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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 Teknight armor remotely controlled by J.D. Hunt and his son broke into a prison to free the defeated Apocaloff. Unsurprisingly, the Night Man arrived to stop Teknight’s operation even though the police were not willing to get involved with the vigilante. Eventually, Teknight and Apocaloff were defeated thanks to a masked man who fired a canister from a distance. The Night Man approached the masked man and discovered that he is someone essential in life.
With those details laid down, here is a look back The Night Man #10, published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Kyle Hotz.
The story begins one week in the past with the shooting of a man witnessed by his lady companion in the presence of three men wearing dark clothes. As the lady agonizes over the injured man, the three men move away, got chased by police officers, and escaped after climbing over a fence.
Moments later, the police isolated the scene of the crime and Johnny Domingo’s father Eddie (the head of Playland security) talks with one of the police officers about what happened. At 3AM the next morning, Eddie returns to the scene of the crime and looks at the blood and the white outline where the victim was marked. At 4:25 AM, with Eddie no longer present, the white outline begins to move and leave the scene of the crime.
In the present day, Eddie and his son Johnny (still in costume as the Night Man) enter an office at Playland…
After reading back-to-back issues that had Apocaloff as the main opposition for the Night Man, this comic book not only made a drastic change of storytelling direction but also came up with something could change the way readers perceive the titular hero.
For one thing, having Eddie know that his son and Night Man are one and the same person is quite striking and this became even more evident when they have this very meaningful private talk early in the story. That exchange of dialogue is a must-read. Next, while Night Man made clear he prefers to continues his vigilante acts against evil without his father’s involvement, he accepts the suggestion of moving into Playland as he knew the place a lot since childhood and found it advantageous for his covert operations.
Along the way, a brand new and highly unusual villain got introduced here and provided the Night Man a new form of challenge. The battle between the titular hero and the new villain was well executed and the special attention to detail during key moments were amusing to read.
With regards to the killing that took place at the start of this comic book, there is a sub-plot related to it and it includes a reference to a key event in the past within the Ultraverse which itself is connected with Night Man’s origin.
The creative team of Englehart and Hotz set the stage for the new direction of storytelling while succeeded in telling an engaging standalone story in The Night Man #10 (1994). The Night Man fans and Ultraverse fans will have a lot of things to enjoy in this comic book. I personally liked the way the creative team executed story twists and added depth to the plot.
Overall, The Night Man #10 (1994) is recommended.
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