Written: J. Michael Straczynski
Illustrated: Guiu Vilanova
Colored: Vinicius Andrade
Lettered: Rob Steen
Main Cover: Francesco Francavilla
This comic book was a great read. It has the quintessential Twilight Zone feel, with narration and all. I swear I could hear Rod Serling in my head as I was reading.
Meet Trevor Richmond. A handsome, talented cooperate executive, hired by a firm to “restructure” accounts and funds. The owner of the company is a Mr. Black, a tired older gentleman worn down by the death of his son and his debilitating grief over the horrible loss. The killer never having been caught, Mr. Black has slowly drifted into his own world of depression. Trevor thinks it his impeding on Black’s ability to run the company and that HE should be the new boss.
Having embezzled enough money from the company while “helping” them with their finances so the government isn’t aware of how much the company makes, he now decides it’s time for a new life. A new life means he needs a new identity too.
He goes and talks to a man by the name of Mr. Wylde, a man who runs a company that it’s sole purpose is to make people disappear and reinvent themselves. This is a service that doesn’t come cheap and it’s not simple changes like changing hair color or style or clothing or location or even your name and social security number.
This is a transformation guaranteed to make one a completely different person…emotionally, physically, genetically. This involves taking a little yellow-beige pill that will alter everything about him, even his DNA, his fingerprints, his looks, his voice, everything.
This new identity comes with a new personal history. He gets a new passport, new work history, new education history. Everything he needs to just move on into a new life and forget all of his responsibilities, obligations and wrong doings.
He has to cut all contact with everyone and everything he knows. This includes his girlfriend AND the girl he’s seeing on the side. But, to avoid indictment by the FBI for embezzlement, he’s willing to chuck it all into the wind and start over.
The cost of this new life and new identity is everything he procured from his embezzlement venture. He will be given money from it once his new identity is established but, he will not get to keep all of it. He agrees, giving Mr. Wylde and his people access to his accounts.
He goes home that night and takes the magic pill. He promises his girlfriend that he is going to change and everything will be alright. (See, she caught him cheating and now he’s trying to convince her that he’s a new man.)
Over the next few days, (I think), he starts to notice changes while he’s at work. His fingerprints are no longer recognized by the company computer. His signature has also changed which is raising some eyebrows as well.
The final stage of the transformation is one he must be rendered unconscious for, some minor surgery stuff like, ya know, making him taller, just little things like that. (Yeah, little things, just making bones longer, that’s nothing.)
He wakes up after surgery and see the results of nothing short of supreme success. And he couldn’t be more pleased.
Now, he had called in sick to work when the transformation process started. This was not painless for him by any means. Now, he hasn’t been back to work, the people at work are calling him (even the big wigs) and no one has heard from him in days…all this right before the Grand Jury indictment was to be handed down.
In his new persona, Thomas Riley, he is free to walk the streets and no one knows who he is or what he did…or what he went through to get away with it.
As he is strolling down the street, thinking life is perfect, he is passed by his girlfriend. She is running from their building, crying her eyes out. He hears the doorman explain to her that she has no right to enter the apartment and she’ll have to leave. Basically, because he decided to disappear this poor girl is out on her butt with nothing.
This doesn’t phase him. He goes about his new life, living free as a bird.
He goes to a bar to have a drink, he’s just thrilled that his girl didn’t even know who he was. But, the bartender and everyone in the bar is preoccupied with the news on the television. As “Thomas” turns around to look at the screen he sees a man standing in front of microphones, ready to give a press conference.
He looks EXACTLY like Trevor Richmond. Exactly. And he’s telling the cameras that he’s there to “do the right thing” and he has some important information for everyone…and then…TO BE CONTINUED.
I really enjoyed this story. It was so much like the episodes I remember watching on tv with my Dad. There’s enough in the story to keep you reading, that’s for sure. I read this one twice, actually, just to make sure I had everything straight. It might be a little confusing for some with all the different people, tenses, narrations, etc. It does jump around a lot, which makes it a little harder to follow. In my opinion though, that is part of the original Twilight Zone quality. It doesn’t all really come together until the end in a lot of those stories.
I thought the artwork, both the cover and inside, were very well done. I have to say I like the inside art better than the cover but, I do like the two being done by two different artists.
I could recommend this to anyone who like The Twilight Zone or suspense stories. I am trying to find the second issue but, I’m having some trouble. I won’t give up though. I have to know what happens to the old Trevor now that the new Trevor has stepped up to the podium.