I tried my best to review the last issue, but I just couldn’t find the words. It was a solid issue, but it was almost too complex to sum up without just telling you the entire issue. The second chapter in the arc is a bit easier and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk about it as J. Michael Straczynski continues to leave his mark on this series and franchise. Our main character for this story arc is Diana who we met briefly in the last story arc. The incredible thing about what Straczynski has done here is layer three stories lines together. It’s clear that there will be a third storyline after this one because another character introduced in the first arc is brought back in this issue. Diana was given an old coin by the beard gentleman from the first tale in the last issue which has been the catalyst of her journey. She’s scared of the ancient coin as she can hear other people’s thoughts when she’s holding it. She’s also seeing terrible visions of the city exploding and the two things are making her lose her mind.
She finds a new coin guy to visit and this one isn’t as sleazy as the first. He actually knows the history behind the coin though it sounds like an impossible story. Let me tell you, the story is the best part of the issue. Diana doesn’t know what to do about the vision of the city being destroyed, but after talking to our third reoccurring character she decides to open her mind to what the coin is showing her. Now the question is what is she going to do with the knowledge? Save the city or save herself?
I wouldn’t say that Diana is the strongest character that Straczynski has written, but she’s getting there. In this issue she hangs out far more than the last, but the backup story saves the issue. The story is like a mini Twilight Zone episode within the episode which I particularly enjoyed. Also the fact that Straczynski is threading three stories together in parallel to each other is just incredible. I can’t think of another Twilight Zone to even attempt that and it makes me very curious about the ending. I think we’re in for a treat that may just change how future Twilight Zone stories are told. Also kudos to Straczynski for the Beaumont reference.
As with any comic book, the story is only as good as the art. Guiu Vilanova’s style fits this universe and fits Straczynski’s story for sure. The details on this arc have been very impressive and each issue looks better and better than the last. It’s not often that you see improvement in the art department of a monthly series, but that’s exactly what happens here.
This series isn’t just for Twilight Zone fans; it’s for fans of great stories. It may be set in the TW universe, but the true tell of the stories are if they can standalone without the name. You could call this the Straczynski Sci-Fi Thriller Hour and these stories would still be just as entertaining and of great quality.
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Artist: Guiu Vilanova Colorist: Vinicius Andrade Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/2/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital