Midnight 4: Night Force Preview from New Teen Titans #21

When the clock strikes midnight, The Podcasting Hour shines a creepy candle on the dark corners of DC Comics… brought to you by the ghastly PJ Frightful!

This time, Ryan Daly and Paul Hix review the “Night Force” insert preview originally published in New Teen Titans #21. Then Ryan answers listener feedback from episode 3 of Midnight…The Podcasting Hour!

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Check out Paul’s Doom Patrol podcast Waiting for Doom at: http://waitingfordoom.podbean.com

Let us know what you think! Leave a comment or send an email to: RDalyPodcast@gmail.com.

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Music produced by Neil Daly.

Thanks for listening!


16 responses to “Midnight 4: Night Force Preview from New Teen Titans #21

  1. Loved the Frightful story in this one. Short, timely, and funny.

    I’ve gotten a handful of issues of Night Force over the years in flea markets and bargain bins, and was more interested in the premise than I was in Tomb of Dracula, its obvious cousin, but I wouldn’t get to read full Night Force stories until they revived the book in the 90s (with Tom Mandrake on art, natch!). It’s kind of a supernatural Suicide Squad and I think would work well as a television series these days.

    Speaking of TV series, listener feedback reminded me that I wrote a pitch for a Deadman series at one point: http://siskoid.blogspot.ca/2014/12/arrowed-deadman.html

  2. Great episode! Glad you’re sticking with the little stories to intro the show, even though they must be a lot of work.

    I have never read this free preview, and like you I was curious about the cover, it seems so visually antithetical to what the series looked like overall.

    I never knew the series was supposed to be a Challs update, that’s odd. I’m glad it didn’t work out that way ans NF became its own thing. I guess since there are/have been so many “monster hunter” shows, Night Force isn’t thought of as great material for a TV series, but I always liked the book and concept. Plus horror + Gene Colan = win.

    Off to punch a koala.

  3. Finally Night Force!!!

    I read this preview in the Titans and was intrigued enough to put it on my monthly list. This was the ‘summer of the monthlies’ for me, the year I decided to get some books every month instead of spinning the rack and looking for the best cover. Trust me, for a preteen Anj, weird orgies was just one of the many draws for this book.

    As I have said before, the ending of this opening arc has a very human moment which was very eerie and thought provoking for me as a kid. I’ll comment on it when we get there. So I love this book (specifically the first arc). I thought it was strange (evil being used as a power source?) and none of the characters are very likable. But together, it just seemed to gel.

    Colan is the perfect choice for this sort of story. The bizarre ethereal demons which eventually attack everything are fantastic.

    So count me on board!

  4. Thanks Ryan and Paul. Another great episode!

    Although I do recall reading the Night Force preview, not much of it really stuck with me at the time. Like Paul, I think I was just more interested in getting on with the New Teen Titans story. I remember being reintroduced to Night Force through the Baron Winters entry in Who’s Who and then the Swamp Thing issue you guys mentioned. But alas, I never read anything more than some random Night Force issues after that. I will be taking another look at the series though. I recently re-read the preview and then in listening to your podcast I have a little more interest in checking out the concept than I did in the past. As others have mentioned, the idea seems sort of made for a tv series but the window is probably closed for it now. There are so many of the similar type of shows out there already.

    I really like Gene Colan’s art with these type of stories. His use of shadow, for me at least, sets a mood that works well with the tone of the story and really draws me in (loved the look and feel of his Tomb of Dracula).. Strangely, I think his artwork and this type of story paired together work better for me with the old printing style and paper than it would with the newer printing techniques. When re-reading the preview, I liked the aged feel I got with a now 30 year old book.

    As I stated before, I haven’t read many of the Night Force stories but I was curious if there was ever a story that delves into whether there is a relationship between Baron Winters’ house and the House of Secrets, the House of Mystery, and even Dr. Fate’s tower. They all seem to share similar properties. I also wonder to what degree the residents of those respective houses may have interacted. The Victorian look of Winters’ house has always vaguely reminded me of Norman Bates’ house in Psycho.

    And lastly to the burning question of this episode – what term to use for Baron Winters’ facial hair. I had facial hair like that at one time and I just called it a chin beard. I typically don’t wear a cloak so I don’t think mine had the same air of sophistication as his. Anyway, in the interest of curiosity, I looked it up on the internet to see what I could find. Wow. I never knew all the differentiation between and names of facial hair. I guess maybe Winters’ would be classified as a petit goatee? Now I wish I would’ve never looked it up.

