By Night #5 Review

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Jane, Heather, Barney and Chip now have priceless footage of the world beyond the portal, but at what cost? Major Spoilers reviews By Night #5 from BOOM! Studios.

By Night #5 ReviewBY NIGHT #5

Writer: John Allison
Artist: Christine Larsen
Colorist: Sarah Stern
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 14, 2018

Previously in By Night: Jane and Heather, along with Barney and Chip, finally got their act together – camera, lighting, and sound, as well as their guide, Gardt. Gardt admonishes them not to stray from his suggested path, like they did last time. He also keeps getting in the frame of anything Jane tries to film. With Chip distracting him, the girls sneak off to try to get some footage of the mysterious vampire-like creatures they saw last time. One thing leads to another, and Heather accidentally drops Jane into the midst of them; Chip and Gardt help rescue her; and Gardt furiously drags them off to a portal to send them home once and for all.

PORTALS WITH CONSEQUENCES

By Night #5 is probably the most contentious issue so far. Up until now, we’ve been caught up with the excitement of exploring the world beyond the Portal. Heather has dragged Jane out of her comfort zone first to explore Charlesco, then through the Portal, and now off Gardt’s path. We open with Jane after her ride home stomping her way to her house. Her mom, bless her heart, is up waiting for her and concerned about her. Jane cannot wait to view the footage, however, and it is terrific!

Across town, Heather arrives home beating herself up for dropping Jane. Chip tries to console her with a sports analogy, calling back to a time when he did something dumb, only to have her slam her door on him. Jane and Heather aren’t the only ones having a rough time of it just now – Gardt has been brought to the Tribal Quorum, to be heard by Mount Eucchurus, who looks like a mountain with an eye, and is apparently sentient. Have I mentioned that Gardt’s skull (Klay) is his lawyer? Gardt makes a case for his innocence, but is found guilty.

Chip drops in to see Jane at work. He thinks Gardt knew Chet Charles, and that Chet didn’t go “overseas” – he went through the Portal. They try to pass off the visit as handyman work to Dr. Grammercy, who as you may remember, was involved in Charlesco’s experiments. In the meantime, Barney is more distant, almost glued to his phone, which is some nice foreshadowing.

We get a little more backstory as Heather talks to her dad about what things were like when she and Jane were sixteen. Heather wanted to experiment with life, test limits, try new things, and she wanted Jane to come with her. Jane would come along, but stay to herself and keep an eye out for Heather. And then there was the incident that drove them apart.

Barney is still preoccupied and runs into the spooky lady from By Night #1. There’s a big black car outside his place, so instead, he goes to Jane’s house to help her with editing. Jane’s mom is there to meet him. Jane gives him directions on editing, and after a few hours, she dozes off. Barney checks his phone, and sticks a flash drive into her computer, and then leaves. Jane’s mom watches him go, and has a feeling that he’s up to no good.

The following morning, Heather drops by Jane’s house with breakfast and to make up. Jane is crawling around her room looking for a weapon – so unlike her. But Barney has stolen all her footage!

MORE OF A PEEK INTO THE OTHERWORLD

By Night #5 is a little more fractured than we’ve been used to seeing. There are a lot of small scenes in a wide variety of places, and the art keeps us on track with where we are, whether it’s the real world or the Otherworld. I kind of like that Jane and Heather both live at home and there’s a parent (or parents) involved. As the story gets more fantastic, it’s nice to have someone to help ground them and us back into our world. They also interject a little bit of humor into a story that is getting increasingly tense.

We do see a lot more of the Otherworld. A large, owl-like creature carries Gardt to a city with official (but foreign-looking) buildings. As we hear that Gardt is charged with “enabling human incursion,” we also learn that there are new laws in place here. The new law is that of Mount Eucchurus – as I mentioned before, sentient and looking very much like a mountain. Plainly there is some history here and things have been changing recently. (And is any of this in relation to Chet Charles?) There’s some visual humor here too, as Klay puts on a barrister’s wig, and as Gardt puts on the puppy dog eyes as he asks if he can keep his L. A. Law Trapper-Keeper.

BOTTOM LINE: AN ENGAGING STORY

We have more conflict in By Night #5 even as more characters have been drawn together by their shared secret. I like that we keep finding out more about Gardt’s world, and it’s more complicated than just a world with cute sprites and dangerous werewolves. It’s an interesting tale in who to trust.

By Night #5

80%
80%
An Engaging Story

We have more conflict in By Night #5 even as more characters have been drawn together by their shared secret. I like that we keep finding out more about Gardt’s world, and it’s more complicated than just a world with cute sprites and dangerous werewolves. It’s an interesting tale in who to trust.

  • Writing
    8
  • Art
    8
  • Coloring
    8
  • User Ratings (0 Votes)
    0
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About Author

By day, she’s a mild-mannered bureaucrat and Ms. Know-It-All. By night, she’s a dance teacher and RPG player (although admittedly not on the same nights). On the weekends, she may be found judging Magic, playing Guild Wars 2 (badly), or following other creative pursuits. Holy Lack of Copious Free Time, Batman! While she’s always wished she had teleportation as her superpower, she suspects that super-speed would be much more practical because then she’d have time to finish up those steampunk costumes she’s also working on.

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