A Look Back at The Night Man #8 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

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 retro review, Night Man encountered a new, murderous villain who could change into a werewolf. The mentioned villain named Nik Apocaloff is a lot more than being able to become a monster…he has a notable family background, is highly education and is connected with powerful figures like J.D. Hunt. That makes him a formidable antagonist versus Night Man and his civilian identity as Johnny Domino. Apocaloff proved to be such a powerful villain, he became the center of attention of Night Man during one of his radio broadcasts.

With those details laid down, here is a look back The Night Man #8, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Kyle Hotz.  

The cover.

Early story

The story begins somewhere inside one of the many rooms of city hall. An intense meeting goes on with the mayor present and what happened recently involving both the Night Man and the werewolf made an impact on the matters of discussion.

In an apartment somewhere in the city, Apocaloff is in his monster form and he just murdered a lady and consumed a lot of her flesh. Suddenly the door is knocked by someone who knew the victim. This causes Apocaloff to leave through the window and climb the steps to the rooftop. There, he changes back into his human form.

Elsewhere, Lt. Carleton Briggs arrives back in his office where Sergeant Dade is waiting. After a s short chat, they hug and kiss each other. The Night Man suddenly enters through the window…

Quality

J.D. Hunt and the Teknight project.

Wow! This is one very compelling tale of the Night Man. To get straight to the point, the highlight of this comic book is the rematch between the title character and Apocaloff. To be clear, the rematch was not handled with brainless action in mind but rather with a lot of strategy combined with a medium-paced approach on progression which brought back a lot of vibes from Night Man’s encounters with the members of TNTNT a few issues back. Storywise, the stakes behind the rematch are much higher as the Night Man makes a solid pitch to the local police in the fight against crime (which made me think about the key elements of Batman comic books)  while the tycoon J.D. Hunt (whom Apocaloff interacted with previously) just gave his approval for the Teknight project.

When it comes to character development, Apocaloff’s strong adherence to the past (Russian legacy, old world sensibilities, connections with California’s history) are emphasized some more. For his part, Night Man’s intelligence and approach to vigilantism got developed even more.  

Conclusion

Night Man comes to the police with evidence about Apocaloff.

The Night Man #8 (1994) is another solid comic book of the Ultraverse. The story was told with an overall medium pace and the payoffs for each build-up were indeed satisfying. Considering the presence of the police in the story, this particular Night Man issue has the strongest similarities with DC Comics’ Batman. More importantly, this issue succeeded in developing both the titular hero and his most elaborate villain. It seems to me that Night Man and Apocaloff were made to clash with each other beyond this issue and the previous one.

Overall, The Night Man #8 (1994) is recommended.

+++++

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