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Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the Ultraverse and focus on the Night Man who is one of the most intriguing heroes of the UV ever created. Having read the first four issues, it is clear that the storytelling with Night Man was done with darkness and grit in mind plus the villains introduced were unconventional. The good news is that each of the first four issues were actually enjoyable to read.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at The Night Man #5, published by Malibu Comics in 1994 with a story written by the Steve Englehart and drawn by Kyle Hotz.
The story begins with a private investigation being done by a detective and a police officer over a dead man whose chest was ripped open. While the two discuss who could be responsible for the victim’s death, Night Man appears and showed no fear when guns were pointed at him.
He tells the police officer and the detective that he is searching for a murderer responsible for the kidnap of two ladies and the extraction of their respective glands. Night Man explains that he rescued the two said ladies and victim right in front of them must be the first substitute victim…
To cut through the chase, I can say that this comic book has a very strong detective story element in it told through Night Man. In fact, seeing Night Man doing detective work made him look and feel like DC Comics’ own Batman but with the Ultraverse touch still maintained.
While telling a detective story, Steve Englehart also took time to humanize Night Man and the scene in which the protagonist questions what being the Night Man has gotten him into was a really nice touch.
Serving as the highlight of this comic book was the rematch between Night Man and antagonist from issue #4. The rematch was not much about spectacle or hard-hitting action but rather more about intrigue and shock value expressed through dialogue (which the Night Man and the villainess engaged a lot with). The villainess is absolutely not the typical comic book antagonist but someone who has a legacy of not just taking people’s lives away but also living through the decades without aging nor anyone from local society opposing her. The villainess is pretty much an ideological opposite of the Night Man.
With its continued approach on darkness, grit and shock value on its storytelling, The Night Man #5 (1994) is another engaging read and it is best enjoyed when you focus on the dialogue and the details in text. As for the Night Man himself, he got developed as a person even more here even though key storytelling elements were used that made the comic book feel like a Batman comic book. Lastly, I should say that Night Man really has his own unique place within the Ultraverse.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Night Man #5 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $16.
Overall, The Night Man #5 (1994) is recommended.
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