Those Who Walk in Darkness
Warner Books, 310 pp.
John Ridley is a multi-media talent, whose past work in novels, television, film, and radio has brought him a modicum of success (Third Watch, Undercover Brother, Three Kings). This time around, he’s telling a superhero story with a dark sense of reality. In our post-9/11 world, is it tough to imagine a scenario where a supervillain destroys three-quarters of San Francisco? That’s the backstory to Those Who Walk in Darkness. Ridley creates a world where there is nothing heroic about super powers and metanormals have been branded as freaks and outlaws and banished from the United States. Charging into the fight against metanormals (freaks) is Soledad O’Roark, a new member of the L.A.P.D.’s Metanormal Tactical Unit (MTac). When O’Roark is suspended for using an illegal weapon against a freak she begins to reassess her priorities. Can she reconcile her single-minded hatred of metanormals with the personal life that she begins to develop during her suspension? This is a conflicted hero that brings to mind Frank Miller’s Dark Knight and Alan Moore’s Watchmen. Although the plot never strays far from familiar territory, Soledad makes a few unexpected personal choices that keep the story fresh.