To say that Captain Midnight (aka Jim Albright) has had a rough go at things the last few issues would be a serious understatement. Really, the bottom has fallen out on our hero. It has been bad enough for old Jim to find out that his legacy of invention and technology has been used for profit and weaponry rather than for the advancement and progress of the world. But then to find out that your closest friend was behind a great deal of it, well that kind of puts a damper on things completely. Then add to the misery that some of those who have really believed in you during this series have paid the ultimate price for that belief... and you get the point. It's pretty hard to be the hero when every action you have taken seems to cause more harm than good. What's a genius faced with this situation to do? Well retreat to the most barren armpit of a location, quit shaving, and become a hermit as the world keeps moving of course. The only thing is though, that there are still baddies out there that want you dead and know where you are. It would seem that Jim has no real choice but to keep on keeping on. Still though, he is at least trying to be a hermit type. You can't fault a man for trying.
Issue #13 allows us to bear witness to that try. Let me just say that the try is very, very short-lived. Good old Agent Jones has come down to try to talk some sense into Jim and get him back involved in the struggle. It just so happens that a blast from Captain Midnight's recent past is also working to get him involved back into the struggle. And their way may just be a little more persuasive. Or, at least, their way is a little louder. Add some potential peril for Agent Jones, the local residents of the remote desert town in which Jim has settled close to, and a side story where some of the remnants of Team Midnight are working another angle to try to make things happen while Jim is away. And, well, you get about what has been expected in Dark Horse Comics' reestablishment of a character that was the premier hero of the 1940s and 50s who had disappeared and was almost forgotten. Not anymore though, and Issue #13 proves once again that Captain Midnight is a title that needs to be read because it kicks a whole lot of ass.
This is one of those issues that are just about perfect. We have the slow beginning of Jones and Albright talking about things, followed immediately by some hardcore rock’em sock’em action finished off with a nice touch of other elements that are perpetuating the story into the future. This one is quite good. And I know that I sound like a broken record, but it just seems that this title continues to build every month just getting better and better.
I credit this success much to the fact that I think we have a perfect team at work in the creative process. Joshua Williamson has really been catching my eye all over the place the last year or so. He's impressed me with his work on Ghosted, and on his current creepy creation Nailbiter. Hell, he even impressed me in writing some little mini DC issues that were being released in my Son's favorite cereal (Yeah, I read all those too). The man is hellfire hot and Captain Midnightis just the perfect mixture suited to Williamson's style of individualized character introspection, epic superhero fare, and hard-hitting "this is serious" kind of drama. He hits all the notes here and makes this once great character from times of old back into the hero that he deserves to be. Manuel Garcia likewise adds the pop, to Williamson's snap and crackle. This issue in particular has a lot of good booming action that fits into Garcia's forte of epic action sequences.
With this issue, things are beginning to make a change. Our once kind of stoic and "goody-goody" Captain Midnight has been hardened by good old-fashioned modern violence. Ok, I know that statement is an oxymoron. But if you have been reading this story from the beginning, you would have seen where the Captain started very serious and traditional in his characterization. He has seen and experienced a lot though in the last 13 issues and this is putting some heavy calluses on his style. The man is becoming hardened and dare I say pissed off. He even utters some profanity in this one. Captain Midnight is ready to unleash some fury. Strap yourself in folks. This ride is getting ready to get a little be rough.
Writer: Joshua Williamson Artist: Manuel Garcia Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 7/30/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital