Review by Frank Plowright
Joshua Williamson’s well plotted opening graphic novel took 1940s technological genius and flying hero Captain Midnight and reinvigorated him for the 21st century. Jim Albright’s jumped to the future from 1944 through the Bermuda Triangle to learn that the woman he was chasing, Fury Shark, has used the designs stolen from him to establish a global technology firm. It’s not the only one, however, as since the 1940s Albright Industries has also grown considerably, the loss of its founder notwithstanding, and the legacy of some aspects falls a long way of his principles.
Captain Midnight has also suffered a loss, as for this graphic novel first choice artist Fernandino Dagnino is replaced by Eduardo Francisco, who doesn’t have the same finesse. While the art tells the story, everything about it is a little cruder, a little more exaggerated and has a little less variety.
Over two stories Williamson has Captain Midnight both consolidate his place in the 21st century and continue his investigations into what he left behind in the 1940s and what it’s become, while also monitoring Fury Shark. It’s a wide brief, but Albright is a man who takes his responsibilities seriously. As part of emphasising that he’s a man out of time Williamson’s background references the less savoury aspects of our society. It’s not constant, and it’s not overly intrusive, but through Captain Midnight Williamson has us question whether what we accept as normal should be taken at face value. Both threats Captain Midnight faces are corrupted, both revel in what they do, and neither realise their own hypocritical position. They’re very different, but the common philosophy renders them similar.
By the end of Brave Old World Captain Midnight has pieced a few more pieces of the puzzle together, Agent Jones has accepted a new job and Albright has realised who he needs to see next. It’s been entertaining, but not the thrill ride provided by Captain Midnight’s return in On the Run. Dagnino is back to draw For a Better Tomorrow.