Issue by Issue – Night Force Vol.2 #5

Writer – Marv Wolfman
Artist – Shawn Martinbrough
Inker – John Lowe
Colours – Adrienne Roy
Letters – John Costanza

Coming onboard this issue as the penciller in residence is Shawn Martinbrough, a man who is no stranger to illustrating darker tales and his work suits the book perfectly, especially as Marv Wolfman who pens this story gives him some true horror to work with. It all begins on the first page where Wolfman begins describing the crimes of a cannibal and moves towards a dream where a skinless woman is devouring another while a man speaks almost in riddle. The cannibal is waiting on death row for killing close to thirty different women and while there have been no interviews granted to see the monster, on his last day there is an exception made. One man who needs to have this story is reporter Jack Gold, a long-ago character that Wolfman introduced during his first tenure on the book many years past. For readers, it is nice to see a little of the familiar pop up in this story though it finds Gold not doing as well as he used to. It seems that after his tryst with Baron Winters’ Night Force, his career took a downward spiral and while he has been given a second chance with his newest employer, they are unwilling to give him such a big story without first proving himself with something else. That leads him to the skinless woman with tentacles in her mouth, first hearing about it from a homeless man and then from his ex-wife Vanessa Van Helsing until finally, his boss assigns him a case involving that same, strange story coming from yet another person. It is too coincidental at this point to ignore and decides to follow it up, but he realizes that he is going to need some help, especially if he is to save Vanessa’s life and anyone else who is having such dreams and that means asking the Baron for help. Additionally, Wolfman gets back to the cannibal introduced early on in the book as he too has been having the same dreams, but for whatever reason, he is able to fight them off which leads to a very unusual ending. For near the entirety of the tale, the Baron took a backseat to the other players in this story and it worked out quite well, which perhaps is how Wolfman should have been writing him all along. As it is, the Baron is sure to make a comeback in the next issue as the story cannot progress without him and hopefully, there will be a bit more of Vanessa as well, the old team being sorely missed.

3.5 out of 5

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