The “Marked for Death” crossover storyline is now in full swing and it finds our past to the future hero Jim Albright (aka Captain Midnight) entering into the search for a person known only as The Archon. All of Midnight’s foes that he has battled and vanquished to date were in fear and awe of The Archon and what he could do. And it is through The Archon that it seems all of the strings to everything are being pulled. What better of a way to finish this first phase of Dark Horse Comics’ Project Black Sky line with this monster crossover tying in all of the Black Sky titles and bringing one nasty super heavy villain to play? Recently, The Archon was put into action in an issue of the Black Sky title X in which a hero(?) named The Mark and The Archon battle along the streets of Arcadia drawing in the fury and firepower of X, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. It is safe to say that X is none too happy with this event and he is still brooding pretty heavily when this issue begins. Featured in this issue, we get action taking place in Arcadia with X trying to put things back in place after the destruction. Despite warnings made by our lettered defender, The Mark is still snooping around, digging for information. We now add Captain Midnight with Helios in tow to the mix looking for answers about The Archon entering into Arcadia and X’s turf. Based on past interactions between Midnight and X with the current Mark troubles going on, well you have a perfect hero recipe for disaster coming on strong. #21 deals with those interactions as well as an additional operation seeking a mystery vault deep within Project Black Sky by members of Captain Midnight’s Secret Squadron 2.0.
Josh Williamson has been writing up a storm throughout Captain Midnight’s run. With the “Marked for Death” arc, Williamson has upped it up a notch to include his trademark action, comedic moments of character interaction, and a tightly woven script that hits a whole lot of places all at once. I particularly liked the interactions between Midnight, X, Helios, and The Mark. These four guys could be no further apart in philosophy, strategy, or even social graces, and Williamson milks their dialogues for every ounce of fun that he can. It is really good stuff. But like any good writer, Williamson knows when to cut it out and focus on the action at hand. This is a very busy issue where the reader does not feel like he is being rushed or overwhelmed. The action pushes through well and is interspaced with the comedic dialogues that make this a super fun read from front to back.
But it takes more than just writing to make for a sweet comic. The art needs to measure up as well. It was certainly nice to see Manuel Garcia’s name back on the art with this issue. I have enjoyed when Garcia draws on this title and he brings it big with this issue. Everyone looks great and intense and I think his work on the Arcadia scenes are nothing short of awesome. X looks just perfectly sweet, whether he is slashing throats or beating up on Helios. The intensity is there and it is aptly placed with Williamson’s script.
It all makes for a well done continuation of a well done crossover event of a well done title. I can’t get enough of Captain Midnight. And I find myself being a little bit worried once all is said and done as wherever Project Black Sky goes once this one is complete has an awesome task ahead of them in matching the intensity that has been achieved thus far. They definitely will have their work cut out for them for sure. Only time will tell if they will succeed when the time comes. But as far as this one concerned, it is shaping up to be quite the epic story arc.