Even though it is my favourite anthology series hands down, no question, there is something about it that just defies description. You never really know what you’re going to get with the Twilight zone, whether it will be straightforward for your spacebound tragedy or a personal horror or a quest and adventure. It’s usually thought-provoking, and there is usually a twist.
There have been twilight zone comic books as far back as the old gold key comics – the ones that were mostly reprints that are used to buy at the airport. Just like the TV show they would be introduced by Rod Sterling and each book would contain several stories. In particular I remember the story about a plant with a human face – and the old Gardner falling in love with it, until the plant started to shrink and whether. Even as he felt a heart attack ravaging his body he realized the plan was a perennial, and with his last ounce of strength he got back into the ground where it would bloom the next year. He died next to it but when the flower blossom and a year later another flower bloomed next to it, another flower with a human face –the face of the Gardner.
Sadly, I no longer have any of these old ones but I do have a few from the 90s. Now comics was trying very hard to follow the dark horse comic company model – mostly licensed properties with a few original titles thrown in. They published comic book versions of married with children, the green hornet, and… Twilight zone. The fact that they were using the 80s logo – the grateful dead theme song look captured my imagination – made me immediately receptive to them. I grew up with these and have very fond memories of this incarnation of the series. They would do adaptions from time to time, things like “crazy as a soup sandwich”, but most of the ones that I read were straightforward new fare.
Like any comic series, it’s an even – there are some brilliant stories here, like the one about the little boy getting adopted by Alien parents while others are simple pulp fare like the Motor Psycho story. The artwork is extremely standard – very traditional comic book style in a time where people like Jim lee and Rob Liefield were changing that dynamic. As a result that combined with now being a small publisher, the series kind of falls between the cracks.
The thing that really stands out about this run, are the covers. Frequently painted and always stunning, I still pick these up just for the shocking cover art – and that’s a funny thing because that cover art even more so than any stories definitely has the ability to transport me – straight into the Twilight zone.