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'The Deviant' #6 is a good thriller
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‘The Deviant’ #6 is a good thriller

‘The Deviant’ #6 switches gears as the main characters boyfriend takes center stage.

The absorbing mystery of a serial killer who has gone back after decades continues in The Deviant #6. Even though the Santa Slayer is the linchpin that everything revolves around, in truth, this series is about the prejudice gay people face and have faced that augments how they act and how others treat them. That’s never more important than in this week’s issue, as our main character, Michael, is the number one suspect in the recent return of the Santa Slayer.

The Deviant #6 opens with Michael’s boyfriend, Derek, who can’t believe Michael’s parents are even considering their son could be the killer. Nobody is fighting for him, and the outlook looks dire. At this stage, even the reader can’t be sure if Michael is a killer, but given the events of this issue, it’s unlikely. Instead, Michael may be suffering from the same framing as was done decades earlier; he is serving time for a crime mostly because he was the known gay person in the area.

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Throughout five scenes this issue effectively shows us how key characters are thinking and the next steps to ensure justice. Michael is absent for the first time as Derek takes center stage. Meanwhile, the mysterious detective grills a fellow detective in a scene that balances the homophobia influencing the case.

'The Deviant' #6 is a good thriller

I don’t think Michael’s parents have faith their son isn’t a killer.
Credit: Image

Possibly, the most fascinating element of this issue is Derek’s transformation. Up until this issue, he mostly smiled and was a positive light in Michael’s life. Now, he’s gloomy and angry and wants people to get a little sense of them. Artist Joshua Hixson does a masterful job with expressions displaying Derek’s anxiety, fear, and rage very well. Meanwhile, the mysterious detective continues to be so unemotional that he’s downright freaky.

It’s exciting to have the series take a swing in a new direction as it focuses on Derek and the new investigation. That said, that does change the overall vibe of the story. It went from, at times, chilling and absorbing to more of a thriller. That’s not necessarily bad, but when read in a vacuum, this issue feels very different from what the series has been going for. The subtle notes about homophobia and prejudice continue and are poignant, but the single-issue format does change the experience.

One element that does seem missing is Derek’s motivation. We can make assumptions at this juncture, but the story never even hints at whether he can’t believe Michael is a killer or doesn’t want to believe it. There’s an interesting angle to mine there, but we’ll see if that rears its head later.

The Deviant #6 continues to be an edge-of-your-seat read, and this time, the focus has entirely switched. It’d be a crime if this series wasn’t turned into a TV show or movie, as it’s as intensely interesting and as captivating as anything from True Detective to Blackbird.

'The Deviant' #6 is a good thriller
‘The Deviant’ #6 is a good thriller
The Deviant #6
The Deviant #6 continues to be an edge-of-your-seat read, and this time, the focus has entirely switched. It'd be a crime if this series wasn't turned into a TV show or movie, as it's as intensely interesting and as captivating as anything from True Detective to Blackbird. 
Reader Rating1 Votes
9
Continues to pluck out the homophobic elements in society that are always there
An intense read as it's switched from a horror to a thriller
Great character acting
The focus switching to Derek does change the vibe of the book
9
Great
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