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Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the mid-1990s which was a pretty wild time for comic collectors. To be more specific, this newest retro comic book review revisits the Ultraverse through The Night Man monthly series.
In my previous review, the Night Man was pitted against TNTNT which was the same group of villains who fought against The Strangers. The encounter was not only packed with solid action, the pacing was done strategically and I loved the way how the comic book creators presented the Night Man taking on each TNTNT member creatively. For this new issue, a new enemy awaits the titular hero which the scary looking cover clearly shows.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at The Night Man #7, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Kyle Hotz.
The story begins in an unknown place where a man talks to a lady who just died. After wearing his coat and grabbing his cane, he leaves behind a place with lots of blood around and things ruined. The body of the dead lady had been damaged so much, the flesh on the front of her upper body is gone leaving the bones exposed.
The said man walks down the street of San Francisco. As he recalls a key part of California’s history, he witnesses three armed men coming out of a jewelry store followed by Night Man. Immediately, he witnesses the city’s vigilante fight two of the men with brutal violence. The third thug (with long hair) takes the opportunity to move away only to face the man with the cane…
This tale of The Night Man is gritty and engaging to read from start to finish. It introduces an all-new villain who has a Russian legacy with historical connections to the city of San Francisco and northern part of California. The new figure of evil (note: quite obvious due to his murdering of the innocent) is quite a layered character and he seemed to be designed by Steve Englehart to be a recurring villain against the Night Man.
At this point in the comic book series, Night Man has established himself to be a very capable vigilante who truly believes in helping the people of the city on his own and his victories in the previous issues solidified his reputation. This essentially sets the stage for the debut of the new villain (note: the scary looking wolf on the cover) and the next big challenge for the titular hero. Without spoiling what happened, I can say the pay-off was indeed worth the build-up.
Another strong point of this comic book is the way the creators dramatized the differences and similarities between the Night Man and the new villain. Both men are violent and their each have their own obsessions directly related to their respective goals.
The Night Man #7 (1994) is a pretty engaging read on its own and it shows how much the Night Man himself progressed as the Ultraverse’s San Francisco-based vigilante who really pushes himself to the limits fighting evil even though his resources are very limited. The introduction of the new villain in this comic book not only proved to be a solid addition into the Ultraverse lore but also added to the titular hero’s development as well as his vigilante justice campaign. This comic book may not be as action packed as the previous issue, but you can rest assured there is a really good quality writing here and the build-up was nicely paid-off by the end. As with the previous issues, Kyle Hotz’s gritty art made this Night Man tale really look lively and very stylish.
Overall, The Night Man #7 (1994) is recommended.
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