Santa hat in his closet? Before we can get answers, this issue delves deeper into who Michael was at a younger age.

The Deviant #5 opened in Milwaukee in 1999. Artist Joshua Hixson draws an angelic summer or spring day with a beautiful gazebo on a small pond. Nothing nefarious could be going on, right? We then see Michael and his friend sneak into their parents’ computer room to do some “research” on the Deviant Killer. With a website designed in the ’90s, we see Michael’s fascination with this specific killer. This issue largely re-contextualizes what we know of Michael.

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This scene will bring readers who grew up in the ’90s back. Hixson smartly casts this computer room in gloomy shadows as if it suggests what they’re doing is dark and twisted. The internet was a particularly strange and dangerous place in the early days, and even in the most peaceful neighborhoods, we see kids can get up to some dark things if left alone.

'The Deviant' #5 review

Ah, to be a kid on the internet in the ’90s.
Credit: Image

This issue takes place over three scenes. The pace is slow and reads too quickly for single-issue format consumption, but intriguing psychological elements help us understand Michael. At the heart of this story is the “deviancy” of being gay and how feeling shame around it spurred unfair judgments. That goes for the wrongfully imprisoned man and, as this issue reveals, with Michael.

Hixson masterfully captures Michael’s key reactions in a scene where he and the boy look at pictures of men kissing. We see Michael nervous and tentative but open up when he looks at the touch of his friend. Maybe too much, which he stamps down. Later, when they enter the house of the supposed killer, Michael appears to have had a whole other plan outside of just entering the place, and it’s unclear how nefarious things go. Given the reaction of his friend, it’s certainly not peaceful.

The final scene keeps us in the dark, making the wait for the next issue even more unbearable. Given how quick of a read this issue is, I can’t imagine folks will feel satisfied, but damn, will this read well in a collected format.

It’s interesting to see how this series seemed to be billed as a slasher, but so far, it has found its horror in the in-between places regarding how people act and think. Michael has always been cold and unnerving, but now we see who the true monster may be. Meanwhile, the title and subject matter continue to explore how being labeled a deviant just because you’re gay has dangerous consequences.

The Deviant #5 further reveals a side of the lead character that helps further define him. A quicker issue with three scenes, it does feel over before it really gets going, but it’s hard to deny the compelling psychological angst and horror that awaits us in future issues.

'The Deviant' #5 features striking character acting
‘The Deviant’ #5 features striking character acting
The Deviant #5
The Deviant #5 further reveals a side of the lead character that helps further define him. A quicker issue with three scenes, it does feel over before it really gets going, but its hard to deny the compelling psychological angst and horror that awaits us in future issues.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.5
Helps us understand Michael better
The character acting is insanely good
The concept of deviancy continues to be explored
A quick read to say the least
8
Good
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