Spoilers for The Twilight Zone #1 - 

I remember watching the old black and white episodes of The Twilight Zone, where Rod Serling would take us through some strange story that twisted around and always gave that shocking ending with some moral platitude. Those shows were awesome. The episodes were always self-contained in that 30 minute show and as much as we wanted to hear more explanation about some of the situations, that was it.

What could be better than seeing William Shatner freak out inside an airplane about “some… thing… on the wing”? What about a full color comic book based on the show but written by J. Michael Straczynski? That is exactly what Dynamite Entertainment has provided us this week with the release of The Twilight Zone #1.

Twilight Zone cover bAs we enter this first door to the Twilight Zone, we meet Trevor Richmond, a successful business man, who is bored with his success. He seems to have it all, but he wants something more. His early lunch meeting is all about that.

Upon meeting Martin Wylde, Richmond realizes that what he really wants is to escape the problems that he has created for himself. He has been embezzling money and setting up secret bank accounts for himself. Wylde offers him a new identity, new name, new face, new life. It all comes down to one little pill.

twilight zone panel aRichmond takes the pill and the change begins. He goes about business as usual, but slowly, there are small things, like his jaw structure, then bigger things, like his fingerprints. Finally, just as the authorities are descending on the company that he set up to take the fall for all of his embezzling, he undergoes the final change and wakes up as a completely different person.

All of the money that he absconded with was part of the price for undergoing this change, but Wylde did set him up with a checking account that should keep him living comfortably for the rest of his life. Unlike the TV show, this issue does not wrap up this story, but it does hit us with a shocking twist… but that I will not reveal.

I really liked this book in the vein of the original series. The feel of the show was there and even the intro paid homage to Rod Serling’s deadpan delivery of the introduction to each episode. Guiu Vilanova and Vinicius Andrade provide art that is very good, simple lines and colors that do not distract from the storytelling but deliver just the right tone for this tale. All together a solid comic book that left me want to read the next issue.

Dynamite has done a great job pulling together multiple movie and TV properties to build a very solid foundation for themselves. These kinds of comics are a satisfying diversion for the constant superhero struggles of most other companies while extending the life of TV series and movies that have ended on the screen. I hope they keep this up in the year.

My rating: 5/5