cover image The All-Nighter

The All-Nighter

Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo. Dark Horse, $19.99 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-5067-2804-9

Eisner winners Zdarsky and Loo (Afterlift) reunite with a snappy blend of superheroes and mythical monsters. The All-Nighter diner is, as advertised, nocturnal—because it’s run by vampires. Assistant chef Alex has a comic book obsession and a dream for a different life, using his arcane powers to become the masked hero Nightshock. However, that kind of exposure’s exactly what the mythological community wants to avoid, and the other diner employees, friends, and fellow members of his vampire sect are terrified he’ll blow their cover, but each winds up helping him. The All-Nighter’s staff face cops, a minotaur, other mythical creatures, and an over-the-top demon clown bogeyman named Buttons Scareworth in a final showdown against humans and their own kind. The epilogue’s provocative secret identity revelation paves the way for sequels. As usual, Zdarsky infuses his script with clever concepts: monsters are brought into existence by human belief in them, so why shouldn’t they become superheroes, the newest mythology? The spry and cartoony style served by Loo, reminiscent of Mike Allred, energizes talking head and action scenes. It’s a modern gothic adventure with a classic theme: even among bloodsuckers, family means family. (Feb.)