By Night #9

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As we’ve worked our way up to By Night #9, the story has bounced back and forth from a light-hearted fantasy romp, to a tale of corporate secrets and subterfuge. It has its humorous moments, but more and more we see that there is a lot at stake, and now to see the past revealed really kicks up the excitement a notch.

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Wait a minute – Jane’s mom was involved with the plot? How much does she know?

By Night #9 ReviewBY NIGHT #9

Writer: John Allison
Artist: Christine Larsen
Colorist: Sarah Stern
Letterer: Jimmy Campbell
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 13, 2019

Previously in By Night: Things quiet down for a moment. Chip and Andy work on repairing the Eidolon, although, due to some lack of forethought, this also includes making a hole in the roof for the moon to shine through. Barney confesses that Bo may still have his laptop, and Heather goes looking for it. We also learn that Heather is an expert at flipping junk, and she stumbles upon the laptop at Pawn Palace. Out of sympathy for an eighty-year-old man, Barney and Jane take Dr. Gramercy out for his birthday and ask him about Project Golf. He advises Jane to ask her mother. Chip fires up the Eidolon and who should come through but Gardt, who tells them he’s found, Chet Charles.


By Night #9 opens with Jane asking her mom to tell her about Charlesco and Project Golf. Her mother comes clean. We go back in time to 1990, and I just love that it is set up with an intro like a comic book with Chet Charles as the genius entrepreneur who wants to do good in the world through science and technology. The Eidolon is there, Dr. Gramercy has more hair, and Jane’s mom is there too. There are also some military brass in attendance, and they want to go through the portal. They’re sure that the next war will be won through this technology.

The scientists actually have some issue with this – 1990 is in the time of perestroika, and there isn’t war on the horizon. They have not done any large-scale tests, and certainly, have not sent people through the portal. They are given a month. General Jackson and his cronies leave, and it comes out that Chet Charles and his team have been through the portal. But now they only have a month to find out everything they can about the Otherworld, before never letting the Army through.

They go through, and Brenda (Jane’s mom) goes with them. We see some other odd denizens of the Otherworld, and they go to see the Mayor, who is the three-eyed owl. He says they’ve consulted with Mount Eucchurus, and have agreed to put their trust in Chet Charles. His team spends their time taking it all in, enjoying the trip as much as the research, and all agree that they can never allow the military through.

They do come back, and Chet tells General Jackson that the portal isn’t stable enough to send people through, and Dr. Gramercy tells him that Chet is lying. They are ordered to open the portal, and under threat of imprisonment, Chet orders his assistant Tabby to do so. She sends them through, and it turns out that she and Dr. Gramercy had a plan – they dropped the men off in the Badlands, where they will probably be killed by monsters.

The project falls apart. Chet decides to go through and see if he can find and save the men. Brenda quit her job. On her way out the door, she asks Chip for the bar with the stiffest drink in town.

Across town, Barney and Gardt are with Chip and Andy. A few suspicious unmarked vehicles gather around. Joan knocks on Chip’s door and says they think he’s stolen something from Charlesco. He won’t let her in without a search warrant. Barney and Andy sneak Gardt into the Pest Control van. Some guys in dark suits are also watching Chip and planning to take him down. Barney heads over to Jane and Heather to warn them that they have one day before the Eidolon is taken away – shades of the past.

This issue is so satisfying. There are threads in here that were laid out issues ago, and here several of them get picked up and twisted together. Finally we know more about what happened with Chet, and it’s more wild than we could have imagined


Even though the art in By Night #9 is done in a rather loose style, it still keeps the characters distinct. The young Dr. Gramercy looks very different from the current version, yet it is still clearly him. Brenda is definitely not Jane, but there are some similarities in their faces so they look as though they’re related.

But there is even more fun stuff in the 1990 part of the story. When the team explores the Otherworld, they’re all in very science-fiction style suits which make them look like a comic book team. The coloring is done to look like Zip-a-tone, which looks great, especially with the rest of the style. It really makes the Otherworld of the time look kind of trippy, which I also enjoy.


As we’ve worked our way up to By Night #9, the story has bounced back and forth from a light-hearted fantasy romp, to a tale of corporate secrets and subterfuge. It has its humorous moments, but more and more we see that there is a lot at stake, and now to see the past revealed really kicks up the excitement a notch.

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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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