OH GNARLY!!! That was my instant reaction to reading Issue #22 of Captain Midnight. The “Marked for Death” crossover event continues with all of our heroes quite busy at different locales. All trying to gauge the threat of the revealed “Big Baddie Number One” known as the Archon.
Since the name of the Archon was mentioned, all the previous 22 issues and Captain Midnight aka Jim Albright’s battles with Fury Shark, Chuck Ramsey, the guys/goons at Project Black Sky, and hell, just about everybody. All the battles previously fought seem to have been nothing more than a little side show to the main event which has yet to come. Those battles were apparently in preparation to the epic battle that is looming between Team Midnight and the Archon. This issue here sets the pieces on the game board of the world. And it prepares us to what is to come with a taste of extreme violence and intense action, which undoubtedly will be coming very soon in heavy doses when this wonderful first phase of this series ends. I am definitely ready for it after reading this one.
Captain Midnight #22 essentially picks up exactly where #21 ended with Captain Midnight, Helios, X, and a man known as the Mark who is a formal pupil of the Archon, are viciously at battle in Arcadia with one of the Archon’s henchman and blast from the recent past, Phang with his group of super trained baddies called the Chosen who have a strong numbers edge.
Elsewhere, Charlotte Ryan and Agent Jones are not in a much better situation themselves as they have returned to a Black Sky prison searching for answers as to what is behind the mysterious vault that was discovered during Albright’s previous break in. They begin the issue trapped deep within the bowels of the prison with a Dr. O and another blast from the past named Mr. Hollo waiting for them.
And if that is not enough for you, there are other action in motion too at Albright Industries which is under siege by what you might call a hostile takeover. Yes, this is one action packed action kicking issue that has got the fires blazing as we wait for the final two issues to see how this thing plays out. Man, its absolute adrenaline pumping.
Writer Joshua Williamson has been writing some of his best work (from an already impressive resume) in this title as he has had me hooked from beginning to end. But from what I can see with the “Marked for Death” arc thus far, he has truly saved his best for last bringing his writing to another level of intensity. With all the marbles on the line, Williamson has opened up the stops and is now laying out every body part ripping and human splitting action packed moment, which both happen in this issue quite literally. And to which brought out my earlier stated “GNARLY” response.
The nice thing about it is that the body part ripping and human splitting action is equally portrayed to perfection by artist Manual Garcia in his super sweet and super nasty renditions. I believe that the art here has been some of the best of the series really throwing the graphic violence gauntlet down. That says a lot as this is the same title that had an earlier depiction of a man being torn apart by bears as well as a man having a jet dropped on him. Yeah, the deaths in this one will put a pause in your step as you marvel at Williamson and Garcia’s macabre mayhem. This was some of the best action of an already great action title anyway.
As the issue winds down, the X portion in Arcadia wraps up, as do Agent Jones and Charlotte’s travails. But even as things look to be wrapping up, something is amiss. It takes Albright a little while to figure it out. But once he does, it may just be too late as the Archon has begun to move his pieces quite actively and aggressively against the one man who can take him under (maybe). Things are not looking good by the end. But just because they are not looking good, it doesn’t mean that team Midnight are out of it, not by a long shot. The one thing that you gain from reading Captain Midnight is that you never count Jim Albright out. He is an adversary worthy of the Archon who despite any odds, always will go down swinging. Looks like he will have a whole lot of swinging to do though before the last two issues reach their conclusion.
Captain Midnight #22 Writer: Joshua Williamson Artist: Manuel Garcia Colorist: Javier Mena Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 4/29/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital