Review: ”The Twilight Zone’ #4

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Recreating the magic of the past, “The Twilight Zone” #4 is a twisted mind-puzzler that steers towards a satisfying conclusion. Based on the classic TV series by Rod Serling, “The Twilight Zone” closes its first story arc with a bang. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a newbie, don’t miss the next stop to another dimension.

WRITTEN BY: J. Michael Straczynski
ART BY: Guiu Vilanova
PUBLISHER: Dynamite Entertainment
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: April 9, 2013

In order to avoid prison time, Trevor Richmond traded his old life and left everyone else to deal with his problems. With a different name and face, Trevor walks around unpunished from his heinous crimes. Trevor suddenly sees himself testifying in court, making things right in a way he never could. John is making a better man out of Trevor and becoming the husband that Trevor’s wife always wanted. On the verge of losing his mind, Trevor cannot bear seeing someone else having his name and face.

Writer J. Michael Straczynski delivers an intense psychological thriller about self-identity and second chances. Straczynski emphasizes the tragic back-story on Trevor’s doppelganger, John. Given a short time to live, John shakes the Devil’s hand and signs a Faustian deal. John chooses to make life worth living, finding real love that was missing in his previous life. We’re rooting for John even though he is a thief and manipulator. Trevor continues to squander his second chance and wants back what he selfishly gave away.

What’s really interesting about Straczynski’s narrative is how he plays around with the concept of the anthology. As a storyteller, Straczynski leaves loose threads to pick up on in further installments. The secondary characters are connected somehow, as if Straczynski has a bigger story for them in mind. Straczynski does something creative here that definitely works in the comic book medium, which the TV remakes lost a great opportunity on.

Artist Guiu Vilanova reinforces the themes of second chances during the doppelganger’s flashback. Vilanova portrays John as a such a bum loser with his messy hairstyle and sleeveless shirt. But when John is living Trevor’s life, you see a dramatic change in his posture and clothing. Though he is still dying, John has something to look forward to. You can tell John is still there as he wears Trevor’s face because of Vilanova’s close-up on the eyes.

Vilanova delivers a suspenseful confrontation between Trevor and John. Though the scene is dialogue heavy, Vilanova heightens the facial expressions between the two. Fueled by selfish desires, Trevor has accepted his bloodlust as he aims the gun at John’s head. Vilanova captures the climax through tight close-ups, focusing on the emotional intensity.

“The Twilight Zone” #4 closes its first chapter on a satisfying note. With the shocking cliff-hanger, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next story arc.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis