Review: Night Owl Society #1

We’ve all seen this story before and some of us have written it ourselves: teens see the ills of the world and want to do something about it. It’s been in Gotham Academy, Runaways, and Young Avengers. To a lesser extent, there’s also Suburban Glamour, the Wicked + the Divine, and Morning Glories. Beyond comics, the same story appears over and over again in media like Power Rangers. So what makes IDW Publishing‘s Night Owl Society different? So far, absolutely nothing. In fact, it doesn’t have the little twists and nuances those other titles offer.

So what does Night Owl Society offer? This is the story of a boy who saw a kingpin trying to take over the whole town. And he’s barely there in photographs but you’ll… probably not like him at all. There’s nothing intriguing about David that’s been shown so far. He’s such a blank slate and so unattached, ostensibly so the readers can step into his shoes, that he becomes like a Persona main character: a vessel with choices fed into them. But the reader doesn’t feed in the choices in a comic and we’re left with little to invest in. To be fair, things can improve and start looking up but this, for me, is an off-putting start.

More than that, the dialogue and writing of this ragtag group of teenagers is stilted and uncomfortable. Everyone speaks incredibly formally and with none of the colloquialisms or speech patterns one would expect from any group of people under 30 who are around each other at least five days a week. Writer James Venhaus could use a reminder of what it’s like being under 18. Pius Bak’s art and Marshall Dillon’s lettering work for the most part but aren’t memorable for me.

Story: James Venhaus Art: Pius Bak
Story: 5.0 Art: 5.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review