There is no doubt that Joshua Williams, Fernando Dagnino, and sometimes Manuel Garcia’s Captain Midnight has been one of my favorite reads out of the Dark Horse comic stables. It has been ushered as the flagship title of Project Black Sky and arguably it has been the best of each Black Sky title with only a couple coming close. As a reader, we have had over a year of entertaining action with no real break whatsoever. Things have been up and down for our hero Jim Albright with a strong emphasis on the down part recently. The Captain has been dealing with death, destruction of his legacy, betrayals, as well as the sacrifice of innocents simply because they were close to his location. Yes, old Jim has had a tough time. He needs a break. I guess that Williamson and Dagnino needed a break too and what better time to take such a break than right here fresh into the Halloween season. Entitled “Werewolf by Midnight”, this little one shot issue takes man of science and reason Albright and throws his logic out the window, dealing with myths, legends, and the paranormal. It all starts when Agent Jones brings Albright a gift of a Johnson Bell vintage radio that he purchased in a curio shop from Nightshade, Nevada, scene of some horrendous destruction recently. Captain Midnight was able to defeat the bad guys, but the town suffered a lot of damage. Ever the hero, Albright has been laboring hard to rebuild the town personally. Everything seems on the up and up, that is until the radio is turned on. From there, Albright and Jones find themselves at the mercy of a marauding pack of angry townspeople, transformed into some pretty serious looking werewolves. What ensues is a little bit of action, a little bit of humor, and a whole lot of good nature as the reader is given a pleasant little interlude until the action returns with a future issue.
There is no doubt that Issue #16 is a rather fluffy piece. It is easy going, relaxed (in spite of the subject matter) and it propels the story like a sinister little lazy river on a pleasant sunny day in October. Nothing groundbreaking occurs that would propel the title to the next level. But at the same time, nothing causes the title to become a complete train wreck either. It is, nice. Yeah, that’s it. It is nice.
Williamson who has been on a writing roll with a whole bunch of titles, continues to write this Golden Age of Comics legend with the utmost of respect and integrity. But as the title has progressed the previous 15 issues, Albright is beginning to become a little more gritty, a little more mean, and a little more profane. In essence, Williamson is allowing Captain Midnight to break his mold of pure hearted good guy hero and he is making him a realist who has had his idealism racked by the events portrayed. It is a nice touch that isn’t missed in this issue either. Albright still is a good man, but he is beginning to be realistic in his assessments that not everything can be hunky dory. Sometimes things can be rough.
As for Dagnino, his art has been really impressive throughout, but you can almost feel the enthusiasm that he had in doing his werewolves. They kick some seriously good ass and make for a nice touch to the writing.
As a reader or even a fan, you can probably get away with not reading this issue. But it does look like there may be another cast member coming if the ending here is recognized. We shall see. But as far as things go, Issue #16 is a nice little Halloween treat before big guns are blazing again.
Writer: Joshua Williamson Artist: Fernando Dagnino Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 10/29/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital