Friday, January 6, 2017
Review: THE TWILIGHT CHILDREN #1
DC COMICS/Vertigo – @DCComics
[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]
WRITER: Gilbert Hernandez
ART: Darwyn Cooke
COLORS: Dave Stewart
LETTERS: Darwyn Cooke
COVER: Darwyn Cooke
40pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (December 2015)
Suggested for mature readers
The Twilight Children created by Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke
Gilbert Hernandez is the creator of the long-running comic book, Love and Rockets, with his brother, Jaime Hernandez. Darwyn Cooke is a fan-favorite for his epic DC Comics miniseries, DC: The New Frontier, but his best works are the Parker graphic novels which adapt the work of famed crime fiction writer, Richard Stark. Cooke and Hernandez are two of comic books greatest storytellers, and they finally united for a comics project.
Hernandez wrote and Cooke drew the recent four-issue miniseries, The Twilight Children, which was published by DC Comics' Vertigo imprint. The story is set in a remote village and begins with the sudden arrival of a glowing orb and the mysterious visitor that arrives afterwards.
The Twilight Children #1 opens in a coastal fishing village somewhere in Latin America. In some ways, it is like other places. There is a village drunk, Bundo. There is a town flirt, Tito, who cheats on her husband, Nikolas, with the brawny, Anton.
And then, three children: Milo, Grover, and Jael spot a mysterious, glowing white orb appears. It seems as if this isn't the first time this village has experienced such an appearance. When one of the children touches the white orb, all hell breaks loose.
It is no exaggeration to call Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke comics luminaries. Cooke has had more mainstream success than Hernandez by producing a considerable amount of work for DC Comics. However, Hernandez laid much of the groundwork for the explosion of indie comics and alt-comix graphic novels and publications that have appeared over the last 30 years. When comic book creators try to create comics that read like modern fiction or even literary fiction, they are working and winning Eisner and Harvey Awards under the roof of a house that Gilbert and handful of others built, under which they now shelter their creative endeavors.
That said, The Twilight Children, at least the first issue, does not really reflect the best work of neither Hernandez nor Cooke. It lacks the surrealism or even the anything-goes attributes of much of Hernandez's work. Some of his work has a sense of menace about it, as if there is always a bit of cruelty or even a cruel fate awaiting the characters. The white orb is only kinda menacing.
Cooke's art is slick in The Twilight Children #1, but not in that bracing, invigorating way that propels his Parker comics. This is the kind of slick that is more in line with the dumpster Watchmen comics he produced for DC Comics a few years ago. Don't get me wrong. I think the art here is quite pretty in some places, and Dave Stewart's coloring is gorgeous. The Cooke-Stewart team had me looking through the book even as I wrote this review.
I think the storytelling in this first issue is a little too cool, or maybe this is two giants just feeling each other out. Anyway, I'm going to read the rest of The Twilight Children. Besides, even Hernandez and Cooke's not-best is still better than most others' best.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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