If you haven’t been reading Dark Horse Comics’ unleashing of a new powerful superhero genre in their arsenal, then you really have been missing out. The Project Black Sky line has hit some literary gold with stories that pull classic characters out of the Public Domain and the Golden Age of comics, giving them new life and energy. It has been impressive. And with Captain Midnight, writer Joshua Williamson, artist Frenando Dagnino, and now artist Manuel Garcia have utilized their superb skills to make Project Black Sky’s flagship title its best. It has been an excellent run for all 12 issues that have been running. Issue twelve begins a new story arc as well as a new disclaimer ”Starting Point for New Readers”, it says. I was a little unsure of the disclaimers as a hell of a whole lot has happened that would seem to get lost if you dropped in right here. But, as I read through issue twelve, I believe that there is some merit to the disclaimer. This is a good drop in point to begin with the Captain. Sure all of the action, drama, and loss from the first elven issues are not there, but in number twelve you get the residual effects that have hit our hero during those scrapes. Let’s just say that he has lost his way and doesn’t really know what he wants to be now that all those close to him have fallen off in one way or another. Plus, he must deal with the realization that all of the fantastic inventions and innovations that he designed for the greater good have been deformed and taken into the hands of great evil. Old Jim Albright simply doesn’t know what he wants to do. He does know that crime fighting (and shaving) are things that he wishes not to do at this time and he has isolated himself in his work trying to deal with all of the aftermaths that he is facing.
Joshua Williamson continues to impress as he has really taken a Golden Age hero who back then was portrayed as damn near invincible, beating down Nazis and other enemies foreign and domestic, and working him into plots where despite all of his stoicism and ability, he really cannot control all the outcomes. Not to mention that good guys and bad guys have really become a moot term based on one’s point of view. It has all been very confusing for Albright and Williamson writes it in perfectly as our Captain is trying to figure out exactly who he is, now, in the 21st century, not in his original time zone of 1940s America. Things are different, and it is now a time to reflect on that. But not for long, as those bad guys that believe Midnight must go down are hot on his trail and they are equipped with nice super shiny modern weapons to help secure their point.
Manuel Garcia has taken over the artist reigns from Frenendo Dagnino. But much like the changing of tones with this arc, his art demonstrates a man who is in flux, rough and tumble, and lost without anyone really to mull the past events or current problems. It works well and Garcia, much like Williamson, has portrayed this once invincible figure as a mortal man who hurts. Garcia’s art works well for him here and he has the experience in working with the broken warrior idea as he so perfectly nailed the Skyman miniseries that was another Project Black Sky winner for Dark Horse. He makes for a good fit in this change of tone.
About a year ago, when I heard that Project Black Sky was coming and that Captain Midnight was coming out of retirement to be reintroduced to a whole new scope of readers, well I was excited. Midnight was “THE” superhero of the World War II era. It was nice to see a new life emerging. Twelve issues later in looking back at the body of work created, I must say that it has been a righteous hammer nailing the story to the wall and providing awesome good entertainment for well over a year now. Now is the time for new viewers to jump in and I highly suggest that you do. Things are getting ready to get interesting. Hell, they have already been interesting. They are just continuing.
Writer: Joshua Williamson Artist: Manuel Garcia Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 6/25/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital