Issue(s): Nightwatch #1
I've since seen Nightwatch in several Spider-Man stories, and my opinion of Soule's retcon has gone from "it's weird to use a 2015 She-Hulk series to retcon an obscure character that hadn't appeared for 20 years" to "that retcon... just can't work". So i'm trying to not think about the retcon and i'm just covering his appearances as they are depicted. I do kind of understand the impulse to get rid of the character, though. There's nothing interesting about him. Appearance-wise, he's a poor man's Spawn. Character-wise he's bland and undistinguished. And his stories are by Terry Kavanagh, so they are a mess. That said, so far at least he still falls into the "mostly harmless" category. I've seen nothing that justifies a continuity-destroying retcon on the scale of what Soule did.
In this issue, a group of one-off high tech mercenaries kidnap a group of reporters as part of an attempt to break a hitman called "Deep" out of prison. With the help of Spider-Man (Peter Parker was among the reporters), Nightwatch stops most of the mercs.
The leader, "Salvo", escapes, but Nightwatch catches up with him and learns that he was a former Hydra operative who was given his cybernetic weaponry by a Dr. Morelle from AIM.
Nightwatch then absorbs Salvo's tech into his own costume.
In the end, we see that Deep's cellmate is angered by Nightwatch's interference.
So nothing absolutely awful happens, but this is a complete waste of space. Nothing here justifying the existence of a new series in the bloated mid 90s market. Even Ron Lim's art is pretty underwhelming. And with the editorial page promising upcoming villains like "the radioactive menace of Flashpoint" and then "the mechanical monstrosity known as the Mechamorph", it doesn't seem like future issues are going to get any better. It's all very much in the "Silver Age sensibilities with the superficial trappings of an Image comic" style common in the DeFalco era.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Does "the radioactive menace of Flashpoint" create a world where Ben Parker became Spider-Man and then reboot all the titles to create an entirely new Marvel universe no one but Dan DiDio likes that derails or ignores all the characters everyone likes, makes everyone all grim 'n' gritty, and throws out the Spider-Man/Mary Jane marriage in favor of a relationship between Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel? :D
Posted by: Morgan Wick | December 5, 2017 4:16 PM
I think the word is that Soule intended to use another character—Franklin Richards, I want to say?—and had to settle for Nightwatch instead.
I thought it was weird that I had no memory of Nightwatch, when I was still reading Marvel and was nearly a completist at the time. Now I’m shocked all over again to learn that Ron Lim was the artist. Even knowing it was garbage, I would have have picked this up. So how did I miss it? Was it not distributed or publicized at all? I do recall skipping a lot of limited series at this time, like the Annex one. Maybe I thought this was a limited, too. (Which it sort of turned out to be.)
How strange is it that I missed this? I read Blackwulf. I’m the guy who read Nocturne. Yet Nightwatch was somehow too obscure even for me!
Posted by: Walter Lawson | December 5, 2017 8:11 PM
I always thought this was a four issue mini series until seeing this today. I have literally no memory of Nightwatch as an ongoing. Yeah.
Posted by: Bigvis497 | December 5, 2017 9:14 PM
Soule definitely wanted to use a Fantastic Four character but a D-lister- that would seem to exclude Franklin. Sharon Ventura?
Posted by: Michael | December 5, 2017 9:39 PM
Sharon would be interesting because of her origins in the imaginary Tarianna. But why would an editor nix that?
@Walter, you're just confirming for me that this series didn't exist until Soule retconned it into existence. Anyone who remembers reading this series in realtime is a continuity insert.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 5, 2017 10:35 PM
Gee, I wonder why they "decided" to change the costume?
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | December 5, 2017 10:53 PM
I think I remember thick stacks of it from the quarter boxes, but that could be a constructed memory ha. Part of the huge monstrous 90s glut though, if perchance I might be remembering it correctly.:p
Posted by: Holt | December 5, 2017 11:21 PM
The significance of Morelle is that Kevin's ex-girlfriend worked for a company called Morelle in Web of Spider-Man 100. Now as to why Kevin assumes it's the same Morelle and not some other dude with the same name ...
Posted by: Michael | December 5, 2017 11:31 PM
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