Issue by Issue – Night Force #13

night-force-13Writer – Marv Wolfman
Artist – Gene Colan
Inker – Bob Smith
Colours – Michele Wolfman
Letters – Todd Klein

The third part of Mark of the Beast continues and it finds Baron Winters a broken and defeated man courtesy of Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan. Having taken upon himself the job of excising the ghosts from a certain mansion, he thought to do so by changing the past with the help of Vanessa Van Helsing. As it is, things did not turn out the way he had expected in the least and now he has contacted his ex-wife Katina in the hopes of saving his hide as well as Vanessa’s life. Wolfman paints a grim portrait of the Baron with this issue, a characterization as far removed from the first two arcs of this book as can possibly be. From the first moment readers meet the man, he was made out to be a strong and mysterious, one who had all the answers and was as formidable as they came. This story finds him a sad creature in need of help, asking for it without really asking. It is a brave thing that Wolfman has done in the tearing down of the book’s main protagonist, but it does tend to humanize the man more than anything else we have seen of him. What is most interesting is the reveal of the Baron’s past, or at least a little bit of it. As hinted upon in earlier issues, the Baron has led a very long life and during that time, he has loved at least two women, one being Katina the sorceress he summoned for help and the other being Vanessa’s mother. To that effect, the reader is also made privy to the fact that Winters has a son by Katina and that Vanessa is his daughter, which leads to his current plight and his desperate plea for help. For most of the story, little happens outside of the conversation between Katina and the Baron, but there soon comes a little action and it is at this point that Colan is able to flex his muscles. For a book set in the horror genre, there is little on display, but there is one moment that gives one a bit of a shudder and though it is tragic by nature, all of what led to this point had to have at least one consequence. Overall, Wolfman and Colan continue to generate enough of a story to compel your attention and keep you coming back. Sadly, this would be the second to last issue of the series.

3.5 out of 5



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