Night Man

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Night Man
Nightman titles.jpg
Also known asNightMan
GenreAction/Adventure/Sci-fi
Created byGlen A. Larson
Written bySteven Kriozere
James Korris
D.G. Larson
Stephen A. Miller
Directed byNick Daniel
Allan Eastman
Glen A. Larson
Robert Munic
Rex Piano
David Price
David Winning
StarringMatt McColm
Derek Webster
Felecia M. Bell
Earl Holliman
Michael Woods
Derwin Jordan
Jayne Heitmeyer
Theme music composerMarc Bonilla
Glen A. Larson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes44
Production
Executive producer(s)Karen Corbin
Glen A. Larson
Gary Gittelsohn
Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
Producer(s)Janet Curtis-Larson
Scott Thomas
Keri Young
Running time45–48 minutes
Production company(s)Glen Larson Entertainment Network, inc.
Village Roadshow
Alliance Atlantis
Tribune Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channelSyndication
Original runSeptember 19, 1997 (1997-09-19) – May 17, 1999 (1999-05-17)
 
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Night Man
Nightman titles.jpg
Also known asNightMan
GenreAction/Adventure/Sci-fi
Created byGlen A. Larson
Written bySteven Kriozere
James Korris
D.G. Larson
Stephen A. Miller
Directed byNick Daniel
Allan Eastman
Glen A. Larson
Robert Munic
Rex Piano
David Price
David Winning
StarringMatt McColm
Derek Webster
Felecia M. Bell
Earl Holliman
Michael Woods
Derwin Jordan
Jayne Heitmeyer
Theme music composerMarc Bonilla
Glen A. Larson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes44
Production
Executive producer(s)Karen Corbin
Glen A. Larson
Gary Gittelsohn
Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
Producer(s)Janet Curtis-Larson
Scott Thomas
Keri Young
Running time45–48 minutes
Production company(s)Glen Larson Entertainment Network, inc.
Village Roadshow
Alliance Atlantis
Tribune Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channelSyndication
Original runSeptember 19, 1997 (1997-09-19) – May 17, 1999 (1999-05-17)

Night Man is an American action/adventure/sci-fi series that aired in syndication from September 15, 1997 to May 17, 1999. The series is loosely based on a comic book published by Marvel and Malibu Comics and was created by Steve Englehart (the original comic title was The Night Man) and developed for television by Glen A. Larson.

It stars Matt McColm as the title character, a superhero whose real name was Johnny Domino, a saxophonist. Englehart would write three episodes of the series. Night Man is also one of the few series to cross over with characters from Larson's previous series: in the episode "Manimal", Johnny allies with Professor Jonathan Chase, the star of the short-lived 1980s' series Manimal.

Plot summary[edit]

Johnny Domino is a well-known San Franciscan jazz musician who is accidentally struck by a lightning bolt in a freak cable-car accident. The strike allows him to telepathically recognize evil but robs him of the ability to sleep. Although Night Man has no other superhuman powers of his own, he owns a special bulletproof bodysuit that gives him several abilities, including flight, holographic camouflage-style invisibility and advanced sight functions through the round red lens over his left eye including the ability to see in the dark and fire a laser beam. Although he often fights new enemies in each episode as the series progresses, his nemesis is computer technologies billionaire Kieran Keyes (Kim Coates), who would slay Johnny's father, Frank Domino, in the premiere of the second and final season.

Comics version[edit]

Night Man
Publication information
PublisherMalibu Comics
First appearanceThe Strangers" #1 (as Johnny Domino); "The Night Man" # 1 (as Night Man)
Created bySteve Englehart
In-story information
Alter egoJohnny Domino (legally changed from Johnny Domingo)
AbilitiesLimited telepathy
Night vision
Mask granted infrared vision
Sleep independence

Published by Malibu Comics for its Ultraverse line, the comic book Night Man gained his powers from an accident. A piece of shrapnel became embedded in his head after his vehicle was struck by a cable car that had been hit by a burst of energy known as a "jumpstart". The energy is later found to originate from The Entity, an alien starship which had crashed on the Moon. Night Man jumpstarted, but the passengers of the cable car were also, some of whom went on to form The Strangers. This version of Johnny Domino, while not really telepathic, could hear evil thoughts, could see in the dark and did not require sleep. His costume and equipment were merely makeshift items from hardware stores and the like, plus a kevlar vest his father lent him. His father was a former police officer turned security guard at a San Francisco Coney Island-type amusement park called "Playland", based upon the real-life Playland (San Francisco).

