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“THE TWILIGHT ZONE ANNUAL” (Comic Review)

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THE TWILIGHT ZONE will never die and thank Rod, er, God for that. The shuddery, sophisticated dark fantasy house that Serling built towered over the small screen from 1959 – 1964 (see our recent look at some of the essential episodes HERE) and has spawned ample merchandise, two – to date – television revamps, a feature film (and another reportedly on the way), a radio drama series and comic books. The latter media is resurrected anew courtesy of Dynamite Comics for their THE TWILIGHT ZONE Annual one-shot, three tales of Serling-stained fiction that stay mostly in line with the spirit of the series, if perhaps on occasion being even a notch or two nastier.

In “Takers” (written by Mark Rahner, drawn by Randy Valiente and colored by Lisa Moore), a cocky, shallow Republican senator is mysteriously jettisoned back in time to a depression-era flophouse, where just as he begins to understand the meaning of struggle, his fate takes a grim, bravado twist.  In “Not Faire” (written by Rahner, color by Jose Malaga and colored by Marko Lesko), a Jack Black-styled English graduate is razzed for his cosplay leanings and, like in “Takers,” he is thrown into the past to see what life was really like in medieval times. In the final tale, “The Secret Over-Sharer” (written by Rahner, drawn by Edu Menna and colored by Sandra Molina), a writer suddenly finds herself and her fate cosmically tied to how rabidly she uses social media, leading to choice that may erase her from the planet.

Out of the three tales, only “Not Faire” drops the TZ ball, as it fails to engage and spirals down into incoherence. Otherwise, THE TWILIGHT ZONE annual is lots of fun and Rahner’s intros and outros are spot-on. It generally follows the three act morality play formula that made the original show so powerful, though it skimps on the melancholy that gave Serling’s work such a soul. One might pine for the glorious silvery black-and-white sheen of the series, but seeing as these are contemporary tales, the full-color is appropriate and the art, solid. All in all, a welcome modernization of a beloved program.

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About the author
Chris Alexander
Author, film critic, teacher, musician and filmmaker (not to mention failed boxer) Chris Alexander is the editor-in-chief of FANGORIA Magazine. He got his first professional break as the “Schizoid Cinephile” in the pages of Canadian horror film magazine RUE MORGUE before making the move to FANGO in 2007. His words have appeared in The Toronto Star, Metro News, Wired, Montage, The Dark Side, Tenebre and many other notable publications and he appears regularly on international television and radio.
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