Gather ‘round, and I’ll spin y’all a tale about a rather peculiar pair of folks, the likes of which ya ain’t never seen before. Worry not, dear reader, I’ll be dispensing with that particular voice for the remainder of this piece, but at least I got your attention, right? Needless to say, the tale in question is largely about death, dealing with more than a couple ways in which it permeates the world we live in, or at least the world found in Midnight Western Theatre.
In the mid-1800s, an unlikely pair of heroes embarked on a “journey of blood, betrayal, and self-discovery.” They are Ortensia Thomas, a.k.a. The Woman in Black, and her companion, the reluctant vampire Alexander Wortham. In this chapter, the second of a five-issue series, our duo has journeyed to a small church for reasons unknown. Surrounded by death (literally) and full of dark secrets, Ortensia and Alexander will have to confront a less-than-compassionate preacher and his four-legged prophet before their mission can be completed. Will they find salvation or doom? Either way, it probably won’t be pretty.
If you missed out on the first issue of Midnight Western Theatre, don’t feel bad–I missed it, too! Fortunately, this issue is largely stand-alone and surprisingly accessible, although you’ll probably find yourself wanting to track down the previous issue, just in case. Writer Louis Southard (Villains Seeking Hero) has crafted an exciting series, taking the Wild West setting and mixing it with gothic undertones and a touch of the macabre. The largely modern-sounding dialogue adds to the genre-bending style without seeming overtly out of place. Then, of course, there’s the incredible art by David Hahn (Private Beach), whose smooth lines and dynamic character designs are perfectly suited for the book’s darkly humorous tone. Rounding out the creative team is colorist Ryan Cody and letterer Buddy Beaudoin, whose contributions make for an aesthetically pleasing read, even when the narrative takes a vicious turn.
Scout Comics has been putting out a number of fun and unique books, and Midnight Western Theatre continues that trend with a supernatural western that is a little bit Deadwood and a little bit Twin Peaks with just a dash of True Detective. Definitely pick this up and track down the first issue if you can … I know I will!