'Midnight Vista' Comic Explores Life After an Alien Abduction
In most alien abduction stories, when someone returns from that experience, it’s the end of the story. In AfterShock Comics’ upcoming series Midnight Vista, it’s only the beginning.
“At its core, Midnight Vista is about loneliness, love, and the lost,” Eliot Rahal tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a simple story about the extraordinary. Late one evening, on a school night, the 8-year-old Oliver Flores and his stepfather, Nomar Perez, are abducted by aliens. They disappear completely. Nobody has a clue as to what happened to them. Everyone assumes Oliver was kidnapped by Nomar. And Oliver essentially becomes the milk carton kid of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Now, almost 19 years later, Oliver is back — he’s a fully grown man — and although not everything makes sense, or is clear in his head, Oliver remembers what happened to him: He was abducted by aliens and his step-dad is still with them. The problem is…no one believes him.”
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As a result, Oliver has to struggle with both the authorities, who believe that he can’t take care of himself, and also with the possibility that he might one day be able to reunite with his stepfather — the only man who can prove that he’s not crazy. The series’ origins come from an unexpected place, the writer admits.
“Yes. It’s a weird thing to type on the page, but when I was a child, I believe I had a close encounter and, as a result, have a couple of hours of missing time,” Rahal says. “It’s a much longer and complicated story than that — one that I’ve been telling for a really long time. And Midnight Vista is the latest incarnation of it. That event — whatever it was — was the most important thing that ever happened up until meeting my wife and getting married. It has shaped a lot of my personality. It’s a vital part of my experience. And the craziest part all of it is…I barely remember any of it.”
For artist Clara Meath, the appeal of the series may be less personal, but it’s no less simple. “It’s a multi-genre fusion,” she says, adding that the series “combines the accounts and famous elements of alien abductions scenarios with aspects of crime drama in a real-world context. It challenges the happily-ever after: Being returned to Earth after over decade in the hands of otherwordly beings is not the end, but the beginning, as the questions and ramifications pile up for everyone involved.”
Both creators are full of praise for the experience of working together.
“Eliot is awesome, hands down. He goes out of his way to be engaging, validating and supportive,” Meath says. “Full-time creative work can sometimes be isolating and exhausting, and Eliot gets that my well-being is directly tied to the well-being of the project, and keeps an eye out for both. His writing is clever, poignant and very funny at unexpected moments. He gives just the right amount of information to leave me free to be creative and really lean into visual storytelling.”
“The level of detail and artistry that [Meath] is bringing to this project matches my emotional intensity. It’s obvious that she’s put everything into this,” Rahal says. “Not to mention Mark Englert’s gorgeous color work. And the nuance of Taylor Esposito on letters. This book has a great team. And working with Aftershock is always a sincere pleasure. Both [editor-in-chief] Mike Marts and [managing editor] Christina Harrington, and everyone else behind the scenes, has helped elevate this material to something special.”
Midnight Vista is set to launch Sept. 4, with a first issue featuring covers from Juan Doe (above) and Rahzzah. The latter can be seen below, as well as some of Meath’s interior pages from the issue. And, for those still on the fence about the project, she has one final pitch to pull people onboard.
“It’s got all your favorite weirdness,” Meath promised. “Fans of true crime, the paranormal and unexplained phenomenon will find a lot of familiar details in both small references and primary plot elements.”
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