Review by Frank Plowright
It’s not been long since disappeared World War II hero Captain Midnight arrived from 1944 in the 21st century, but he’s lived an eventful few weeks in which he’s seen an old enemy die, an old friend changed beyond belief and a new friend also die (For a Better Tomorrow). It’s led him to a crisis of conscience, and the way that plays out is for Joshua Williamson to display another side of Jim Albright. A technical genius has always been among his greatest assets, but over his appearances to date there’s been a greater concern about how the technology he left behind when he disappeared has been extrapolated. In Crash and Burn we’re presented with Albright, the Captain Midnight costume only seen in flashbacks, as Williamson shows us what an inventor at the top of his game can produce. Yes, it’s a bit Tony Stark in principle, but the technology used is Williamson’s creation, and it’s inventive and powerful.
Readers who’ve followed here from For a Better Tomorrow may be confused by a villain who knows Captain Midnight and wants revenge, yet hasn’t previously been seen in the series. He was introduced when Captain Midnight teamed up with Ghost and X in Two Past Midnight, although any amoral armoured mercenary would have served his purpose. That doesn’t mean the plot’s poor, though. It’s different from the direct action as part of a well equipped team seen in the series to date, but equally diverting, and that keeps things fresh.
Manuel Garcia is new to the series, but his form of action art serves it well, if disappointingly objectifying Charlotte Ryan by increasing her chest size considerably. She’s part of a subplot featuring regularly seen enemy Helios and a mission to locate Chuck Ramsey. He’s not the only threat on the horizon as by the end of the book we learn about someone even more terrifying. The title of Crash and Burn is clever, and it’s provided another entertaining ride, which continues with Lost Time.