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Review: Nightfall- Michael’s Awakening #1

Written: Dwayne Robinson Jr.

Art: Dwayne Robinson Jr.

Colors: John Harley

Letters: Terence Young

Published: Animation Comics & Entertainment LLC

Halloween might be over, but a chill in the air remains. This is not only due to the colder weather but also due to the entertainment value of Dwayne Robinson Jr. and Terence Young’s new urban fantasy comic Nightfall #1. The comic tells the story of college football player Michael Vash, whose ordinary life is upended by the fact that he comes from a family of werewolves and magic.

Nightfall #1. Image credit Animation Comics & Entertainment.

The very first thing that is notable about this issue is the artwork. Almost all the comic is in black and white, but don’t let this deter you from reading. Having art in black and white allows the reader to appreciate the finer aspects of Robinson’s art. If you look closely, you can see how detailed the hair textures for characters such as Michael and his girlfriend Melissa are.

Another function of the artwork is that it shows how quickly Michael’s life literally transforms. Although most of the book is in black and white, the issue’s final pages transition to color as Michael finally realizes the shocking truth about himself and his family. It’s a surprising and creative touch rarely seen in comic books and it heightens the emotional intensity of the plot and dialogue. Robinson’s lettering has a similar effect that the art itself does, enhancing certain scenes through different uses of fonts.

Nightfall #1. Image credit Animation Comics & Entertainment.

Besides the art, the characters shown so far are a small yet interesting cast. Michael plays multiple roles as a sibling, son, boyfriend, and football player, but as the issue progresses you sense something else just underneath these. Of the secondary characters, Michael’s mother is the most intriguing, as what appears to be a case of lycanthropy and schizophrenia turns out to be something far more mysterious. However, there is still room for Michael’s girlfriend Melissa and Michael’s sister Tori to receive more character development. In fact, Tori’s potential seems to be just as big as Michael and his mother’s.

Nightfall #1. Image credit Animation Comics & Entertainment.

In fact, the plot is reflective of the characters in that it seems simple and ordinary but hides something sinister. As more of the plot is revealed, you get the sense that Michael is trying extremely hard to be normal even though his mother and other loved ones imply otherwise. By the time the issue reaches its climax, the reveal is shocking enough to make your eyes go wide.

All in all, issue 1 of Nightfall is a stunning start to a mysterious werewolf adventure. Its clever use of art and lettering and riveting characters will have you speeding through the pages and waiting for issue 2.

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Latonya Pennington is a freelance writer from the southern United States specializing in entertainment and pop culture. In addition to BlackSci-Fi.com, her pop culture work can be found on The Mary Sue, Black Girl Nerds, and Buzzfeed. When she isn’t freelancing, she can be found tweeting, reading, doing creative writing, or streaming music, shows and anime online. Find her on Twitter.

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