Free Comic Book Day is not only a great day for comics but it’s also a great launching point for many titles with crossover events. Dark Horse’s Project Black Sky is one I have been itching to see and the first issue featuring Captain Midnight and Brain Boy is a terrific set-up for what should be a great event.
Official description from DARK HORSE:
When a biological weapon is hijacked from a secret facility in Nevada, the president calls in two of his top guns: Captain Midnight and Brain Boy! Will the two disparate heroes, a time-displaced inventor from World War II and a snotty psychic Secret Service agent, be able to work together to stop the threat released from Block 13? And what does the mysterious rogue agency Project Black Sky have to do with it?!
Fred Van Lente’s Brain Boy is an under appreciated title since it first appeared in comic shops last September. Van Lente created a well written, updated, dynamic and fun take on the old Dell comics character from the 1960’s. Captain Midnight is a story penned by Joshua Williamson about a WWII fighter pilot lost in time and coming to grips with the modern age drastic changes of villainy in the present. Project Black Sky brings these two very different heroes together to fight off an attack from Ape-X, a psychic cyborg gorilla, released from Block 13. A clash between Brain Boy’s acerbic wit and sarcasm and Captain Midnight’s old-school heroic values is volatile making the relationship between the two dynamic and tense.
Van Lente uses these polar opposite character traits like any great writer would. Project Black Sky is a no-holds barred event forcing these heroes work together and is as dramatic as the strange threat that now faces Nevada from Ape-X. Another element Van Lente uses to his advantage is Brain Boy’s powers on the mental aspect of the story and Captain Midnight’s strength on the physical side of it. There’s not much set-up in this issue as the story kicks off in high gear and never slows down.
This free issue is a great appetizer to the bigger event on the way and put together as well as any book that you would normally pay $3.50. Dark Horse has created a web site with free web comics to accompany the issues in shops and with characters like Ghost, X, Skyman, Blackout and the Occultist joining the ranks soon, this first issue gets the blood pumping and creates a tremendous sense of anticipation for the complete story.
Michael Broussard’s art is as solid as the storytelling. Van Lente asks for big dynamic action and Broussard delivers. The story is chaotic and confusing but Broussard guides readers through the excitement without making it difficult to follow along. His action sequences are fantastic and fit the mold of the classic characters of both Brain Boy and Captain Midnight.
Free comics shouldn’t be this good and it stands out from most by bringing big action and an even bigger story set in motion by Van Lente. While most free comics are good, they are mostly promotional tools, but Dark Horse goes above and beyond and gives readers a first look and a solid story fans will be looking forward to with Project Black Sky.