midnightWhen a modern Navy ship stumbles across a legendary World War II superhero named Captain Midnight, they aren’t sure how to react, especially when he escapes custody! Meanwhile, Captain Midnight wastes no time tracking down the evil immortal Nazi, Fury Shark, who has spent years readying herself for his return. The showdown between Midnight and Stark will renew their old rivalry and reveal a dangerous shadow organization that may fight for neither side.

Captain Midnight, vol. 1: On the Run is a modern continuation of the character featured in the Captain Midnight radio series and comics in the 1940s. Joshua Williamson of Ghosted and Masks and Mobsters does a fairly good job with this source material. Midnight is essentially a clone of Captain America – other characters even refer to him as “Cap,” just like his Marvel counterpart. But all of the characters, including Captain Midnight, come across as depthless. For the most part, they exhibit no personality traits aside from those that tie them in to Midnight’s story. The exception is Fury Shark, the villain whose father Midnight defeats during World War II. A flashback establishes her backstory as a model daddy’s girl, but once again, this unusual depth exists only to justify Fury’s hatred of Captain Midnight.

Despite the tricky continuity of time travel, this story’s numerous flashbacks are handled well. The art and visual grammar are fairly good. The lines are crisp and the style reflects what’s standard in most of the Marvel and DC superhero comics current today. Though the artist takes few risks, the art aids the somewhat mundane story and keeps it interesting and enjoyable. For a superhero story, Captain Midnight is surprisingly gentle, portraying a minimum of gore, only cartoonish violence, and neither verbal nor visual sexual content. This may make it a good choice for younger teen readers. Captain Midnight isn’t necessarily memorable or original, but it’s not a bad example of the superhero genre. Consider it light reading and worth a few hours of your time.

Captain Midnight, vol. 1: On the Run 
by Joshua Williamson
Art by Fernando Dagnino, Victor Ibanez, Pere Perez, Roger Robinson, Ego, Nate Piekos, Felipe Massafera, Raymond Swanland, Paolo Rivera
ISBN: 9781616552299
Dark Horse, 2014
Publisher Age Rating: (T)

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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