Review by Frank Plowright
Spoilers in review
For decades Captain Midnight’s sanctuary in the Nevada mountains remained untouched in his absence, and he’s been able to reactivate it since his re-emergence in the 21st century. In Crash and Burn, the community of Nightshade paid a heavy price just for being nearby, and Lost Time opens with Captain Midnight helping with repair efforts, not bothering to conceal his civilian identity as Jim Albright. Joshua Williamson’s been using Nightshade as way to expand the cast, and to accentuate Albright being a man out of time.
As the title suggests, in several ways that’s the focus for this story. Having arrived directly from 1944, little time had elapsed since he’d last seen his loyal partner and equally impressive technological mind Chuck Ramsey. To see him several weeks later as a bitter old man in 2013 who’d perverted the ideals they once shared was one hell of a shock to the system, but there’s no doubt in Captain Midnight’s mind that Ramsey is now a menace, and that it’s his responsibility to put that right.
It’s nice to have primary artist Fernando Dagnino back on the art if you accept the superhero standard of all costumes almost being sprayed on. His opening chapter werewolves are great, and by the end of the graphic novel he’s also had to delve deep into advanced technology, which also looks great. However, for all the effort he puts into that, when it comes to Nightshade he presents a ghost town. No cars on the streets and barely any people either.
Not that Williamson avoids shortcuts either. Given his support chair we can can perhaps accept Chuck Ramsey as the age he ought to be, but Joyce Ryan is treated as if an active woman in her fifties when she’s at least forty years older and still running around in a spandex jumpsuit. The only cost is that she needs a little lie down, a single word balloon revealing she’s feeling worse than she’ll admit to is hardly restitution of reality. Nor is Ramsey’s eventual fate. He’s been constructed as irredeemably scheming, and Williamson’s revelation as to why is unconvincing, as is Ramsey seeing the light after a pep talk about values from Captain Midnight. It’s Williamson taking the easy route, and while it provides a base level of fun, it could have been better with some more thought. Captain Midnight’s run concludes in the oddly titled Marked for Death: Reign of the Archon.