Penciled by: Tom Mandrake
So apparently this is a revived series from the seventies, staring Baron Winters, that dove into the the mystical and horrific side of the comic book world. unbeknownst to the superheroes of Earth, Baron Winters monitors this side of reality with an uncaring eye for those who live and die. Don’t count on the Baron to save you, he’s kind of like that! fumbling into the middle of the mystical chaos is Sergeant Jim Duffy, coming up on retirement, and Zoe Davis, a woman who doesn’t seem to have a handle on what’s real and what isn’t. With every known dark force working against them, the gothic trifecta have a mystery to solve that could shake the very essence of reality in the DC Universe.
Horror, whether it be in film or literature, all have the same set of rules. The gimmicks may be different and the plot lines might have a different process, but overall, the horror genre doesn’t vary that much; the Sarge seems to underestimate himself, The Baron has an otherworldly knowledge that defies intelligence and wisdom, Zoe Davis is an emotionally beaten up character who seems attractive to the demons of the underworld, and they all come together in this disgustingly decadent house that has no place in the real world. This is fairly common in horror stories, but Night Force, at the same time, was very different in comparison to the other horror stories DC is putting out right now.
Marv Wolfman has always been a fantastic writer, but the uniqueness of Night Force isn’t within it’s story, but rather in the visuals. The creepy, angular ways the panels were placed on each page gives that dream-like and out of place feeling appropriate for the book. This title really does have that terrifying visual edge that makes a horror story good.
I did find myself a tad bit tuckered out after I finished reading it however. The story rushed through everything faster than I could comprehend. I still got the premise and enjoyed it from start to finish, but Wolfman certainly packed a lot of story into these 22 pages, probably more than should have been. This is the ignigma however. It’s difficult to write an introductory story to a comic book series as weighty as this one. So much is going on that to limit it to 22 pages kind of hurts the effortless flow Wolfman was going for. Still enjoyable, but a very tiring read none-the-less.
I’m definitely coming back for more next month. There’s enough GOOD happening here that I’m compelled to find out what happens! I just hope I have room to breathe next time.
9 out of 10 stars