Most of the time I am a super hero guy, but I also love a good horror comic or thriller. So, when I saw that Dynamite was putting out a new Twilight Zone series I was intrigued. However, when I saw that J. Michael Straczynski was writing, I was sold. So far, the series has not disappointed. The creative team is putting out a series that lives up to its namesake.
The story’s set up is pretty simple. There is this guy, Trevor Richmond, embezzles a bunch of money, and when he is about to get caught, he goes to a company, run by Mr. Wylde, that changes your identity. At first Richmond is excited, until he realizes that Mr. Wylde has not just given him a new identity and face, but has actually replaced him with someone else.
When he is watching the news he sees himself stepping up to take the blame for his crimes. His doppelgänger has a reasonable explanation for the former Mr. Richmond’s crime, and seems willing to serve his time. He also seems willing to take care of Richmond’s other obligations which he abandoned with his life, such as his wife and job. All of this proves too much for Trevor Richmond, who wants answers, and who will now go to any lengths to get them.
Straczynski, a T.V. and film writer before he turned to comics, has been one of my favorite authors for a long time. He seems to really know his stuff when it comes to science fiction, and he can write some serious action as well. His Thor run was nothing short of amazing, and his Dr. Manhattan was the best thing about Before Watchmen. He also seems to be spot on for the Twilight Zone, capturing the flavor of the old episodes, while adding enough modern touches to make it relevant. The science behind Richmond’s changing body is reasonable and the characters are well developed.
The series also has some nice artwork by Guiu Vilanova. The characters have a realistic look, and the pages are artfully designed. In a book like this, where the story telling is personal, and there is not a lot of action like in the super hero books, these elements are critical. Without the typical action sequences to draw on, Vilanova use dramatic facial close-ups and interesting layout designs, reflective of the original show, to propel the story, and the results are amazing.
So, I highly recommend The Twilight Zone as a departure from the typical comic book fare. It is well written, beautifully drawn, and mirrors the original show, without being a pointless knock off. All in all, a great job by an outstanding creative team.
The Twilight Zone, written by J. Michael Straczynski with art by Guiu Vilanova , is a series being released by Dynamite. It is rated T+ for older teens. As of this article’s publication, there are two issues. USR $3.99 each.