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"A Darkness Surrounds Him" is the first issue of Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta and the first part of the volume A Darkness Surrounds Him. It was released June 25, 2014 and written by Robert Kirkman. On July 6, 2016, the artist's proof edition is set to be released.[1]



Kyle Barnes has been plagued by demonic possession all his life and now he needs answers. Unfortunately, what he uncovers along the way could bring about the end of life on Earth as we know it.[2]


The story begins with Betsy Austin arguing with her daughter for dating a man four years her senior. After her daughter runs from the house, Betsy enters the kitchen to find her son Joshua biting through his own finger.

After a game of poker, Reverend Anderson is contacted by Betsy who tells him that something they have discussed previously is happening to Joshua.

The following day, Kyle Barnes is awakened by a knock on his door. On his way to answer it, he has unsettling flashbacks from his childhood involving his mother. He is greeted at the door by his adoptive sister, Megan Holt, who offers to take him shopping, though Kyle initially refuses.

Meanwhille, Anderson attempts to command a demon to leave Joshua Austin. He tells Betsy to leave, but she refuses. Believing that Anderson is hurting Joshua, Betsy tries to stop the exorcism and is kicked in the face by her possessed son.

Later on outside a local grocery store, Kyle and Anderson cross paths for the first time in years. Anderson tells Kyle about the demon possessing the boy and asks if he could help, based on an experience Kyle had with his mother in the past. Kyle is reluctant. Megan drives him back to her house, though her husband is unhappy to find him there, and argues with Megan over Kyle's presence in the house. Overhearing the row, Kyle slips away and walks home.

The following day, Kyle receives another knock on his door. Megan has visited once again but only to drop off the groceries Kyle left behind the previous day. With them is a new cell phone which Kyle uses to call a woman. When she answers he is unable to respond, and smashes the phone.

Kyle decides to take up Anderson's offer to "do some good" and goes to pay Joshua a visit. When he approaches the possessed Joshua, the boy makes remarks about Kyle's past, and states that he knows Kyle to be one of many Outcasts. Joshua then jumps Kyle, but Anderson manages to pull him away. He later states his surprise over the strange grip the possessed boy had over Kyle, claiming it to be something he has never seen before.

Kyle and Anderson had a discussion on the porch. Anderson told Kyle he was once married and had a child. He told Kyle that he was also once possessed by a demon but commanded it to leave. They then returned to the room for more answers.

Kyle then remembered that her mother never liked the light while being possessed. Kyle ripped the curtains open and the boy dived into the shadows. Kyle went to expose the boy to more light and got into an altercation with the boy. The blood from the altercation began to burn the boy and soon enough, the demon was released. Betsy came to check what was happening and was glad to see her boy alright.

After a misunderstanding, the police release Kyle, much to Officer Holt's dismay. Kyle told Anderson about what he had done to his wife but regrets that no one would ever believe his story. Kyle then vows to find out why demons are out to hurt him.



A Darkness Surrounds Him
Outcast Vol 1 Variant cover
#1 "A Darkness Surrounds Him" #4 "To Light Our Way"
#2 "From The Shadows It Watches" #5 "A Wrath Unseen"
#3 "I Remember When She Loved Me" #6 "Receive Your Mark"