"Can we talk about how badass Captain Midnight is for a minute?" This is one of the opening lines from Issue #9. And it is a line that makes for a perfect opening to a near perfect story. Beginning the "For a Better Tomorrow" arc, Joshua Williamson and Fernando Dagnino have made an impressive reintroduction of a 1940's comic icon making him relevant again. Everything has been really good. But I think with the ninth installment of this series, that it just might be the best to date. It has all the elements... action... suspense... even some humor too. But it also has a surprise ending that changes everything in how the story has advanced. We are placed in a more dark and sinister scenario that will likely effect our hero to his very core. But it also has now began to let this hero from the 1940s learn that life is much more complicated in the 2010's, with more personal and harder to recognize bad guys than the standard Nazi fare that he is used to fighting. In this issue, mostly narrated from the perspective of fighter pilot (and mega Midnight fanboy) Rick Marshall, we bare witness to the strength and tenacity of Jim Albright as he takes on his arch nemesis Fury Shark head on and with no regard for the consequences. Like Mr. Marshall, I concur with the "badass" assessment. The first half of the story works directly to that fact as Midnight takes care of his business in brutal non 1940's style violence. The dude is hardcore, no matter what decade he is residing.
But that is just half of the story. Williamson has carved up a second half that puts a matching "hiya" to the action as we begin to find out more information on what became of Captain Midnight's former sidekick and best friend Chuck Ramsey. Hint, it isn't looking pretty. What it is looking like though is that "For a Better Tomorrow" is shaping up to be one hell of an arc, putting a firm foundation block in Dark Horse Comics' "experiment" with superhero stories through its Project Black Sky line.
Joshua Williamson has really been hitting his writing chops as he has generated a healthy mixture of old school serialized action story with brutal contemporary drama forming a comic cocktail of supreme enjoyment. It is real top shelf stuff. Frenando Dagnino likewise has blended old and new together in a perfect mix making stone jawed "tough guy" characters acting out in a modern and not so pretty violent reality. Combined we get just an awesome bit of entertainment at a very affordable price.
Project Black Sky has been a pretty bold initiative by Dark Horse. I don't know how well they have succeeded in all if their undertakings. But with their flagship offering in this line, Captain Midnight, they have nailed it. He might not be getting the same readership as the heavies from the Big Two. But he can definitely hold his own. Plus, his costume is pretty sweet too.
Writer: Joshua Williamson Artist: Fernando Dagnino Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/26/14