I like to drop a famous quote in to my reviews. It makes me feel smarter than I probably am and serves to bring the review together a bit more, so this will be no different. Today’s prose was, I’m quite sure, first uttered by a man named Marcus Brody in the back of a tank and fits in nicely with the book I am reviewing, The Occultist. The quote goes “The pen is mightier than the sword” except in the case of this book it really isn’t. You see when Rob Bailey, content with life working in a dusty book shop, stumbles upon a mysterious, much sought after book; it seduces him with promises of power and answers to anything he should want to know. As the book says “the man does not wield the sword” and Bailey essentially becomes the sword, wielded by the book to become The Occultist. He must now fight off mages and warlocks who have sought this book through time and learn to control his new found power, before it controls him.
This omnibus edition is the perfect way to check out the work of Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson as he teams up with author Tim Seeley for an enjoyable tale that you can now appreciate in its entirety. It has all the elements needed for a great superhero story. The unwilling hero who has to deal with the new powers bestowed upon them. Making bad decisions which he has to learn from- love potions used on an ex girlfriend for instance. A good collection of bad guys. And the always important, ying to the hero’s yang, the yangs in this case being shape shifting demons, warlocks, psychotic James Bond looking dudes and a host of other characters.
My only gripe with the character, is that his powers seemingly have no limitation. He can turn people to ash, wipe memories, create things out of thin air-nothing seems beyond the realm of possibility and that creates a lot of what if’s, when reading the book. Nevertheless Dark Horse have brought together a collection which will appeal to comic fans across the board as in The Occultist, there’s something for every sci-fi, horror and comic enthusiast to enjoy… Chris Andrews