The Twilight Zone is Back…In Comic Form

DIG014343_1I just finished reading the newest rebirth of the THE TWILIGHT ZONE, and I have to say I’m looking forward to more. I’m a fan of The Twilight Zone and, despite this being on ongoing series, Issue #1 “The Way Out” really feels like it belongs in the Zone. If you can read the narration on the first two pages without Rod Serling’s voice in your head then I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen an original Twilight Zone episode. I mean check this out:

…The opposition offers into evidence an otherwise nondescript neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan. A crossroads of secrets, dreams and desires whose longitude and latitude can only be found–in THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

This incarnation of the spooky franchise is coming at us as a comic series published by Dynamite and they have J. Michael Straczyniski (Babylon 5, Rising Stars, Midnight Nation, and many more), one of my absolute favorite writers, on story duty. The great looking comic art is illustrated by Guiu Vilanova, colored by Vinicius Andrade, and  lettered by Rob Steen. The cover art for issue one is taken care of by Francesco Francavilla.

Released on New Year’s Eve Day issue #1 of the new series promises to be “the first installment of three interlocking stories that will push the boundaries of The Twilight Zone into new and uncharted territory, a journey that will travel into the past and the future, into murder and revenge and the sunrise of nuclear Armageddon.”

Sounds ambitious. And promising.

This first installment follows Trevor Richmond, Wall Street whiz kid, as he turns to a shadowy, and extremely powerful seeming, organization, run by the suitably creepy Mr. Wylde, to help him extricate him from the difficult situation he’s created for himself. It’s an interesting 34 pages and I enjoyed it enough that I’m going to head over to Comixology once I’m done here to subscribe to the series.

As befits an ongoing series (especially one promising multiple “interlocking stories”) there is a lot of foreshadowing, hints, and groundwork laid for a complex story with many avenues to explore, and, as befits The Twilight Zone, it doesn’t get really weird until right near end.

About the only “flaw” I found with issue #1 is that Trevor Richmond is not someone I want to root for. Now, that’s not always a true flaw. Not every main character needs to be a hero for a story to be a success, but it does raise the difficulty setting. Trevor Richmond is the sort of character we want to see get his comeuppance at the end of a Twilight Zone story, not the sort we want to tune in next week to see how he gets out of the mess he’s in.  Still, I trust Straczyniski to navigate this small difficulty and make it just one part of an enjoyable ride.

Recommend for any fans of The Twilight Zone and/or weird Science Fiction.

Oh, and the comic also comes with a four page preview of another fabled franchise being brought back to life by Dynamite: DOC SAVAGE. Even better, according to the Dynamite News page in this issue they are bringing 4 other comic series (that I’m admittedly unfamiliar with) back to life: Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Solar: Man of the Atom, Magnus: Robot Fighter, and Doctor Spektor. As I said, I’m not familiar with any of these titles but Doctor Spektor is going to be written by the outstanding Mark Waid, and that, for me, makes it a must buy.

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