Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote
Artist: Aaron Campbell
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Letterer: Jeff Powell
Publisher: Image Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
Well here we are: the final issue of the epic horror series Infidel has arrived. Over the last four issues, readers have been taken on a wild ride, full of mystery, intrigue, and some legit scary panels.
Infidel #5 starts with a flashback to the apartment complex before the first explosion. It is a conversation that seems normal enough: couples and neighbors complaining about the neighbors around them and critiquing their parenting skills. Slowly the conversation starts to focus on the world today and hits all the typical “I’m not racist but…” complaints about the world and one particular neighbor. While the complaint is focused on boxes left in a hallway, the underlying hatred is based on the fact that he is Muslim. The whole flashback helps the reader to understand the attitude of the residents before the explosion. It was not something that was lacking before, but it also adds another layer that allows the reader to feel more connected to the story.
After the flashback, Infidel #5 picks right back up with Tom finding Medina standing over the bodies of their now-dead friends. At this point, Tom and Medina are both tired and desperate to find a way to save Aisha. Unfortunately, things do not go well as the two of them can’t seem to get past the misunderstanding between the two. As the story continues, Medina finds herself in the fight for her life as she tries to escape the demonic forces in order to save her friend. Each panel adds to the intensity of the situation as questions arise as to whether Medina will make it through or not.
The motivations of the demons become obvious by the end of Infidel #5. Because of the flashback, we understand that this is not a group of random demons, but instead they have a reason behind who they choose to terrorize. It is that fact that makes this story even scarier. By the end we are left with questions as to what truly happens to Aisha and who she can trust. Of course, as with any good horror series, this story is wrapped up nicely with a seed planted as to if this is really the end.
You can’t talk about Infidel #5 without talking about Campbell’s art. Once again, we are treated to some truly frightening panels. The use of shadows helps to hide details that are later thrust upon you like a classic jump scare. However, since they are not moving after the shock of seeing the demons subsides, is when the details truly start to turn your stomach and burn in your brain, so they stick with you even when you close your eyes. Just as important as the scares are the panels that humanize the neighbors. There is no scary rage or harsh designs or colors. Instead they are presented in a way you would expect your own neighbors to be drawn. Soft and unassuming. And that is where the true horror really lies.
Verdict: Buy it.
Infidel #5 provides a satisfactory conclusion to what has been a truly breathtaking series. While it falls under the horror genre, Infidel is also a critique on society. It forces you to question your own insecurities and bias while being utterly horrifying at times. It’s rare that a book will scare you the way a movie is able to, but Infidel #5 does just that.