Despite the umpteenth return to the “Man out of time” well, “Captain Midnight” #0 written by Joshua Williamson is a refreshing story that reintroduces a character from a simpler time, with simpler technology and a simpler worldview. As prescribed by the milieu of time-tossed stories, those simpler states make for high drama and ample subplots.
Explicitly set in 2013, the story opens when a World War II era Douglas SBD plane bursts out of a storm cloud above the Bermuda Triangle, to be intercepted by the F-18 flown by Rick Marshall, the Air Force pilot set to be a gateway character for the new adventures of Captain Midnight. Like Phil Coulson in “The Avengers,” Marshall is a fan of the wartime legend, but finds the rest of the world around him isn’t as apt to accept the iconic hero. These are easy pits for Williamson to fall into, but he handles them well, skirting the edges and tempering familiarity with perspective. Midnight is driven by his mission, incapable of being swayed through force of opposition or rationale from authority. The reactions to Midnight’s appearance and the options for addressing his presence vary by character, illustrating the consideration Williamson has given to his tight cast of critical characters.
Equipped with wings somewhere between X-Men’s Banshee and the S.H.I.E.L.D. H.A.W.K. harness, Captain Jim “Red” Albright — also known as Captain Midnight — is a man of action. He bursts onto the scene in the middle of inexplicable phenomena and artist Victor IbÃ¡Ã±ez captures the action and energy of the action. Abandoning his damaged fighter plane, Midnight hits the headwinds and takes charge of the situation right from the start. IbÃ¡Ã±ez has a sharp, slick style that exhibits details and facial expressions quite wonderfully. Some of the coloring from Ego, however, does muddy up the imagery a bit, as FBI Agent Jones seems to experience some chameleon-like skin tone changes. The line art holds together throughout the issue though, with the last third of the book drawn by Pere Perez. The latter third doesn’t get as much visual excitement as the first two thirds, but Perez is afforded ample opportunity to showcase his range.
“Captain Midnight” #0 is a very solid start from Williamson and crew. The issue is rounded out with a sneak peek at issue #1, due out next month. All in all, “Captain Midnight” is a relatively fresh story with familiarity that makes the introductory story more palatable.