arnoldfilmFinally I’m back…and a lot of characters have been shown in the last days, I’ll have my hands full for now (sorry for the new requests). Let’s start with the ongoing series Outcast, that in the episode What Lurks Within introduced yet another secondary character: Arnold, portrayed by Toby Huss. Arnold is the last poker player among Reverend John Anderson‘s friends, and is also the city’s mayor: he’s the one who leaves the stage to Anderson for the celebration of the workers who died in an unspecified accident years before the series’ beginning, and who witnesses his friend’s descent to a violent folly. In the comics he’s little more than a walk-on, but there’s something to say about him nevertheless. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Arnold’s early life, not even his surname. He was born in RomeWest Virginia, and he grew up to be one of the most known and respected citizens of the town. When he was far in his adulthood, he was popular enough to realize his life-long dream, and he became a candidate for the administrative elections. Thanks to the natural liking he inspired in people, he eventually won, and officially became the mayor of Rome, a position he would have kept for years, with his charge renewed election after election. Being the highest civil authority of the town, he eventually entered the local preacher Reverend Anderson’s poker group, and he started attending the arnoldcomics1priest’s house from time to time, even if not as regularly as Anderson’s other friends (namely the chief of police Brian Giles and the fireman chief Ogden). There was one slight detail that differentiated Arnold from all the other players at the green table, however: he was an awful player, and he kept losing game after game, mostly to Anderson himself. This was also the main reason he attended the usual game less often than the others, despite advancing work and civil responsibilities as the main reason for his absence as an excuse. Despite his total lack of luck, and most of all of skill, he kept playing, taking the occasion to discuss and joke with his friends.

The four friends together discussed a variety of topics, and Arnold never realised that they mostly spoke in order to distract him (a tactic that worked far too well). On one particular night, Anderson was making one of his usual outbursts against evil, proclaiming his neverending enmity against sin, and Giles made a vulgar remark about his personal life…when Anderson replied to him that he could masturbate all he wanted and that God didn’t mind when he played with himself, Arnold and Ogden laughed it off together, taking it as a joke…only to be reproached by the Reverend who insisted he wasn’t joking at all, and that the real battle against evil laid somewhere else. Arnold was quite amused by the unusual positions of the local preacher, but he sadly realised he was losing everything that night, and he jockingly remarked that the Reverend was still winning, implying that God must have not been so angry for what he just said. Using that as an excuse, he proposed to cancel that evening, obviously finding some resistance on the winner’s side. The evening ended nevertheless, and Arnold came arnoldcomics2back home with no penny in his pocket once again. This, however, would have soon become the least of his problems, as some strange events were just starting to shake his very city, and an unworldly threat was menacing to change the entire world and to doom human race…starting from (and with) Rome.

Arnold is a simple man for a simple town: despite being Rome’s mayor, he’s not much different from the average of his suburban citizens (and that’s one of the reasons people like him so much). With little or no idea of what’s really happening in his town, Arnold helplessly sees Rome taking a weirder and weirder turn, and the fact that his only hope may be a friend who’s getting more and more unstable doesn’t help him at all.



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