By Stephen Wilds | Contributor Published: 09/25/2013 10:00 am EST
Publish date: September 25, 2013 Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
“Revenge is a dish best served cold”
It’s hard not to like certain things about this Captain Midnight series, even though it turned me off so much at the first issue. The little things kept from the original run that embrace that style really stand out, working much better than I thought they would. It isn’t just having a villain named Fury Shark and attempting to use a polar bear to kill someone, but things like those and the recurring idea of aliens help bring an otherwise shaky book together. Continuing that trend, the quote above is one of the painful but somehow always appropriate slogans that appears on the covers or first page. It’s hard not to keep reading.
Captain Midnight #3 starts off well. The first panel is a nice glimpse into one of the various reasons that Fury Shark is so messed up in the head. Growing up in a Nazi family couldn’t have been easy, but there is a lot to be said for the lengths she is willing to go to for revenge—determination at its finest. It isn’t just her that’s a little messed up though. Captain Midnight is pretty full of himself as well, confident that the world needs him and convinced that only he can fix everything that is going on.
“And I always thought polar bears were cute.” – Charlotte
If nothing else in this issue, I can’t say that there weren’t some bloodthirsty polar bears. The art for the beasts was beautiful. The visuals depicting the polar bears’ handiwork was almost worth the price of admission alone. That part was appealing and gave another fun element that reminded me of an episode of the Adam West Batman show. Some elements felt unintentionally funny in that same vein though. Midnight simply breaks free of his restraints with no explanation as to how, after letting Fury ramble on for a bit about the past while Charlotte is about to be eaten. It looks like he could have broken out at any time. He and Charlotte flirting at the end also felt odd, almost uncomfortable even, and not just because of the age difference or the grandmother thing. Shouldn’t that be enough though? Some of the dialogue stood out as being exceptionally bad. The character of Commander Johnson stands out, with his expressions also making it hard not to chuckle a bit at what he says. The bonus pages also introduce next month’s new villain, Skyman, who sounds like a comical adversary.
I am not saying that Captain Midnight is a silly book by any means. It’s a story taken from old radio serials and there are elements from those shows that simply do not translate well. However, if writer Joshua Williamson is intentionally doing certain things like this to mimic their style, I think that’s a good idea, one that just may not appeal to all audiences. I do like that Midnight is still not quite a team player, and the teases at the end are enough to keep me interested in the next issue.