Interview: Josh Williamson on Reviving CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT for Dark Horse

I bet you’ve never heard of Captain Midnight. If you have, you’d know he was a comic book and radio show character back in the 30s and 40s. And Captain Midnight was a big deal, but not so much these days. Yet, Dark Horse Comics, writer Josh Williamson, and artist Victor Ibanez are looking to help the good Captain make a comeback. You’ll start to see it in Dark Horse Presents in November. Until then, here’s all the scoop there is on Captain Midnight.

While we’ve got your attention, you can hear what Williamson has to say about it, and some of the nice work Ibanez has going.


iFanboy: So I hear you’re a huge Captain Midnight fan from way back? Seriously, had you heard of Captain Midnight before hearing from Dark Horse?

Josh Williamson: Yes, but that’s because I’ve always had an interest in the older pulp heroes. Been trying to get a few books off the ground from that era for years. Something like what I eventually did with Masks and Mobsters.

So I knew who he was, his design, the books, and the old serial. BUT once I heard about the Captain Midnight project, I started to do a heavier research. There was a LOT out there.

iF: Does your Captain Midnight take place in World War I, or are you putting your own spin on it?

JW: It’s in present day. It’s the same Captain Midnight trapped in present day trying to figure out a few secrets from his disappearance prior to World War II.

There will be plenty of flashbacks to his adventures during the war and how it effects what’s happening today.

iF: When approaching a character from a long time ago, soaked in pulp tradition, how do you find the line of where to make it contemporary, as opposed to all throwbacks and entertaining cliche?

JW: That was a huge goal for us. To avoid the chiche. One way to do that is to embrace it. Most of this story is told by two men, an FBI agent and a Pilot who are in charged of the search for Captain Midnight. Seeing this story through their eyes allowed us to try a few different things with it with the story telling and try to question the… throwback of it all.

One thing that happens a lot with “man lost in time” stories is that they’re in awe and confused by this future world. But that isn’t the case with Captain Midnight. The guy was a futurist… a genius. He sees our current world and is disappointed. He feels that his legacy has been destroyed and is trying to at least solve one final mystery from before he was sucked into the future.

iF: People today don’t know it, but Captain Midnight was actually incredibly popular, with audiences in the millions for his radio show. Does that give you either pause or even confidence when developing new stories for the idea?

JW: At first it gave me pause. It was crazy to think that this super popular character just disappeared and that no one remembers him now. But then it gave me confidence and story ideas. Why did people forget about him? What if it was part of a giant conspiracy?

iF: The stories will appear in Dark Horse Presents in 3 short parts. How does this approach feel in contrast to a standard 22 page issue #1?

JW: It’s interesting because it made us try to get as much information as possible to the reader without it being pages of exposition. We wanted an action book that also had an espionage thriller element to it. In the beginning it was a challenge but then the story became better for it.

iF: When do you and Victor Ibanez make your Captain Midnight debut?

JW: In Dark Horse Presents #18 in November. We’re pretty excited about it. It’s going to be a kick ass story.

Comments

  1. Bryce31 Bryce31 says:

    I just read about this character somewhere and thought it would be fun to read some stories. Weird.

  2. pmallory says:

    This looks awesome, but I gave up on Dark Horse Presents because, not only was I falling behind, I wasn’t enjoying everything in the books. I hope this gets collected.

  3. Spoons Spoons says:

    I was all over this until I read it was in the Dark Horse Presents. I really dislike buying content in that format. I hope as things move more towards being centered around digital releases instead of things like this I’ll get the option of buying eight pages for a $1 or $1.50 instead of this current setup where I pay way more for things I don’t really want. Best of luck to the creators because I would probably love this as a mini.