The Twilight Zone #1 (Dynamite)

Tzone1

Rating: 3.5/5 – Worth reading, but has the Twist and no ending.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Andrew Sanford.

After many incarnations in both television and comic books, the Twilight Zone is back.  As anyone call tell, this offering is by J. Michael Straczynski, as shown in large font at the top of the cover.  Prolific artist Francesco Francavilla provided the cover and I don’t know how that man has time for all the covers he does and interiors on Afterlife with Archie too.  Interior credits are illustrated by Guiu Vilanova, colored by Vinicius Andrade and lettered by Rob Steen.  As many, I am familiar with the work of Mr. Straczynski but unfamiliar with the interior art team.  I am well acquainted with the first television show but not much with more recent iterations, nor much experience with the older comic runs.

Here we start with a familiar introduction but no Rod Serling, the creator of the Twilight Zone, who was a frequent host on that original black and white television show.  We have a business man, Trevor Richman, seeking to escape his life.  He contacts a very special organization that can provide actual physiological changes to him so he is completely unrecognizable.  We find out that this guy is a pretty bad fellow who is seeking escape for financial crimes.  Probably no accident that is last name is Richman.  There is a twist on the final page turn that I will leave undisclosed.

The art team does a great job at conveying the action and characters in this tale.  As I have often noted, it is an under-rated tale to craft a story full of ordinary looking people while making them unique and distinct but not too much so.  None of the characters have impossible, typical super hero bodies, not that I wouldn’t trade physiques with Mr. Richman in a heartbeat.

What is going against this book is the unfair weight of expectations.  How unfair is for the reader to decide as we must remember that Dynamite is invoking the specter of the original Twilight Zone (distinctive font included) to help sell the book so they have a duty to live up to that name.  Further, practically since the beginning of comics, the twist endings that the show was known for were one of the most popular story-telling devices used in old mystery/suspense comics.  Frequently it would be used in short stories within a comic book. So, unfairly or not, I was expecting some resolution and this first book is merely the opening chapter, providing no such resolution.  We do end with a cliff-hanger but not an ending.  Now my mind casts back to wonder if all the precious comic book real estate previously used was needed.  It flowed smoothly but now we are put off 30 days or more until our resolution.  This requires that the twist warrants such a long tale.  I am optimistic but cautious in looking forward to #2.

Reviewed by: Andrew Sanford
(andrew@comicspectrum.com
)
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