Archive for Twilight Guardian

Twilight Action

Twilight Guardian #4

The Guardian meets a man who claims to be her father and reveals that he’s actually Steve Ditko — well, maybe not really Steve Ditko, but at least a paranoid comic book creator with an unhealthy obsession with Objectivism. After he finally leaves, she reads one of his comic books — “The Gulch,” a black and white comic that reads like a parody of Ditko’s maniacally Objectivist hero Mr. A. And after that, it’s back to another quiet neighborhood patrol while — Wait a minute! There’s a house on fire! And the only person who can help is the Twilight Guardian! Can she finally come through when the chips are down? Or is the Dusk Devil going to have the last laugh?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Holy cow — action! And it’s pretty blasted good action, too. And that comes on top of what looked like just another weirdly off-kilter issue. In fact, all the weird stuff definitely reminds you that, despite the derring-do and whupassery that closed the series, the Guardian still has a lot of the same problems she had before — she’s still off her meds, she’s still got some severe issues with paranoia and delusion (surely I can’t be blamed for wondering if her long-lost father was ever in her house at all), and she’s still using her “crimefighting patrols” as an excuse for not dealing with the broken parts of her life. Is it a happy ending? Maybe it is… but like every other superhero comic, it’s just a temporary triumph before more difficulties start up…

Avengers Academy #12

Korvac, the cosmic menace with the name like a vacuum cleaner, has defeated the Avengers — now it’s all down to the students at Avengers Academy. But Korvac’s ex-wife, Carina, has used her own powers to turn the kids into adults — she’s put the kids’ minds into aged-up bodies from other dimensions and given them the knowledge so they can use their new powers effectively. That’s not entirely good news — for one thing, these are the best possible bodies from every possible future, so there’s a good chance that they won’t actually end up so fortunate in their own lives. So Veil still has to worry about dying, and Mettle and Hazmat know that they’re almost certainly stuck with their unpleasant powers forever. But can even their expanded powers let them survive Korvac? And even if they do, what other changes are they going to have to deal with?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good action, good personality work. Just about everyone gets socked with some big changes — some good, some bad. And the last page packs an emotional whallop you won’t find in many comics out there today.

Green Lantern #65

Krona has reintroduced Parallax — and the yellow impurity — back into Oa’s Central Power Battery, allowing him to take mental control of most of the Green Lanterns. Only Earth’s Green Lanterns have been immune because they’d been influenced by Parallax in the past and were thus able to recognize him in time to get their rings off. Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner travel to Oa by spaceship and are able to locate Kyle Rayner and John Stewart before the mind-controlled Lanterns blow the ship out of the sky. Since they can’t wear their regular power rings without risking being taken over, Jordan offers them the non-green power rings lost by the other ring bearers when they were absorbed into the Book of the Black.

Verdict: Thumbs down. There’s really not much of anything happening in this one. If you’re just desperate to see Hal wearing a yellow ring, Guy with a red ring, Kyle with a blue ring (which, remember, is only really good for overcharging green rings — nice choice, Kyle), or John dressed as an indigo hippie sniper… Well, that’s still not enough reason to get this one, frankly.

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Twilight of the Gods

Twilight Guardian #3

The Twilight Guardian has returned from her trip to the comic convention with an unexpected contact — a comic book publisher who wants to publish comics about her? He sends her several pitches for the new comic, which we get to see during the course of the story — they’re all relentlessly Image-in-the-’90s. Her patrols around her nine-block area in the suburbs continue, with the usual share of weird paranoia — including a bunch of kids playing with firecrackers after midnihgt, the Guardian taking an unexpected nap and waking to find mud on her shoes, and a close encounter with someone who might be her nemesis the Dusk Devil — but he mysteriously vanishes into thin air. But none of that compares with the person she eventually finds inside her house.

Verdict: Thumbs up. So very, very weird. I still can’t decide if the Guardian is merely delusional and paranoid, or if something very strange is happening to her. Hopefully, we’ll find out in the upcoming final issue of the miniseries.

