Review: Captain Midnight – Vol. 1 (TPB)

Way back during Free Comic Book Day 2013, I was very excited to see a story from Dark Horse that was bringing back a Golden Age hero from the public domain and making him fresh again. What was nice about it was that rather than just taking the name and maybe a little bit of the original history, Dark Horse decided to take the actual character from the 1940s and transport him to today's time. It was a pretty bold move. But then again, Captain Midnight is a bold character and the gamble seems to have paid off as the title is now seven issues in and is going strong. Feel free to take a look at some of the reviews at Comic Bastards. It's a great story. Based on that success, a trade paperback has now been generated covering the Free Comic Book Day story and Issues #0-3 forming a Volume 1 of a 110 + pages. The title of the Volume is "On the Run" and it is written by Joshua Williamson with Fernando Dagnino, Victor Ibanez, Pere Perez, and Roger Robinson on the art.  This volume does an excellent job in showcasing the classic Fawcett Character with a well- rounded and solid modern telling. The action is there.  The suspense is there.  The mystery is there.  And yeah, awesome art is there making this aged Captain looking fresh and ready for the intense story that has been laid out upon us. These are some fantastic sequences within a great title.

Back in 1944, Captain Midnight disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle never to be seen again. He was thought to be dead. In 2013 though, he returns. The return isn't quite how he would like and during his return, he discovers that much of the technology that he developed is being corrupted and used for less than humble causes.  He also discovers that the daughter of his greatest enemy from the 40s, Fury Shark has utilized the technology to become one of the world's richest and most powerful people. The strange part is that she too disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle and returned many years before the good Captain to build her empire. Things just aren't right and Captain Midnight must bring back normalcy to the chaos.  Mustering help with who he can, he must now put the pieces together to figure what has happened. He also needs to survive, as there are quite a few people out to get him within these pages.

Captain Midnight Vol. 1 CoverWilliamson has done a good job in the entire series and his writing flows with gritty action and nice human exchange throughout. The story oozes with emotion whether it be the desire for revenge, the will to survive, or the calm and collectiveness to keep one's head no matter what is happening  around them, whether it be guns, green mutant men, polar bears, etc. This opening volume really brings out the skill of Williamson's ability.

Dagnino's artwork (which is covered the most within this volume) is nothing short of bold and powerful putting the Captain in a nice light that never looks campy even though the potential to do so is there. Dagnino doesn’t take the bait and he not only draws the Captain with passion, he turns up the violence meter too showing that this Captain isn't afraid to get his hands dirty if he needs to. With the other artists involved here, Victor Ibanez, Pere Perez, and Roger Robinson, all cover the Captain with a style that never looks choppy with so many depicting the same guy. They all are able to maintain a continuum of style that keeps the pages turning.  I also think the continuum is met due to not only the art, but the awesome use of color everywhere done by EGO. Captain Midnight may be over seventy years old, but he is resurrected with powerful coloring that makes this volume never dull or boring.

If you haven't read any of the title yet, then this trade is right up your alley. It will get you engulfed into the lore of Captain Midnight and with only seven issues out, now is a wonderful time to get started as you are not playing too much catch up yet. This volume is well worth the purchase.  $14.99 is a steal for this level of comic.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Joshua Williamson Artists: Fernando Dagnino, Victor Ibanez, Pere Perez, and Roger Robinson Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $14.99 Release Date: 2/5/14