Marv Wolfman and Jim Chadwick on the new NIGHT FORCE miniseries
This March, fan-favorite writer Marv Wolfman returns to the DC Universe with NIGHT FORCE. Illustrated by Tom Mandrake, this seven issue-miniseries follows Baron Winters, who discovers a conspiracy that has been going on for centuries and which has even reached into Wintersgate Manor itself.
“When I first conceived NIGHT FORCE in the 1980s (which was then illustrated by the amazing Gene Colan) my goal was to create the first graphic horror novel, something the industry had never seen before,” Wolfman exclusively told THE SOURCE. “Dark, frightening, adult in theme and content, and heavily character driven. I thought of NIGHT FORCE as a series of horror novels about 'real' people - as opposed to those with super-powers - who find themselves caught up in situations far beyond their control or understanding.
Aside from Baron Winters and Merlin, there would be no other regular characters, so readers would never know whether our cast would live, die, or be completely changed by their horrifying experiences. Because of the ability to write truly intense horror stories that allowed me to go anywhere I wanted, NIGHT FORCE has always been my favorite creation.
This new NIGHT FORCE story takes place over hundreds of years, but happens in the space of minutes. It is about a frightened young woman, the product of many generations of secret manipulations, a cop who is about to retire from the force and a cold case investigated by his dead FBI father many years before, a mysterious cult that is affecting the future but began on the night George Washington died, and a secret that will change the course of mankind forever.
I am thrilled DC has given me the opportunity to revisit the NIGHT FORCE world once again in this new 7-part miniseries, illustrated by the wonderful Tom Mandrake, and I hope you'll be thrilled as you read it.”
“I’m very excited to be working on the new NIGHT FORCE mini-series. Marv Wolfman has told me that of every comic series he’s ever written, NIGHT FORCE remains his personal favorite. When you look back on everything Marv has ever done, that is quite an impressive statement,” series editor Jim Chadwick said. “NIGHT FORCE was a seminal comic book series of DC when it first appeared in the early 80s. In some ways, you could consider it a bridge between the old style DC horror books of the 70s and the style of comic that would come to eventually define Vertigo in the decade ahead. Certainly, you can trace its influence.
I was recently rereading some of the early Alan Moore issues of SWAMP THING, and Baron Winters is in fact referenced in one of the first John Constantine appearances. It has also been noted that you can see a certain influence on such series as WildStorm’s PLANETARY, created by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday. It is one of those series that a lot of comic professionals recall with some fondness.
But this is clearly not an exercise in nostalgia. Nor is it intended to be a retcon. We are refreshing the Baron’s look but he’s still the same character and past continuity does factor into the new series a bit, though you don’t need this knowledge at all to follow or enjoy the mini-series. It’s more of a tip of the hat to long time readers. Another crucial difference is that the Baron is much more proactive as a character than he’s been in the past. The threat that he faces is very direct and the sanctity of his Wintersgate Manor is violated by the greatest threat he’s ever dealt with. It’s not enough for him to form a new NIGHT FORCE. He definitely has to get his hands dirty in this one.
I’m really very excited about the artwork that Tom Mandrake is producing as well. Tom’s style is certainly evocative of the legendary Gene Colan but in no way attempts to copy him. Certainly there’s no one working today who is better at capturing the dark moodiness that a series like NIGHT FORCE requires, while at the same time bringing a lot of energy to the page.
The story is very complex and honestly a bit twisted. I don’t think Marv would mind me saying that. This is probably the darkest thing that Marv has ever done. There is a rich cast of characters and some really scary, evil forces in play and the emotions run very high. If you loved the old series, you will really enjoy this. And if you’ve never read an issue of NIGHT FORCE in your life, it doesn’t matter. You’ll be immediately drawn in and swept away by the ride.”
Throughout this blog post, you can see some of Tom Mandrake’s character designs and interior art for NIGHT FORCE. Below, check out artist Leonardo Manco’s haunting cover for issue #1.
NIGHT FORCE #1 hits stores on March 7th.