The minute I saw the cover of Nightworld #1, I knew it was about to go down. I didn’t know how or why, but I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, and no amount of clicking my ruby slippers together was going to get me home until I’d finished reading.
Let me be clear. I still am not entirely sure what the premise of Nightworld is exactly, but I will do my best to surmise. Plenilunio is now some sort of demon or supernatural entity (think Spawn) that was once (I assume) a human man who made a bargain with the devil, losing his beloved Lidia in the process when she landed in a sleep/coma she can’t wake up from. While she stalks their ethereal haunted castles as a specter, he searches for the “soul key” that could help them get out of the nightmarish hell they live in and save Lidia.
Of course, the devil himself is not pleased with that, so he sends grotesque monsters and creatures to find Plenilunio and stop him from his mission. Unfortunately, two humans, Ludmilla and Grandpa Lowe, get caught in the middle when one of the devil’s bounty hunters, Hellena (of course!), and her pet monster Lotus, go after them, ultimately acquiring a book Plenilunio needs.
I honestly don’t know what I read. Nightworld is like a cross between those old Vincent Price movies based on Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters from Nickelodeon’s glory days in the 90s, but with a little bit of acid thrown in for kicks. I just… I can’t.
Plenilunio was so weird, so odd, that it was hard to sympathize with his plight, and the devil was cartoonish. Plus, we know very little about this demon that we are supposed to care about. It made hell look like some kind of gated community, and the story itself was disjointed. It just threw readers into the fray, without enough background. If I were the type to do hard drugs, I’d probably have gone stark raving mad before the end. Nightworld just made me feel morose; like I’d just woken up from a nightmare. It wasn’t scary, it wasn’t funny… You know when you’re offered a dish, and you KNOW it’s just going to taste bad, you try it anyway, and you come away from it feeling like you’d just ingested something foul? That was what it was like reading this comic.
The thing is I know what creators Paolo Leandri and Adam McGovern were going for. I do. It just wasn’t executed right. I will give credit to Dominic Regan for the beautiful colors, and to McGovern an Leandri for the overall vintage feel to the comic, but in general, Nightworld #1 fell short for me.
Overall Score 2