Avengers Academy #11

It’s the Return of Korvac! Who’s Korvac? Honestly, no one cares. He was one of those random interchangeable all-powerful cosmic villains who littered the streets during Marvel’s Silver/Bronze Age. But he’s returned, and we’re supposed to be very excited about that, mostly because Marvel says we should. He’s come looking for his ex-wife, Carina, who Veil just pulled out of an interdimensional limbo because she thought she was the Wasp. Carina wants nothing to do with Korvac, but that doesn’t stop him from showing up and shooting energy blasts around. The Avengers show up to try to beat Korvac down, but he’s much too powerful for them. Jocasta takes Carina and the kids from Avengers Academy and hides them in a room that randomly jumps around to other dimensions to keep it hidden. And Carina reveals that she has extremely powerful powers over time and space, and he believes that the Avengers Academy kids are the only people who can stop Korvac.

Verdict: Thumbs up, despite the “OMG KORVAC” fakery. It’s got a nicely epic feel, which is something this series hasn’t had a lot of yet, and it’s got a nice cliffhanger at the end, too.

The Unwritten #23

Tom Taylor has been swallowed by a whale, along with his winged cat Mingus, Baron Munchhausen, Sinbad the Sailor, Pinocchio, and Jonah. They can’t get out, no matter what tricks they try. When Tom finally locates the whale’s heart, Munchhausen hatches a plot to kill the whale with a cannon and explosives, but he loses the will to destroy the beast. And Tom begins to question whether the whale is actually a real animal at all — more like a symbol for all the world’s readers. But will this allow him to return to the real world again, or to learn the principles of magic?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Just another great issue of this series. Loved how they used all the public domain characters — they were personable, funny, and they all made good sense for the plot. I actually hope we’ll get to see some of them again.

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Twilight Rendezvous

Twilight Guardian #2

The Twilight Guardian has gotten an invitation to join a group of “Real Life Superheroes” meeting at a comic book convention. Of course, she worries about the possibility that her arch-nemesis, the Dusk Devil, will take her absence from patrolling as an excuse to wreak havoc, and she wonders about the strange location of the convention — a remote island in the middle of Lake Superior. After collecting a new hoard of comics and partaking in some of the usual convention activities, she gets to meet her fellow hero-wannabes — the Vermillion Claw, Captain Community, the Strong Right Arm of Justice, Wendy City, and Dr. Double-Danger. They trade crimefighting tips, help a stranded motorist, and solve a crime. And once they part ways, the Guardian learns that someone has been following her, and he has a strange offer for her.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I won’t lie to you and tell you it’s an action-packed story, or that it’s not still deeply weird. But I liked seeing the Guardian out of her usual environment. It’s clear that part of what she needs, besides taking her meds regularly, is social interaction and non-superhero activities. Of course, I can’t help wondering why on earth there was a comic convention, complete with large crowds, tons of booths, and a large convention center, on a tiny island that has a normal population of just 220 people…

Avengers Academy #9

Tigra has kicked Striker, Hazmat, and Veil out of Avengers Academy, and now the rest of the faculty have to persuade her to withdraw her expulsion. Meanwhile, Finesse has decided she wants to track down the Taskmaster, who she believes is her real father, and she blackmails Quicksilver into helping her find him. And once they meet, of course they have to fight each other…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun action, fun dialogue (especially the sniping between Tigra and Quicksilver), and fun artwork.

Green Lantern #62

Well, the villain kidnapping the ring entities is revealed to be Krona, who has some crazy plot involving using the entities to rid the universe of emotional imbalances. Various Lantern corps members try to stop him and are generally powerless against him. Flash, Batman, and Superman try to convince Hal to work with them after Krona makes his escape, but he goes off with the other ring bearers instead.

Verdict: Thumbs up, but it’s a close one. The story is fine, but it’s not really very noteworthy.

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Twilight’s Zone

Twilight Guardian #1

You remember a long, loooong time ago, when the one-shot “Pilot Season” version of this comic came out? I loved the first story and had started getting worried that this one would never get published. But it’s finally out, and I’m plenty glad to see it.

