Issue by Issue – Night Force #1

night-force-1Writer – Marv Wolfman
Artist – Gene Colan
Inker – Bob Smith
Colours – Michele Wolfman
Letters – John Costanza

In 1982, Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan would unleash a new horror title upon the comics world called Night Force, reuniting after many years of success upon Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula. Horror might not have been as popular during the early eighties, but the book was a good one and they would start it off on two mysteries, one of which would be solved by the end of the story, the other left until a later time. The most important of the two, at least as far as this tale is concerned, introduces the reader to Vanessa Van Helsing, one of the lead characters in the book and if it was not quite obvious, her name alone tells you that. It is not too soon afterwards that two other main players make their way upon the stage – one a reporter named Jack Gold and the second the subject of the story he aims to write, Baron Winters. The former is as straight a shooter as you can come by in this book, while the latter is far more mysterious. We learn a couple of things in this book about the Baron, one being that he is incredibly long-lived and that he keeps things very close to the chest and seems to be organising something involving these players of the game. Gold is the gruff reporter, beaten down by life and a man who will not take any guff. He does not believe anything that the Baron tells him, at least not without proof and thinks the man a fraud. Funny enough, though it looks like the two will be at odds with one another, by the end of the book, Gold is already doing what the Baron bids. One additional character also makes his way into the book, a Doctor Caine by name and he too is a bit of a mystery and just how he is going to factor in should make things very interesting.  As far as the horror aspect goes, the book is indeed quite moody and atmospheric. That can be chalked up to Colan whose pencils are a perfect fit for this kind of story. The man is synonymous with the horror genre and his best work can be found within it despite the runs he might have had with various four-colour heroes. That being said, there is little other than the visions that Vanessa was having in the psychiatric hospital to be deemed horrific, but you can tell that it is just a precursor to what is to come. The story is engaging and Wolfman writes with an eloquence that makes you want to return and find out more about these characters and just what it is that is in store for them. Intriguing for the most part, this was a strong start on every level for the first issue of Night Force.

4 out of 5

2 replies »

  1. Night Force! What a great team they were, love how this built on the success of books like Tomb of Dracula – one of my all time fave comic series – and Night Force was really dark and atmospheric as well. Great review, you keep revisiting all my favourite comics 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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