After being transported out of World War II and into the modern day, Captain Midnight has had some troubles: his company was stolen out from under him, his sidekick has become one of his biggest enemies, and the sole person on his side in his future time – our present – died while in battle. It’s enough to make a man give up – and Captain Midnight has.
In this week’s Captain Midnight #12, readers saw the man beneath the mask – genius inventor Jim Albright – step away from his superheroic vigilantism to effect change on the world through his inventions and his brain. But although he may have hung up the cape, that doesn’t mean the federal government and the many adversaries he’s garnered are giving up on getting a piece of him.
As Captain Midnight enters its second year at Dark Horse, Newsarama spoke with series writer Joshua Williamson about Midnight/Albright life changes, as well as relocating to a dusty town called Nightshade that’s seen better days. Along the way we’ll learn of the return of a ill-bent analogue to Albright named Tempus who’s setting his sights on the big-time hero and the small-time town he now calls home.
Newsarama: This week’s Captain Midnight #12 is a fresh entry point to look at the second year of this series. Where would you say the Captain is at, here at this point in the series looking forward?
Joshua Williamson: We wanted to treat this as a “Jumping on point” but also as a continuation of all the ground work and world building we did with year one.
Captain Midnight is not a broken man but he is a bit lost. After the first year of the book he’s finally starting to see the new world for what it truly is. It’s been a hard lesson to learn.
When he first got here he jumped right into work and action. Not taking the time to slow down and really deal with what had happened to him. All the time that he had lost. The future that he lost. The friends that are long since dead and buried. His life was over…. But Midnight is such a workaholic that he never noticed.
But now he’s dealing with it and it’s changed him. He’s starting to focus more on his real life as Jim Albright. Taking a step back from being Captain Midnight. He’s starting to question if he could do more good as just Jim Albright. He’s retreated into his base and into himself.
Nrama: This new arc is entitled “Crash and Burn;” Who or what is crashing and burning?
Williamson: Albright is essentially burned out. Again, the stuff that happened in the first year, the death of a new friend and the betrayal of an old friend, left him confused on his place in the world and that sent him crashing into a downward spiral.
As for what else burns… you’ll have to read to find out.
Albright is coming off a lot from Issue 9 through 11, the “For a Better Tomorrow” arc, and what happened in the Two Past Midnight graphic novel where the world now sees him as a terrorist.
This story isn’t an epilogue to those stories but it does deal with them in a big way and still stands alone.
Nrama: Albright’s set up in the small town of Nightshade, Nevada. The waitress Nancy gave him the verbal nickel tour, but what does this town offer Captain Midnight?
Williamson: A glimpse at his past. Albright never got to return home from the war. For him he jumped from World War Two to a whole different kind of war with corporations and technology.
This town seems untouched and has the same values that he misses. It’s a slowed down life. Where things seem simpler. It’s what Albright needs.
He wants to get his old life back on track and he sees Nightshade as that opportunity.
And with Nancy… he finds someone who doesn’t know he is Captain Midnight. It allows him to be Jim Albright. He doesn’t have to be Mister super genius. It’s an escape from his responsibilities.
Nrama: This issue saw Jim Albright pretty disillusioned with the idea of being a superhero, in favor of being an inventor to help people. Where would you say Jim’s head is at?
Williamson: Again, he’s a bit lost. When he was gone all of his inventions were corrupted and abused. The future isn’t what he expected, wanted or worked for. And he feels responsible for that. It’s not just that he was gone. It was also his inventions.
It’s turned him into a bit if a technology hoarder. He is can’t stop creating, because it’s how his brain works, but he is also much more careful with what he shares with the world.
Nrama: In the final page of Captain Midnight #12, we see Two Past Midnight’s Tempus and a small squad of military-outfitted gunmen surveying Captain Midnight’s secret base. Who is Tempus, and what are they after?
Williamson: Tempus is an evil genius inventor who tests his terrorist inventions in the field. Pretty much he will invent some horrible thing, and then use it in a real city on real people as an example of the damage it can do, and then sells the invention off to the highest bidder.
A new major player in the Black Sky universe found him and has hired him to go after Captain Midnight, to raid the Secret Squadron base, to steal Albright’s inventions… and his brain.
Nrama: And how does this fit in with the broader Black Sky line of comics?
Williamson: Captain Midnight is a major player in Black Sky and where he is mentally is really important to the coming conflicts.
Tempus is hired by a larger than life bad guy who will have a great impact on all of the Black Sky comics. This new big bad is slowly making his presence known and he needs Captain Midnight for his plans.
I know that sound vague but it’s become I don’t want to give too much away. But this story arc will be giving Black Sky fans and Captain Midnight himself a big piece of the puzzle.
Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson has big plans for these characters and the Black Sky world. Lots of cool stuff coming down the pipe.
Nrama: Although you may not be able to spill on the entire line, what can people look forward to here in year two of Captain Midnight?
Williamson: Werewolves. Superheroes. Crazy inventions. Rocket Packs.
Captain Midnight goes on a date!
And a story of revenge.
Really happy with how the Crash and Burn arc turned out and I think if people were hesitant with picking up the Captain Midnight series, there are enough trades out now, and this issue for them to fly into his world.