Review: Skyman

Since Dark Horse Comics made a commitment to creating superhero comics through its Project Black Sky titles, they have had some hits and some misses. I won’t go into the misses here, but of the titles, the two that I have been the most pleased with have been the regular monthly Captain Midnight, and the splattering here and there that has been done with Skyman.  Early in 2014, a four issue miniseries of Skyman was released that I found to be quite entertaining (See Reviews).  Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and drawn by Manuel Garcia, this origin story of the new Skyman captured a patriotic feel that helped to place Skyman in a good light while at the same time putting a wrap on the negative Skyman Program that had been getting some nice negative play in the early part of Captain Midnight’s run.    It was a touch that gave the reader a solid starting point for the new Skyman, a disabled veteran named Eric Reid. Reid has continued to pop in here and there but nothing full on since the miniseries. That is no longer the case as Dark Horse has delivered a sweet treat in a one shot Skyman that brings to the forefront a confrontation of our main man in blue with Project Black Sky and begins to add a few extra pieces to the puzzle regarding the entire Project Black Sky mystery.

Skyman OneShot 11.13.14Beginning not too far after the miniseries wrapped, we find Sergeant Reid at Secret Squadron Headquarters meeting with Midnight and Agent Jones and being asked to explore a dimensional rift that occurred in Canada very similar to the one that brought Captain Midnight to the modern era.  Skyman is to investigate and bring back whatever it is that came through the rift.  While at the same time, working to make sure that he beats Project Black Sky to the site.  Sounds easy enough, but well, maybe not.  What we get from that point is an interesting discovery (Skyman might have a hard time getting back what came through), some insight to the power of the Skyman belt and what it can do.  And of course, a little showdown with the Black Sky Baddies.  It makes for some good reading and is a nice primer to where Project Black Sky is going in the very near future.

Bringing the writing in this one shot is Spencer Cushing who is making his writing debut after lots of experience behind the scenes in the editing capacity.  For the most part, I would say that he brings it, writing Skyman with a smooth and flowing style that makes the pages turn quickly without much difficulty.  Cushing handles a complicated story (like all of the many things happening in Project Black Sky) and makes it very readable for someone who is not very knowledgeable of the Project Black Sky mythos.  A new reader could easily start here and drop right on in the action without any real difficulty, which makes for a good one shot.

Also bringing a punch to the issue is the return of penciller Manual Garcia and inker Bit who participated in the miniseries.  Both had taken a classic Golden Age hero and added substance to him through their bold design and action.  Nothing eases up here and both draw the character with a relaxed and smooth hand that is easy on the eyes and as well as easy on the brain as the written word and art interchange well.

This one shot isn’t perfect by any means.  The interaction between Reid, Captain Midnight, and Jones is a little bit clunky. But the issue  redeems itself well as we transition from Secret Squadron Headquarters to the rift site.  All in all a very impressive debut for Cushing can be seen and  another winning Project Black Sky title can be notched into Dark Horse Comics’ belt.  I know that I want more issues such as this and hope that these are the kind of stories that we can expect as Project Black Sky continues.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Spencer Cushing Artist: Manuel Garcia Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 11/12/2014 Format: One-Shot; Print/Digital