REVIEW: Captain Midnight #3
Jim Albright was one of the smartest minds during World War II. Considered too great an asset to the American government, Jim was forbidden to enlist. Instead, he secretly became a war hero named Captain Midnight, where he fought Ivan Shark, Hitler’s chief technology expert. In 1944, Captain Midnight disappeared, chasing a Nazi plane into the Bermuda Triangle. Recently, Captain Midnight has returned from the Bermuda Triangle, seeking to adjust to a modern world run by Ivan’s daughter, Fury Shark.
Interesting, revamped superhero brought from the 1940s
Excellent character designs and visuals
Moves away from the a critical ongoing theme
Typical bantering evil villain as the adversary
Previously in Captain Midnight: Charlotte Ryan, Officer Marshall, and Agent Jones are saved from Fury’s Wraiths in a timely rescue by Captain Midnight at the Secret Squadron Headquarters. Charlotte stays with Jim to analyze the Wraiths’ technology while Jones and Marshall investigate Captain Midnight’s escape from the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan,. When Jones and Marshall discover it was Commander Johnson who aided Jim’s escape, the two men are thrown into the brig by the ship’s crewmen. Meanwhile, Captain Midnight discovers a signal from the Wraiths and goes off to track it with Charlotte. They barely escape two drone jets attacking them when they are shot down and captured by Fury Shark. In her North Pole base, Fury reveals to Jim that Charlotte is about to be killed by polar bears.
FOILED BY HER OWN BANTER
Joshua Williamson’s Captain Midnight #3 concludes the first story arc of the new comic series. In the clutches of Fury Shark, Captain Midnight struggles to free himself and rescue Charlotte while Fury banters on about her past. It is hard to understand why Fury allows Jim time to escape rather than kill him outright. Fury has been waiting for revenge for so long, yet she makes the mistake of allowing Captain Midnight the chance to be a hero. Also the comic does not explain how Captain Midnight escapes. He just gets out of the chair and battles Fury’s minions. This situation makes Fury Shark come off as a cartoon supervillain rather than a femme fatale. Captain Midnight is surprisingly more violent and bloody than expected. In this issue’s climatic end, the writer does not sugarcoat the battle scene, having Captain Midnight kill several of Fury’s minions. Although it is a step back from his classical radio origins, the violence reflects society’s modern take on war. One of the themes Captain Midnight #3 does not address is his lack of understanding modern technology and society. In the first two issues, Captain Midnight’s adjustments to the present day put him into dangerous situations. Unfortunately, this issue steers away from this theme. Adding to the questions left unanswered in this series, Captain Midnight #3 introduces Black Sky, the secret organization responsible for Captain Midnight’s escape from the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan. Judging from the ambiguous ending of this issue, they will be a major factor in future issues.
A SOLID DESIGN WITH SUBTLE VIOLENCE
Fernando Dagnino provides a solid effort with the art for Captain Midnight. The character designs and technological visuals draw influences from modern comics and the 1940s. The artist also does not shy away from the violent nature of battle, such as Captain Midnight shooting a villain in the face or breaking someone’s jaw clean off his head. Even though the fight scene is not as bloody or gory as other comics, it is still graphically subtle. Also, the character’s emotional depictions have improved since the last issue.
BOTTOM LINE: FLAWED BUT A DECENT START
It is tough to bring a 1940’s property into the 21st century. Joshua Williamson and Fernando Dagnino have done the best they can to modernize a long dead hero in Captain Midnight. Still, their introductory story arc needs some improvement. If the focus remains on the hero’s attempts to adjust to his modern surroundings, this could be a great comic to read.