Issue by Issue – Night Force #9

night-force-9Writer – Marv Wolfman
Artist – Gene Colan
Inker – Bob Smith
Colours – Michele Wolfman
Letters – John Costanza

Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan bring the second part of Beast to realization in this issue and the strange thing about it all is that it features none of the regular characters whatsoever.  Instead it is the man named Paul Brooks who stars, the man whom Baron Winters transported to this crazy-house he now finds himself in.  There are all sorts of strange characters that inhabit the building – a single mother, people that like to party, people that are paranoid and some that have simply given up.  Not only all of that, but the resident creature straight out of a Lovecraftian horror.  Though all of it is a very curious affair, it is the creature that makes it even more so and as we soon learn, it is not just some plain, old movie monster.  This particular creature can think and has concocted this entire scenario that it might test this group of human beings and so far, the monster is just a little disappointed in the results.  Colan and Wolfman manage to create a very tangible sense of unease with this story and not simply because of the monster that is ever-present.  It is the setting more than anything else that really puts the reader on edge, as it is not only claustrophobic, but a hopeless situation.  One of the men realizes that there is only one way out and ends up killing himself in front of his wife and son, and you can see how desperate things are among these captives.  Nobody likes to be locked up and it is human instinct to want to try and get free if imprisoned.  The man that feels it the most though is Brooks –  maybe because he is on the lam or maybe because he has been to prison before and any scenario that sees him locked up again is one to be avoided.  As it is, Brooks is a desperate man and he means to get out no matter how he is able to achieve it.  Overall, this was a very tense story, but it was lacking in the fact that it was missing all of the players we have come to know over the past eight issues.

3.5 out of 5

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