Oliver Flores and his stepfather, Nomar Perez, were turning right onto Midnight Vista Road when they were both abducted by aliens. To Oliver’s mother, they were both just missing. To the police, they were declared legally dead. And to everyone else growing up in Albuquerque, Oliver Flores was the “Milk Carton Kid”. His life was the cautionary tale of an eight-year-old who was kidnapped and killed by his stepdad while out for some ice cream. But now — years later — a fully grown adult Oliver walks back into town. He has been returned…and he remembers everything.
Midnight Vista #1 is a pretty straightforward opener for an alien abduction story. A kid is stuck in the middle of a nasty custody dispute. While mom is on the phone cursing out pops, Oliver’s step-dad Nomar takes him out for some ice cream. And…they’re gone. Abducted. Flash forward seventeen years, and the kid is back, out of nowhere. Tries to go home. Someone else lives there now. That first bit felt a lot like Flight of the Navigator, except…the kid remembers. Roswell greys, vivisection, probes… the whole nine.
Eliot Rahal put a lot of himself into Midnight Vista. Loosely based on events from Rahal’s own past, he set out to tell a science fiction story that felt real enough for readers to relate. The broken family? With the yelling and the name calling, and the child trying to drown it all out with a ridiculously loud television in the next room? Yeah. That’s all spot on. And then the kid’s promised ice cream that he never gets, on account of the abduction. First thing he asks for in the hospital upon his return? Ollie wants his ice cream. Extra-terrestrial stuff aside, it’s these little human details that sell the thing.
The art team of Clara Meath and Mark English have some interesting challenges to tackle. The visuals are shockingly light for material that takes some very dark turns. Character designs are slightly caricatured, which allows for pretty intense expressions, but also leans into some of the more comedic aspects of Rahal’s script.
Midnight Vista #1 is a solid introduction to a story that can honestly go several different directions. It’s all very serious business, except when it’s hilarious. That last scene got me. I can’t tell you why, because spoilers, but it’s so good, for so many reasons.
Midnight Vista #1, AfterShock Comics, released 04 September 2019. Co-created by Eliot Rahal (script) and Clara Meath (art), with letters by Taylor Esposito and color by Mark English. Cover by Juan Doe, logo by Dylan Todd, produced by Charles Pritchett, edited by Mike Marts, variant covers by Ryan Kincaid, Janet K. Lee, James C. Mulligan, Rahzzah, Bryan Silverbax, Karl Waller, and Larry Watts.