He used both a gun and a taser to fight crime, though the gun was only used as a last resort and even then, never used to kill. This version did not fly, but he used a grappling hook and rope to swing about the city, in addition to a used motorcycle he bought in the first issue as a means to transport himself quickly. A final difference, though minor, pertains to Johnny Domino's legal name. In the comic book, his name is Johnny Domingo (shortened to Domino as a catchy name to capitalize on his career as a saxophone musician) and his father's name was Edward Domingo (as opposed to the name his father was given on the television series).

During the series, Nightman meets and befriends the Freex, a group of super-powered teenagers on the run. In addition to dealing with his own problems, Nightman promises to watch out for them. Unfortunately he must deal with the death of one of the team, Plug, murdered by the Ultra-killer Rafferty.

Issue one was drawn by the character's designer and co-creator Darick Robertson.

Two Night Men?[edit]

In October 1994, Malibu Comics was purchased by Marvel Comics. In a drastic attempt to gain new readers, the Ultraverse was given edicts from their new owner, and various Marvel elements began popping up in the monthly Ultraverse titles.

Apart from this, Night Man becomes involved in corporate espionage, being caught between several opposing sides. He encounters the superhero team 'The Solution' and the haunted suit of super-armor, Teknight.[1]

One Marvel storyline centered around mainstay Marvel Universe villain Loki (brother of Thor) searching for the Infinity Gems which had been stolen (and lost) by the ancient intergalactic vampire known as Rune. One such gem, the Reality Gem was discovered by the Night Man who, through trickery from Loki, began creating various other Night Men, each one the result of a simple choice he made while wielding the gem. Eventually, what appeared to be the original Night Man used the gem to eliminate all of the doppelgangers, leaving only himself and one additional Night Man. When asked by Loki if they'd reached a decision upon surrendering the gem to him, the initial version surrendered his gem, while the double vowed to stop Loki and charged towards him... only to be destroyed (alongside the duplicated Reality Gem) by the God of Mischief. Loki then left in search of other Infinity Gems to collect, and the surviving Night Man went off on his own way (eventually taking time for himself as Johnny Domino).[2]

However, as the God Of Mischief, Loki resurrected the Night Man he'd killed, whom began to continue where the original left off. The double (not knowing he was not the original) found out that an "imposter" was living his life. Tracking the real Johnny Domino down (who was playing the saxophone at a nightclub), they engaged in a fight that was only stopped by the sudden reappearance of an old foe, Rhiannon. She offered power to both men, more specifically magick. Johnny Domino refused, but the other Night Man accepted Rhiannon's offer. Johnny tried to stop his double but was knocked out by Rhiannon. The pair made their escape to Stonehenge to prepare for the rituals that would grant this Night Man magick, while the original, recovered from being knocked out found himself in hot pursuit. The rituals were completed and the double did indeed gain the powers promised to him, but at a cost that Rhiannon had fueled her own life with: gaining and maintaining magick through cannibalism... a choice the double made willingly if it would help him defeat evil, and using the argument that "The Night Man has ALWAYS evolved when it comes to threats against the innocents".[3] His costume also transformed as a result, becoming more Celtic in style. His long hair was now worn in matching locks, and instead of a mask, he now sported a crescent-shaped tattoo on the left side of his face, along with a floating eyepiece similar to the original look of the Night Man, and his other eye was now red. The original Night Man arrived and tackled his now-magick-enhanced double, but due to the instantaneous reality-changing events unfolding elsewhere in the Ultraverse known as Black September, a portal opened up at Stonehenge, swallowing the original Night Man and transporting him to the Marvel Universe while the double resumed the original's life as both Johnny Domino and the Night Man. The original Night Man was stuck in the Marvel Universe, where he presumably continues today.

