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REVIEW: Marvel's Midnight Suns #1

CBR 9/15/2022 Sayantan Gayen
© Provided by CBR
  • Midnight Suns #1
    Writer: Ethan Sacks
    Artist: Luigi Zagaria
    Letterer: VC's Joe Sabino
    Cover Artist: David Nakayama
    Publisher: Marvel
    Price: $3.99
    Release Date: 2022-09-14
    Colorist: Antonio Fabela

Whenever paranormal forces have risen from dark realms to threaten the existence of the living world, the premiere supernatural team of Midnight Sons has fought to protect the innocents. Marvel renames the title Midnight Suns to keep in line with the upcoming video game of the same name. The character lineup in this book also takes inspiration from the game's roster while adding a bit of variation of its own. This time, the team assembles to vanquish an evil birthed from a dark apocalyptic prophecy that promises to cover the Earth in darkness. Written by Ethan Sacks with artwork from Luigi Zagaria, colors from Antonio Fabela, and letters from VC's Joe Sabino, Midnight Suns #1 conjures up some wild, otherworldly action.

Midnight Suns #1 opens in the small town of Centerville, where the townsfolks bring a young woman named Mary Beth Zoric in front of a bonfire as they burn her family's books on magic. As the mob is about to kill her, an ungodly hand appears from behind. The story then cuts away to the Strange Academy, a school for budding magic users. Zoe Laveau and Despair are two students attending Defense Against Vampire classes by guest lecturer Blade when suddenly, visions of an apocalypse sweep throughout the school and across all sorcerors. At the center of this nightmare is Zoe, who finds herself summoned by a great evil, the prospects of which terrify the students and teachers of the academy alike.

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Midnight Suns #1 kicks off with a suspenseful opening scene, condensed into one page, that depicts the kind of death and misery the story is heading towards. The rest of the book moves linearly, presenting the ups and downs of school life, albeit with some significant deviation from the regular curriculum. Zoe's excitement is infectious. She is genuinely interested in learning magic, unlike most of her classmates who have experienced magic all their lives and become indifferent. However, this cheer is short-lived as writer Ethan Sacks brings the turning point early and out of nowhere, marking a complete tonal shift in the tale. A brief bout of action, followed by a heavy dose of exposition, drowns the issue in unwanted noise. After a point, it can be hard to keep up with the deluge of speech balloons, making the reading experience cumbersome.

Artist Luigi Zagaria has clearly had fun drawing the book, which is evident from the plethora of unique-looking characters and the range of situations he had the chance to depict. Bringing together such a huge and recognizable cast is no mean feat, and Zagaria does that with much ease. His lines are dynamic and add a spryness to the characters' motions as they punch and kick their way through the comic. Meanwhile, the colors from Antonio Fabela change form to fit the context, sometimes becoming tangible and glowing bright. Other times, it becomes a grainy fog, indicating the presence of monsters ahead. But whatever the situation, the color palette remains bold and bright, adding luster to the electrifying panels.

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Midnight Suns #1 covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time, which includes establishing Zoe as a core character at the heart of the struggle. While the first half keeps a steady pace, the latter half of the tale plunges into a torrid whirlpool of crisis events that keep things moving quickly. Apart from that, there isn't much drama within the team dynamics, with the characters seemingly grown accustomed to team-ups and matured enough to take a pragmatic approach to the problem at hand. Midnight Suns #1 concludes with the unexpected arrival of a megalomaniac, the last person one would like to face during a rescue mission, and ends things on a massive cliffhanger.

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