The Twilight Children #1
Co-Creator/Writer: Gilbert Hernandez
Co-Creator/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Colors: Dave Stewart
Of all the things missing from mainstream superhero comics, atmosphere and mood remain the most egregious. In those books, every panel is a steamroller, blazing through what lies before and beneath it in order to advance the story. In The Midnight Children, this is not the case. Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke (two names whose weight alone should merit a purchase) treat every page as a somber meditation of mystery, suspense, and the simultaneously embrace of childlike-awe and grown-up emotional contortion.
The Twilight Children is about a small, coastal South American town and its denizens. That is, first and foremost, the most important thing about the book, for this place and its inhabitants are the stars of the show, and not the equally as compelling, mysterious blast of silver-age strangeness that encroaches upon the town (which will not be spoiled here). Things happen, and three kids, the titular "Twilight Children", are blinded because of it. Suffice to say, these themes have always been present in Hernandez's work, but here, presented through Vertigo as they are approaching a line-wide relaunch of new titles, it can be presented to a new generation of readers.
Praises can be sung about all aspects of this book, as they form the beautiful orchestral swell present in every page. Darwyn Cooke, embracing the aforementioned mood and atmosphere of Hernandez's script, delivers idealism without the suspension of disbelief and transports you to a bygone era, one altogether familiar and strange. Dave Stewart's color make his pencils sing, moan, and gasp all at once, tying together all aspects of this book and the feelings it radiates.
The Twilight Children is really good. It makes me miss really good Vertigo books, and has me praying that the current Vertigo relaunch is just as good and doesn't make me blind in the process. And if it does, at least I had a chance to read this beforehand.