The first arc of Dynamite’s Twilight Zone reboot wraps up this month with issue 4, and it delivers everything you’d want from the classic title: a jerk, a hero, and a nice dose of irony. But more importantly, it leaves you wanting more.
Here’s the official word from Dynamite:
Trevor Richmond had it all, then lost it all, leaving behind a trail of ruined businesses, damaged relationships and criminal charges. He escaped into a new identity, free of consequences, only to find someone else living in his old identity…someone who is doing a much better job at it than he ever did. And now Trevor wants his life back. The final confrontation between two men fighting for one life comes to its fiery conclusion…and only one of them will survive.
After a bit of a lag with issue #3, writer J. Michael Straczynski delivers a very satisfying conclusion to this inaugural arc — satisfying because even some of this run’s peripheral characters (yes, I’m talking about Trevor’s mousy girlfriend Natalie) go on an emotional journey of their own. Kudos to Straczynski for approaching these side-characters so deftly. Prior to issue #4 Natalie’s development never seemed to be essential to the primary story being told, but with this issue she’s pulled into the climax between the “two Trevors” so acutely that she goes from being a marginal accessory to a real character — and one who’s new worldview is essential to this arc’s end. Side characters who become major ones is a trick longtime fans of the Twilight Zone have seen before: the protagonist is generally the last to change; the Twilight Zone is not so much about the central character’s evolution as it is the the how the world around him evolves. Yes, easy to pick out for the reader, but hard for a writer to pull off. But Straczynski pulls it off beautifully.
While I didn’t start feeling Guiu Vilanova’s art was a good fit for this series, his art on issue #4 is pretty outstanding. He offers a lot of beautifully crafted panels, expressive faces, and (especially in flashback) a mood that is both eerie and unique.
So far this Twilight Zone reboot has been a delight to read, offering reader’s exactly what we want: a story that’s creepy…and compelling.