    Scott X

  5. Night Force is the kind of book I would like now, but as a kid I stayed far away. No guys in tights! Having become a big fan of Tomb of Dracula in the last decade or so, I’m interested in following along with you and Paul on this series. And if I see any issues in the cheap bins, well, I think I may have to add them to the collection!

    I do agree though, that preview cover was a real head-scratcher!

    I’m glad you picked up on all the Dark Shadows connections. Sounds like you know your Collinwood, Mr. Daly. We should do a Dark Shadows podcast! There’s only like 10 million episodes to watch or something!


  6. This was my favourite episode yet, I love Night Force. When it was announced I couldn’t believe DC had managed to reunite the classic Tomb of a Dracula team on a new book in the same ballpark. When it came out I was delighted – it has some of that ToD tone without being a copy of former glories. It’s such a shame the book didn’t get longer to find its market – ToD didn’t click immediately either; still, DC wouldn’t have pulled the plug until eight issues or whatever had appeared, and if the sales weren’t showing a decent upswing, well, you can’t blame DC for redeploying two of their top talents elsewhere.

    I was fine with the Camelot-style opening, as it was an unexpected way to take us to Baron Winters’ house of secrets.

    Night Force preceded Ostrander and Yale’s Suicide Squad, which used the Mission Impossible idea to greater commercial success. Surely DC could sell NF as a TV series by pitching it as ‘Suicide Squad with chills’.

    Thanks for sharing the Amazing Heroes piece, Ryan. The alternate titles stuff was especially interesting, and of course, DC did later try a spooky Challs.

    Neil is a talented guy, I bet we hear his great music on the big screen one day.

    And yay, feedback – I thought we had three more episodes to wait; I’m sure most of the audience are listening every episode, so it makes sense to ‘feed the animals’.

    Roll on the next episode.

  7. Nightforce is one of those things I’ve been told I would like so often I stubbornly refuse to read it. I’m a fan of Sandman and The New Teen Titans, and have been told (repeatedly, adnaisim, by every one) that this series is perfect for someone with those interests. I’ve always liked this preview, and I love the concept of Baron Winter and the house that seems adrift in time. However when it came out I was trying to prove to my comics buying best friend Z that I wasn’t in to “the weird stuff”. So I skipped it.
    I not long after that accepted that I actually really liked the “weird stuff”, and once I accepted that EVRYONE has suggested I read this series. The problem is every time someone suggests it, it makes me want to read it less.
    Maybe this show will cure me of that stubborn streak…
    Loved the show

    1. Bradley, this series is not for you. I don’t think you’ll like it. I don’t think you should read it. I’m not even sure you should listen to this podcast.

  8. Great podcast Ryan and Paul. My only experience with Night Force is the 2012 series with Wolfman and Mandrake, which was an interesting read, so am looking forward to hearing the earlier exploits of the Night Force team.

  9. I’ve never Night Forced. Not even a little. But that’s not stopping me from listening to y’all talk about it.

    Great episode, gents, from two of my favorite podcasting voices.

    Keep up the good work.

  10. Finally, the episode I’ve been waiting for is here! As much as I’ve enjoyed all the other segments of your show (and I do love learning more about Swamp Thing, Deadman etc.) I’m super excited about reading Night Force #1 and then listening to the podcast after… what’s that? Night Force starts with a preview? With jousting knights? In a comic book I don’t own? Son of a #*@$!

    Well, thanks for putting up some images from the preview. I only had a couple of Night Force comics growing up, and then never saw it on the spinner rack again, but what little I read, along with the Night Force entry in Who’s Who, has stayed with me ever since (over 30 years – now that’s a frightening thought). Looking at this preview and hearing you guys discuss it as a sort of supernatural Mission: Impossible has just made me more excited to read the series, and made me want to seek out some other Wolfman & Colan work. Great show, gentlemen (and a pretty spooky story from PJ Frightful too!).

  11. Here’s the deal: I read Tomb of Dracula, which was running on toxic fumes by its end in the 70s, which explains the messiah child and battles with Silver Surfer and stuff. Whenever I try to read Night Force, it comes across as reheated ToD, and I do not want that. I tried this preview because it was in a Titans comic, and I read a couple others as loaners or out of cheapie bins. I don’t like Baron Winter, his cat, his house, or any of the people he surrounds himself with. I don’t like Marv Wolfman’s scripts, and even Gene Colan’s art bores me in this tired context. I’m carrying all of the features in The Podcasting Hour anthology for now, but this is the one on the thinnest ice, through no fault of the hosts. I’m going to try, but no promises…

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