cover image The Twilight Children

The Twilight Children

Gilbert Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke. Vertigo, $14.99 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-4012-6245-7

Love and Rockets cocreator Hernandez teams up with the late cartoonist and animation designer Darwyn Cooke (DC: The New Frontier), who died shortly after this volume’s release. Like much of his solo work, Hernandez’s rare outing as a writer is a personal take on the lurid, low-budget, character-driven sci-fi movies of the 1970s. A mysterious glowing orb shows up in an unnamed Central American town,throwing the townspeople into paranoia. A slow start builds to an otherworldly climax as everyone in town wonders about a strange young white-haired woman. Like all of Hernandez’s tales, an interlocking cast of characters carry out a magical-realist soap opera. But whereas he’s taken decades to build up the universe in his Palomar stories, this suffers from the shorter length, making the abundance of characters disorienting. Cooke provides attractive art, with moody colors by Dave Stewart, but Cooke’s modernized take on 1960s comics art sometimes clashes with Hernandez’s storytelling. Worth a look for fans of both creators, this graphic novel contains many striking ideas and images. (May)