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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 retro review, the titular character had another encounter with Nik Apocaloff away from civilization. Meanwhile, the obsessive tycoon J.D. Hunt approved a new high-tech project called Teknight which is capable of intense combat and other functions. I personally enjoyed the way the creative team presented the big rematch between Night Man and Apocaloff in his werewolf form.
With those details laid down, here is a look back The Night Man #9, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Kyle Hotz.
The story begins with the defeated Apocaloff standing behind bars in prison with other inmates and police officers present. The police officer tells him of his acts of murdering women and society was fortunate enough to have the Night Man responsible for his capture. Apocaloff then has a small chat with the inmate Martini whose wife just made bail for him again. Upon release from prison, Martini meets his wife and kids outside but excuses himself to help a certain someone. Martini then proceeds to a high-end and meets with a lady inside who pays him for his work and then makes an important call to J.D. Hunt. Knowing that Apocaloff knows sensitive information, Hunt then goes to Nuware Labs where the Teknight project is ready for operation.
Meanwhile, the Night Man searches for Rhiannon…
Once again, the creative team of Englehart and Hotz crafted another pretty engaging story that has surprises and moments of intrigue while keeping the narrative fresh. Without spoiling the plot, this comic book had a strong focus on J.D. Hunt and his young yet very aggressive son who use Teknight to do something very daring regarding the captured Apocaloff. This, of course, lures the Night Man to take action but in a very different way as the conflict happened within the city and with elements of the police and the local government involved.
Apart from showing the conflict between good and evil, Englehart managed to include a few reflective scenes that will make you think about the differences the police have with Night Man with regards to law enforcement and vigilantism clashing with each other even though they all want the same achievement: defeating criminals and handing them over to the justice system. There is also this rather sinister portrayal of the father-and-son relationship between J.D. Hunt and his blonde son. More on the villain Apocaloff, it is very clear that by this point in the Night Man series, he is indeed a major character of opposition against the titular character in this series. I should state that Englehart really delivered a very compelling portrayal of evil with J.D. Hunt and Apocaloff involved. Lastly, this story ended with a twist that really surprised me.
The Night Man #9 (1994) is indeed another compelling story that has a nice mix of action, intrigue and characterization. This is a notable achievement by the Englehard-Hotz team as the Night Man himself was less prominent compared to the previous issue. This is understandable since there was the stronger focus and development of J.D. Hunt and his son as both of them got involved in the story’s main conflict. I should also state that off all the Ultraverse comic books I reviewed so far, this one has a strong father-and-son element that has to be read.
Overall, The Night Man #9 (1994) is recommended.
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