As comic book fans we’re always ready to suspend disbelief and put aside reality for a while when we sit down to read our favorite (or not so favorite) titles. Comic books largely equate to escapism for many. They give the reader a chance to imagine the satisfaction of saving the world, getting the girl, or punching the villain out cold.
There have been a couple news stories lately, where someone is patrolling the streets of Seattle or Chicago or Detroit fighting crime on a personal level. Many comic fans (myself included) roll our eyes and chuckle at those stories. “These are the kooks that give comic book readers a bad name,” we might think. Are we wrong in that assumption though? What if those “kooks” are really trying to do good and truly believe they are making a difference? That’s the question leveled in “Twilight Guardian.”
Employed at the local laundromat, entertained by comics, and concerned about the nine-block radius of the world around her, the Twilight Guardian puts on a domino mask and dark hoodie and goes out to right wrongs every night. Each night before she goes, she grabs a piece of inspiration from her stack of comics. Then she sets out on patrol.
The book is narrated through the case notes of the Guardian, who has stopped taking her clomipramine so she can focus on her task of guarding her neighborhood better. There’s no actual dialog in this book save for the look-ins that are provided to the comics the Twilight Guardian uses for inspiration. Those comics are archetypes of fan favorites, and the peeks provided are actually somewhat entertaining. Kotian’s art rises to meet the story, bouncing through the various faux comic stories and the civilian life of the Twilight Guardian with equal detail, grace, and charm. Most of the civilian scenes featuring the Guardian in her home have her flopping around in her underwear, but Kotian draws her without sensationalizing her, which is unexpected, and certainly a welcome change in comics today.
Hickman’s story is clean and concise, if somewhat thick, but he does a great job of setting things up in this issue. I missed the original “Pilot Season” offering, but had no problem getting the gist of this story from this issue alone. The basic plot of Twilight Guardian patrolling her neighborhood doesn’t offer enough of a spark for an entire four issue series, but Hickman realizes that, and makes the Guardian an easily relatable character who finds herself confronted with a mystery. That mystery, the comic peeks, and the revelations of the Twilight Guardian’s past and present help make this book another solid offering from Image.