COMIC BOOK REVIEW: NIGHTWORLD: MIDNIGHT SONATA / AUTHOR: ADAM MCGOVERN / ARTIST: PAOLO LEANDRI, DOMINIC REGAN / PUBLISHER: IMAGE COMICS INC. / RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 25TH
Nightworld: Midnight Sonata is a 108 page, full colour collection of the four issues of a miniseries that appeared in 2014. It is the creation of Italian artist Paolo Leandri, written by Adam McGovern and coloured by Domnic Regan. Indeed, the first impression of Nightworld: Midnight Sonata is the vivid colouring setting picking out each frame in simple contrasts.
Midnight Sonata tells the story of a flawed hero (and the word is used loosely), Plenilunio, haunted by the spirit of his true love, Lidia, and who becomes an almost demonic figure, tortured by visions and questing for a way to unite himself with Lidia once more. In his quest for a powerful artefact, he falls foul of the Mephistophelean Underboss, or more particular the Underboss’s minion Hotspot (think demonic imp able to run like The Flash). The final character is a senior, and ambitious, henchman of the Underboss – Hellena, whose ambitions include using the artefact for herself.
Midnight Sonata is less bogged down by plot than the above might suggest; there is a good mix of action, dialogue, exposition and many touches of comedy. Like many a work of art, there is a foreground story with many details filling in romantic undercurrents unnoticed by the main characters. There is also a very tongue in cheek sequence where the Underboss visits part of his kingdom of the damned and spends some time with a recognisable figure from elsewhere, unnamed but clearly portrayed. Great stuff.
If there is a weakness it if that the four parts, despite introducing a great set of characters, bring the various quests to a conclusion in a way that is simplistic in comparison to the rest of the tale. Nothing fatal but unnecessarily tidy, paving the way to future stories with now real established characters.
To wrap this collection up are various posters and several pages of insight into the creation of Nightworld; well worth reading.
Nightworld: Midnight Sonata is a good piece of visual storytelling and something all those involved should be proud of. Roll on the next issues!
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