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Night Thrasher #4
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Night Thrasher’ #4 closes one door for its hero and opens another

The end of a journey for Dwayne Taylor.

When Night Thrasher #4 begins, it presents Dwayne Taylor with a difficult scenario. He’s aiming to bust his friend Rage out of prison, but Rage’s crew are locked in combat with the NYPD. To make matters worse, the residents of Harlem are caught up in the fight as well. Dwayne has to defuse a potentially apocalyptic concept, but all the while he’s wrestling with his own unresolved baggage and a lingering question: if the world has changed, can he change as well – and change for the better?

It’s an interesting conundrum, especially considering the genre this book is working in. The late Stan Lee often brought up the “illusion of change”, which permeates most superhero narratives at Marvel and DC. Sometimes characters will make major life decisions like getting married or getting a power upgrade, but for the most part they often stay the same age. J. Holtham aims to challenge this, having Night Thrasher solve things not by solely using his fists but also gathering people to try and talk to each other. Holtham also shows how Dwayne’s attitude toward his hometown has changed; at first he only wanted to get as far away as possible, and by story’s end he’s putting up roots (in fact the end of the issue all but hints at a possibly sequel.)

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'Night Thrasher' #4 closes one door for its hero and opens another

Marvel Comics

Night Thrasher #4 continues to showcase Nelson Daniel’s considerable talents, criss-crossing between Night Thrasher and Silhouette’s attempts at crowd control. Throughout this issue, Daniel showcases how methodical Dwayne’s approach is to crime-fighting: one panel has him quickly deploying a handful of smoke bombs and leaping from car to car as he tracks down Rage. It’s all drawn to look like one smooth motion, and the same holds true for other sequences – with Daniel adding speed lines to convey sudden movement. And it looks absolutely gorgeous in (figurative) motion.

Finally, Matt Milla blends black, blue and reds to accomplish the kind of night sky you could only see in New York City. There are darker blacks and brighter reds reserved for Night Thrasher’s costume, along with his “new ride” and the word captions provided by Travis Lanham. The blues come from Silhouette tapping into the Darkforce Dimension; jagged cobalt streaks that match the hue of her costume pierce the inky black.

Night Thrasher #4 is the end of a journey for Dwayne Taylor, as he learns how to deal with the various changes in his life. I hope that this creative team can return to tell more Night Thrasher tales, especially with where the series leaves off – it’ll be nice to have more standalone stories amid the relaunches, alternate universes and world-shattering crossover events.

Night Thrasher #4
‘Night Thrasher’ #4 closes one door for its hero and opens another
Night Thrasher #4
Night Thrasher #4 is the end of a journey for Dwayne Taylor, as he learns how to deal with the various changes in his life. I hope that this creative team can return to tell more Night Thrasher tales, especially with where the series leaves off – it'll be nice to have more standalone stories amid the relaunches, alternate universes and world-shattering crossover events.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.6
Confronts the "illusion of change" in comic books and how Night Thrasher has actually changed over the years.
Nelson Daniel draws some arrestingly kinetic action sequences.
Matt Milla's color work blends reds, blues and blacks together for various visual effects.
The ending is begging for a sequel, and I hope it gets one.
8
Good
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