I was a bit on-the-fence how I felt the first issue of The Twilight Zone: Shadow and Substance. If I’m being completely honest, this conclusion to the first story “Stumbling Distance” didn’t do much to change that feeling. The major events that happen in this issue should make the reader feel something. The fact that William’s youthful self is contemplating suicide is a very big deal, but it just didn’t have an emotional magnitude that fit the story. The first major event that happens is William’s girlfriend breaks up with him because she thinks he’s completely lost it. To her, everything that is happening and William is describing is just due to his drinking habits. To him, he’s travelled back in time and has to stop his younger version from trying to kill himself. They talk on the phone throughout the beginning of the issue as he goes back into his own house even though she tells him not to. Eventually she just tells him that he’s too far gone and he replies “I understand, doll.” There’s just not a lot believability to these interactions and that didn’t sit well with me.
William also gets a chance to confront his mother which is a pretty underwhelming and short exchange. You’d think after all these years of realizing what her abuse did to him he’d have some type of fire in him to tell her off or show some emotion but he doesn’t.
I did enjoy the ending even though it was a bit predictable, but that’s the only part of this story I enjoyed. The rest had potential but in my opinion it wasn’t executed well at all. I think the artwork in this issue was good for the most part, but to me the faces felt a bit flat which could have been some of the source of my disappointment in the lack of emotion. I think this series can be very good if some of these aspects are improved upon, but for now I can’t recommend this new ongoing series of The Twilight Zone.
The Twilight Zone: Shadow and Substance #2 Writer: Mark Rahner Artist: Edu Menna Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/25/15 Format: Print/Digital