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Pilot Season: Twilight Guardian #1

Posted: Monday, May 26, 2008
By: Marx Pyle

Troy Hickman
Reza
Top Cow / Image Comics
There is a growing desire to answer the question of what a superhero would be like in the real world. You know, some normal person who tried to live the life of a comic book character for real. Kick Ass is one recent example from the mind of Mark Millar and now we have Twilight Guardian, which is Troy Hickman's (Common Grounds) attempt to answer that question.

We are introduced to an odd young woman who calls herself the Twilight Guardian in her journal (aka TGIF: Twilight Guardian Information File). We follow her for multiple nights as she patrols her nine-block patrolling turf. She runs across a number of normal, but sometimes odd, happenings in her neighborhood and we get a sneak peak into the troubled mind of a woman who has chosen to escape into this superhero role to leave behind some other trauma in her life.

Twilight Guardian is the first of six "pilot" books from Top Cow this year. Reader's vote and two of the books will be picked up for more issues. This is year two of this great idea and I wish Hickman good luck.

Is it worth being picked up for series? I have mixed feelings on this one; it sort of depends on where issue two would take us. I waited and waited for some big twist or hook to break the mundane routine, but it never came. I find myself intrigued by this character and curious as to why she is doing this, but I'm not sure if that is enough to bring readers back for more.

I loved the humor in the writing. The pokes at comic books both in her internal dialogue and in the snippets we would see of her favorite classic comics that parody the Fantastic Four and others. The art was probably strongest during these comic book parodies capturing the classic looks of these made-up books well.

Although no major crimes occurred, there are some odd things happening that I could see Hickman developing into something bigger. Who is the odd man (across the street from her superhero jurisdiction) who stares at Twilight Guardian during her patrols? What's up with the young man shooting hoops endlessly? Why was that one guy sitting in his car in front of Burger Barn after it was closed? Why does the elderly lady watch War of the Gargantuans every night? Did the Twilight Guardian's break-up with John start her down this road of a superhero fantasy or is there something more to her relationship woes?

I can imagine Hickman giving us some interesting twists on these odd events. Some are probably very innocent, but there may be something there that could cause something big to happen. Subtle storytelling has been working well for Locke & Key, but this book is a one shot without the needed hook at the end to make us need to see more. I'm worried that Hickman may have played this one a little too subtly, but hopefully I'm wrong.

Final Word: An interesting and very different take on a superhero in the real world. Either Hickman played it too subtly or this book may be too real for most readers to stick with. Only more issues can answer that question, but we'll have to wait for the vote tally to see if there will ever be another issue.



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