Night Force: Marv Wolfman, Tom Mandrake, Wes Hartman, Wes Abbott, Leonardo Manco
Wow, another stunning cover by Manco and Hartman. I love this book’s covers. This one is the creepiest yet. I’m really waiting for that book that doesn’t hold back. That really lets go on the weird-shit-o-meter and gives us a true Kubrick-meets-Lovecraft horror story. I’m interested in this title…because this looks like it could be that perfect marriage. Here’s hoping I’m not let down.
Here’s the deal though. It took me three days to read this issue, because I had such a hard time getting through that beginning with Duffy talking to Zoe about his father investigating the kidnappings and babies popping up. I literally fell asleep reading it the first time. Right at that spot. Here’s the problem: Didn’t we go through that last issue? Duffy was telling Zoe AND Winters about how his father became obsessed with the mystery, and was even killed for it. Duffy watched it happen! So…why are we revisiting that? I know Duffy’s showing Zoe his father’s old office, but here’s how it should have gone:
“This is the place. The room where I saw my father—. I remember, I used to come in here all the time as a kid, read over all his notes, try to figure it out for him. Wanted to be an FBI agent just like him. Never could pass the test.”
Instead, there’s about two and a half pages of drawn out dialog over this issue. Sure, some of it is new…like the stuff about the trip to Spain and the Barcelona kidnapping/baby incident. But it doesn’t lend a whole lot to the story, unless that’s actually going to come into play in later issues. So it all just feels like a rehash of last issue, which is a shame.
But if you have the willpower to get PAST that, well then the issue gets very good. That whole secret Tribunal thing is watching Senator Greene and it turns out someone very close to him is in on the whole thing, waiting to bring forth another Generation 10. We learn something about those creepy hooded women, and what they really are, which lends even MORE credence to the idea that this is a very Lovecraftian book.
Baron Winters gets involved, trying to recruit Senator Greene to his Night Force (the first time in this mini so far that name’s been used, I think), but Greene is then whisked away by green energy (ironic). Winters is frustrated, because this means that people he doesn’t allow are somehow infiltrating his manor. This is something we’ve seen a few times already in this title, and I’m ready to find out what it means. If that whole beginning section had been shortened, there might’ve been more time to develop that idea, or this whole thing with the amputee Winters is trying to recruit again at the end. Instead, that’s left without any sort of resolution at all.
I found I’m much more at ease with the art in this issue. Don’t know why, but it just feels better. Whereas earlier issues were always a mix of good and bad, in my opinion. Things seem neater here, and there are a couple of panels that look really good, like where Winters is sitting by the phone, debating to make the call. The final panels are really great, with the Davis baby and the hooded women. But gestation, they mention, for the baby is 6 months? Do we have that much time in the remaining 4 issues of this title to get to that? Why not make it shorter?
Night Force #3 of 7, the verdict: I still have high hopes. This issue was a bit of a letdown, simply because it felt like it was repeating itself. Sure, it’s really only ONE page in the beginning that mentions the same information from last ish, but it’s still a LOT of dialog to wade through. I really did fall asleep. That whole page could’ve been dedicated to something much more interesting, I feel. The images are still striking, and the plot is thickening, but still not developing. I want something to actually HAPPEN. The first issue, with Zoe being attacked, that was something HAPPENING. The old lady being killed. HAPPENING. Let’s get more of that kind of stuff that actually moves the plot forward, instead of staying in one place and spreading outward like water. Let’s make the glass narrower so the water fills it up to the top. Because that metaphor made total sense.
(Photo Source: DC Wikia)