Comic Review: Captain Midnight #1 (Dark Horse)

I’m a sucker for Golden Age characters.  There is something about their origins, costumes, powers, and adventures I find utterly irresistible and completely fascinating.  Superheroes gaining their powers from magic […]

I’m a sucker for Golden Age characters.  There is something about their origins, costumes, powers, and adventures I find utterly irresistible and completely fascinating.  Superheroes gaining their powers from magic men, special blends of herbs, a combination of lightning and chemicals, or just happen to have a domino mask a mean punch and a distaste for crime hold a place near and dear to my heart.  And while some Golden Age characters escaped the 40’s and made their way in to current continuity, like Superman and Batman, some haven’t been seen or heard from in quite a while.

Enter Captain Midnight.CapMidnight

A hero from radio (1938), Dell Comics (1938), and Fawcett Comics (1941), Captain Midnight is Jim “Red” Albright, a military captain who earned his code name from a general who coined it after Jim returned from a high risk “Secret Squadron” mission precisely at the stroke of 12.  He used a wing suit, specialized weapons, his intelligence, and a mean left hook to battle Nazis, Communists, the Japanese, and even aliens during his original run in the 1940’s.  Now, after a long absence, Captain Midnight is back.

Captain Midnight #1 is published by Dark Horse Comics and written by Joshua Williamson (Legends of the Dark Knight, Voodoo) with art by Fernando Dagnino (Action Comics, Suicide Squad) and colors done by Ego.  Issues #1 tells the tale of a time displaced Captain who returns after being missing since 1944 to present day.  The story is a  continuation from issue #0 which reprints Dark Horse Presents #18-20.  In the book, we learn see the Captain return and get introduced to some of the characters in issue #1.

Kudos to Joshua Williamson for giving the reader a brief synopsis of who Captain Midnight is, what happened to Jim Albright, and the situation he now faces. It is a big help for those of us who had not read issue #0*.

The comic begins at the North Pole in 1942 where we see Ivan and Fury Shark (two of the Captain’s old Golden Age villains) up to no Nazi good.

I'll kick the fascism right out of ya!

I’ll kick the fascism right out of ya!

Captain Midnight swoops in to thwart his enemy. Ivan Shark is quickly stopped and even more quickly decapitated by a hungry polar bear.

The story fast forwards to present day where we learn Captain Midnight, who had been missing since 1944 when he flew in to the Bermuda Triangle after one of his enemies, has reappeared.  After escaping his imprisonment by the United States, the hunt for this newly deemed “security threat” from WWII.

We are introduced to a group of characters sure to be a big part of Captain Midnight’s coming adventures. Charlotte Ryan, granddaughter of Captain Midnight’s partner, Joyce Ryan, Special Agent Rick Marshall who happens to be Charlotte Ryan’s ex-husband and a bit of a fanboy himself, Special Agent Jones who is leading the search for the Captain. and Fury Shark (daughter of Ivan) who is alive, very rich, very influential, and quite possibly immortal.  As for our good Captain, he has not skipped a beat in the hero department since 1944 as he dismantles mercenaries who were able to find him at his Secret Squadron headquarters (he also dispels any idea that he might not be willing to kill his enemies because he kills 3 of them in a way that would make Steven Seagal proud).

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Ok, I’m here. Let’s get with the Golden Age butt kicking.

Captain Midnight #1 combines the elements of action and storytelling well, especially for a #1 issue.  Number one’s can sometimes be too thick on back story and origins, but Williamson and Dagnino move the 24 page story along.  They give us morsels of information that will surely be fleshed out in coming story-lines that help to engage the curiosity of the reader.  The first issue ends as most do, with the hero on the last page looking very heroic, not breathing heavy after doling out a serious butt kicking, and leaving the reader hanging on to what might be up next for our protagonist.

Wall, bad guy. Bad guy, wall.

Wall, bad guy. Bad guy, wall.

The artwork is crisp, clean, and detailed.  Fernando Dagnino’s art held my eye the entire book.  Joshua Williamson’s story reintroduces a fun character from the Golden Age plus you get a Felipe Massafera cover!  There are plenty of comic titles fanboys and girls can choose from these days but whether or not you have any interest in Golden Age characters, Captain Midnight, from Dark Horse Comics, looks like it will be a worthy book to add to your collection. And at the $2.99 price tag (when a lot of books are hovering at $3.99) it will be a bargain too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Author’s note:  I went back and read the 3 issue story of the return of Captain Midnight from Dark Horse Presents. While not necessary to follow the story of issue #1, it was a worthwhile prelude to it. You can buy the digital copies HERE.

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