Unfortunately we have the second disappoint conclusion in a row from Twilight Zone: Shadow and Substance. This is a series at this point I desperately want to like, but the inconsistent art and rushed storytelling is making that feat impossible. This issue starts off in the aftermath of the brawl Lee started last issue. Obviously Lee is having a tough time with the fact that he’s a prisoner against his will in a place where everyone else seems to be complacent. The same woman from last issue offers her help in order for Lee to ‘talk it out,’ but Lee refuses.
A man who was hurt thanks to Lee’s outburst in issue #3 comes in to check on him. Here we figure out a little more who Lee is and how he got where he is. As he mentioned before, he’s an astronaut and was on a mission. Lee and crew had just left the solar system and were getting ready for a few month’s sleep. He then woke up where he’s trapped now.
Lee wants to escape so he can get back to Earth and let the families of his crewmates know that they’re dead. Pretty boring stuff right? I was waiting this whole time to care about Lee and his story is summed up in four panels. The funniest thing to me was that when asked about his story, Lee says “It’s a lousy one.” Yeah, it really is.
The rest of the story was very dull to me too. There’s just not enough here to really dig in and enjoy. I think these story arcs need to be spread out, two issues isn’t enough to let the reader get a feel for everything and dive into the characters and setting. It’s possible that it can be, but so far this series hasn’t figured out how to do it.
The art was also inconsistent, as sometimes you could see great detail in Lee’s expressions but there are a few less than stellar panels that stick out like a sore thumb. I can’t recommend this book unless you’re completely obsessed with The Twilight Zone, even then I doubt anyone could enjoy this issue.