Vertigo is launching an ambitious publishing initiative this fall, debuting 12 new series over the course of as many weeks in the hopes of re-establishing the imprint’s position as a creative pioneer. While the campaign technically began with this week’s The Survivors’ Club #1, it really takes off with next week’s The Twilight Children #1, a high-profile release by the all-star creative team of writer Gilbert Hernandez, artist/letterer Darwyn Cooke, and colorist Dave Stewart. Set in a remote Latin American village reminiscent of Hernandez’s Palomar—the village from his long-running Love And Rockets with brother Jaime—the miniseries tells a magical realist story with an expansive cast, and this extended preview of The Twilight Children immerses the reader in the environment, starting with a silent sequence that moves from the shore to the streets.
Cooke is an exquisite visual storyteller, and he shares a lot of similarities with Hernandez, particularly in how he renders textures and character expressions. Cooke’s composition is more cinematic and his figures less exaggerated, so while this preview definitely reads like a story that could fit into Palomar’s mythology, the visual aesthetic gives The Twilight Children its own identity. Dave Stewart’s rich coloring is an essential part of that, and he shows why he’s a nine-time Eisner Award winner in these pages, bringing extra dimension and atmosphere to Stewart’s art that intensifies the tone of Hernandez’s script.
This preview opens with a calming palette of cool blue, green, and tan, but as tension enters the script, Stewart’s coloring brings more contrast. The first big color shift comes with the introduction of Tito, a woman cheating on her husband with fisherman Anton, and that refreshing beach palette is interrupted by a burst of hot red in Tito’s dress and the exterior of her store. That red reappears at the end of the preview after three children discover a mysterious growing orb on the shore, and Stewart makes the nondescript white sphere an ominous object by dramatically changing his color scheme. Hernandez, Cooke, and Stewart are the kind of creative team that demands attention, and the strength of their combined talent makes The Twilight Children a great omen for Vertigo’s future.