The storyline here is pretty much just like the original. The Twilight Guardian is a young woman in a hoodie and a domino mask. She patrols a nine-block area in the suburbs, and she’s fanatically dedicated to being a superhero. Even though she has no powers and no fighting skills. Even though she nearly never encounters any crime. Even though she’s so painfully afraid of confrontation that she can never bring herself to even confront anyone she thinks is suspicious.

Yes, she’s broken somewhere, mentally. She’s stopped taking her meds because she thinks they dull her crimefighting skills. She’s obsessed with her nemesis, a serial abductor who the papers call the Dusk Devil and who she’s never even met. Her ex-boyfriend has just vanished, perhaps conveniently. Do the police think she has something to do with it? Was her father’s disappearance years ago more ominous than anyone suspected? Has someone entered her home while she was out on patrol? Is the Dusk Devil really after her? And does the Twilight Guardian have allies she doesn’t expect?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Listen, if you get this looking for fights and action and Kirby dots, you’re going to be really disappointed. This is all about character. At least it is so far. I don’t know if something’s going to happen later or not — I suspect it will, but even if all we get is a deep character study of a young woman with mental issues who wishes she was a superhero, I’m probably going to end up counting the whole miniseries as a win.

And having said all that — I do think there’s something deeper going on here. There are strange, suspicious things that seem to be happening. Are they all in the Guardian’s fevered and paranoid imagination? Is the description of the Dusk Devil as someone wearing a hood and a mask — just like our heroine — dangerously significant?

I love this character, I’m glad Troy Hickman is getting another chance to write about her, and I’m relieved that Top Cow is taking a chance with it. I’m hoping you’ll take a chance on it, too.

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Pilot Season winners announced!

If ya ain’t heard the news yet, Top Cow has announced the winners of their second annual Pilot Season event — they’re Troy Hickman and Reza’s “Twilight Guardian” and Mark Bernardin, Adam Freeman, and Afua Richardson’s “Genius.” Both titles are going to get their own ongoing series sometime next year.

I previously reviewed both “Twilight Guardian” and “Genius” — both of them got thumbs-ups, and I’m very eagerly awaiting both of the ongoing series next year.

‘Gratz to the winnahs!

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Twilight Obsession


Twilight Guardian #1

This is the weirdest comic I’ve read in a while.

I picked it up because I recognized Troy Hickman’s name and had been pretty pleased with the stuff I’d seen of his previously, and because I was in the mood to pick up something new and different. It’s part of Top Cow Productions’ “Pilot Season” promotion, where six new series are introduced, and the two that get the most votes from readers will get a new ongoing series next year.

The story focuses on the Twilight Guardian, a young woman in a hoodie and domino mask who patrols “a nine block area between Sandusky Avenue and Aurora Drive.” She doesn’t have powers, and there’s no real crime in her surburban neightborhood. Why does she do this every night? No idea. She’s broken somewhere, mentally, and somehow, it helps her to obsess over being a vigilante. And she is obsessed — she’s thinks out every last bit of her crusade, from the perfect crimefighting uniform, to the roll of quarters and ninja climbing claws she carries but never needs, to the comics she reads before going on patrol, to the homemade jerky she takes along to placate angry dogs.

So what happens? Nothing happens. She goes on patrol night after night, and nothing ever happens. I mean, nothing comic-booky happens. There’s no alien invasion, no supervillains, no natural disasters, no bank robberies. She goes on patrol, watches people in her neighborhood, encounters a lot of different black cats who want her beef jerky, and thinks about the importance of her “mission.”

And I think I like it. I don’t know that it’d be possible to sustain an ongoing series of this, but it’s a fascinating character study. I doubt she’d fare very well if she ever ran into a real crisis or a supervillain — she has to screw up her courage even to tell loiterers to move along — but I’d love to see how she came to this point in her life, and if she ever manages to come to grips with whatever drives her to pretend to be a vigilante.

Verdict: Thumbs up.

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