• Twilight Zone Annual 2014

    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: June 2014.
    Writer: Mark Rahner
    Artists: Randy Valiente, Andrea Mutti, Edu Menna

    The TWILIGHT ZONE ANNUAL REVIEW presents three stories of varying quality.

    The first, "Takers" is actually the strongest with an overt populist message and strong political bent. It's about a heartless conservative senator who manages to find himself back in time after an unexplained blackout. Since the senator doesn't drink it can only be an unexplained visit to the Zone. He arrives at a flophouse at the dawn of President FDR's new deal. He's determined to stop it. The story has a nice TALES FROM THE CRYPTesque denouement and some distinctly Rod Serlingesque dialog.

    The next tale - "Not Faire" is a more humorous story about a renaissance role-playing obsessive who spends his weekends jousting and drinking mead in authentic period get ups. He winds up back in medieval England after an unexplained occurrence and quickly learns some hard truths about his beloved period. This one's a nice counterweight to the seriousness if the first story.

    The last story - "The Secret Oversharer" is the weakest. A muddy and poorly plotted mess about an anti-social media young woman who suddenly becomes progressively invisible to those around here when online traces of her life disappear this one is quite confusing. I'm sure Rod Serling would have some very interesting ideas about today's Facebook and Twitter crazy world but I can't even figure out this one's message. Ironically though it has some of the comic's best imagery and drawing.

    Speaking of which... all three stories use different artists and they all have an interesting style. The first uses a lot of shadow and the colorist is very good. It has a small amount of the old EC Comics vibe which fits the material. The medieval story uses a lot of purple which works well since the lead character plays a knight in his renaissance role playing games. It's appropriate. The social media piece has the best artwork - with some striking images and a film noirish vibe.

    Overall, there's enough quality here in the writing and artwork to recommend this one. It certainly has some of the spirit of the TWILIGHT ZONE tv show and if you have an affection for off kilter fantasy with a bit of a social commentary edge you'll enjoy this title.