Monday, June 17, 2013
Words such as those do little to inspire confidence in the skills of a pilot. After all, if you're flying expensive, military equipment and an individual decides to pretty much just land on top of it mid-flight, what are you supposed to do? Give the guy a lift of course, as in Captain Midnight #0 from Dark Horse.
The issue features the writing talents of Joshua Williamson, art by Victor Ibáñez and Pere Pérez, colors by Ego and letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot. It collects the three stories from Dark Horse Presents: "Midnight at 10,000 Feet," "Lost" and "Redacted."
Jim Albright was a genius inventor, helping to fuel the American military machine with his brilliance and deftness with machinery. As such, the country deemed him too valuable to enlist, forcing him to take on the persona of Captain Midnight, a hero who appeared right when the country needed one most. Unfortunately, he disappeared in 1944 in the middle of a mission and hadn't been seen or heard from since. Until now of course.
As a character, Captain Midnight is quite intriguing. Sure, he's the classic anachronism, forced to reconcile what he knew with what he sees, but Williamson ensures that he doesn't have that typical, wide-eyed aloofness that most character in his position have. For instance, there's a point where Captain Midnight makes an observation about technology and, instead of being wowed by it, is disappointed that the world hasn't advanced past it. It's little things like that to help really hit home how smart this guy really is.
Character aside, the story seems to have a grander ambition to it, which is good since Captain Midnight is set to become an ongoing series. Fury Shark is introduced as a villain who also may be slightly out of place in space and time. Captain Midnight also has to deal with the requisite obtuseness of the US government, insistent on maintaining a status quo and not letting an "asset" like Captain Midnight out of their control.
The art by Ibáñez and Pérez is largely consistent, with the entire book feeling the same. There are some good action shots of the planes flying, panels where the fighting looks choreographed because of great chemistry and even a semi-full page character reveal. One of the really cool pages is just a bunch of "Redacted" plastered across the text bubbles, which helps to relay the experience of trying to get information from an intelligence official. Captain Midnight himself has a classic superhero look to him, helping to bridge the time gap between past and present.
Captain Midnight #0 features a tried and true story, but the main character looks to be the star of the show. His reactions are genuine and it will be intriguing to see him continuing to react to shortcomings in modern day technology. Fury Shark seems sufficiently vile enough to challenge him as a villain and there are still a few threads that need to be pulled. Overall though, the series looks like it will shape up to be pretty awesome.
Captain Midnight #0 is in stores June 19 with interiors below.