Monday, December 16, 2013

DC Comics: Night Force

From Night Fore #3

Article about Night Forces:  Night Force first premiered as a 16 page preview in The New Teen Titans #21 (a book Wolfman was writing at the time). What was notable about this series is that Wolfman had reassembled the entire creative staff of The Tomb of Dracula for this series: Gene Colan on pencils, Michele Wolfman (his wife) as colorist, and John Costanza as letterer. Once the cast of characters were revealed (ex: Baron Winters, Rachel Van Helsing), many speculators believed that this was going to be the continuation of The Tomb of Dracula series, but published by a rival comics company (keep in mind that Dracula is public domain and can be published by anybody) and a final “F you” to Jim Shooter and Marvel comics from Wolfman. This was not the case whatsoever as Night Force was a totally different type of mystery/horror/supernatural title.

Clipped from Wikipedia:  Night Force written by Marv Wolfman, and illustrated by Gene Colan debuted in a special insert in The New Teen Titans #21 (July 1982). The second series began in 1996 was one of four books that made up DC's Weirdoverse group of titles. The third series began in 2012 as a seven issue miniseries. It was again written by Marv Wolfman, this time with artist Tom Mandrake.

The main character of all three series is Baron Winters, a sorcerer who would assemble a team of chosen individuals to fight supernatural threats. The Baron himself did not participate in the missions and would manipulate, sometimes unethically, others to do so for him. This was because, for reasons not revealed, he could not leave Wintersgate Manor, the labyrinthine mansion in Washington, D.C. where he lived. The mansion was located in a special juncture of time and space, allowing him to send his team to different places and times.

Vanessa Van Helsing – Granddaughter of Abraham Van Helsing and a powerful psychic.
Jack Gold – Vanessa's husband, a reporter.
Donovan Caine – A professor of parapsychology who lost an arm and a leg on one of the missions.
Zadok Grimm – Apparently, an ancient warrior in the time of King David. He has an unexplained connection to Baron Winters.

Other versions:
In issue three of the Tangent: Superman's Reign series, a version of Night Force is featured. This group is a mystically-powered branch of the Nightwing organization, and its members are Hex, Black Orchid, and Wildcat.

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