After Dark, “created by” Anton Fuqua and Wesley Snipes, though actually written and illustrated by Peter Milligan and Leonardo Manco, takes an even sharper storytelling swerve in its third issue. Having dispatched a ragtag crew to return a Madonna-like femme named Angel to Solar City to bring hope to its besieged populace, we swiftly learn that Angel is not the redeeming force as advertised. Our surviving crewmembers thus find that their return to city is even more perilous than their trek across the deadly wastelands. “I don’t think she’s good with pressure,” a mind-reading mutant infant understates as much of our remaining cast finds itself getting attacked one at a time by Angel’s minions. This shift in focus is a little bit disconcerting — it’s as if John Carpenter’s Escape from New York had changed settings in its final third from its desiccated Big Apple to a West Wing look at the rescued president’s White House — but it ultimately works.
As with the other two mini-series, Dark leaves plenty of room for a follow-up. But its basic theme — “Don’t follow leaders/Watch the parking meters,” to quote Mr. Zimmerman — holds it all up through its neatly ambivalent final panel. I’d be okay with the story as it is even if Snipes and Fuqua never scribbled down the notes for an After After Dark. Sometimes, short and punchy is the way to keep it.