Steve Englehart has stated on his official website that he'd pitched the idea of writing two monthly Night Man comics, one centering on the magick Night Man taking place in the Ultraverse, with the other book taking place in the Marvel Universe and centering around the original Night Man as he tries to make his way in a world that's unfamiliar to him. Unfortunately, the higher-ups at Marvel were not interested and that was one of the deciding factors which led Englehart to leave what was left of Malibu Comics.

Cast[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]

In addition, Little Richard and Donald Trump make special appearances as themselves in "Whole Lotta Shakin'" and "Face to Face", respectively.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1: 1997–98[edit]

TitleOriginal air datePC
1"World Premiere: Part 1"September 19, 1997101a
In the series opener, musician Johnny Domino (Matt McColm) develops superpowers after being struck by lightning, and must battle gun thieves.
2"World Premiere: Part 2"September 19, 1997101b
See Part 1, above.
3"Whole Lotta Shakin'..."October 6, 1997102
Bay City is evacuated after a massive earthquake is predicted, leaving the town vulnerable to the robbery plans of international terrorists.
4"I Left My Heart in San Francisco"October 13, 1997103
A dying drug lord (Henry Darrow) takes party-goers hostage when he finds that the entertainer - Johnny - has the one thing he needs to keep living: a healthy heart.
5"Still of the Night"October 20, 1997104
NightMan is infected with a mysterious and deadly virus after he has a run-in with a beast from another dimension. Now he must find the cure and send the beast back to where it came.
6"Face to Face"October 27, 1997105
A plastic surgeon helps a vengeful ex-con save face by helping him alter his features at will, causing trouble for his past captors, including Charlie and Frank.
7"Chrome"November 3, 1997106
Bay City is targeted by a supervillain known as Chrome, who received his predatory powers from the same lightning bolt that changed Johnny into NightMan.
8"Takin' It to the Streets"November 10, 1997107
Johnny jumps through hoops to save a basketball hopeful from falling in with a crime boss (Evan Lionel). However, NightMan may have a better shot at saving the kid's career.
9"Lady In Red"November 17, 1997108
Johnny gets some bad vibrations from a woman (Natasha Pavlovich), only to learn of her past as a KGB assassin, and of her future as a pawn for the Russian mafia.
10"That Ol' Gang of Mine"November 24, 1997109
A descendant of J. Edgar Hoover freezes Al Capone, John Dellinger, and Bonnie Parker from suspended animation.
11"Bad Moon Rising"January 11, 1998110
Johnny, Frank and Charlie hunt down the syndicate responsible for smuggling a shipment of tainted heroin into Bay City.
12"Constant Craving"January 18, 1998111
NightMan makes the ultimate sacrifice to save his father from two vampires who are fighting for control of the man's soul.
13"You Are Too Beautiful"January 25, 1998112
NightMan steps into the ring as a mysterious, masked gladiator, to clear a wrestler (Brian McGovern) who's being framed by his murderous manager.
14"Do You Believe in Magic?"February 1, 1998113
NightMan's powers are tested when he battles a sorceress (Jacinda Barrett), who uses her wicked ways to uncover the secrets of Johnny and his loved ones.
15"The House of Soul"February 8, 1998114
Jerry Springer guest stars as the House of Soul is discovered to be built over a section of an Asian community from the 1908 San Francisco earthquake...and is still inhabitated by a ghost.
16"Nightwoman"February 15, 1998115
A cop (Jennifer Campbell) is turned into NightMan's female counterpart by her scientist father after she is left for dead following an attack by the mob. But her new powers may lead her into an even deadlier situation.
14"Chrome II"February 22, 1998116
NightMan must once again battle the revitalized Joran/Chrome, who has joined a telepathic woman to put in practice his devious plan to control the thoughts of Bay City.
18"Bad to the Bone"March 1, 1998117
An old foe (Cyril O'Reilly) with the ability to alter his appearance turns Bay City against Johnny by assuming the musician's identity and going on a killing spree.
19"Hitchhiker"April 26, 1998118
NightMan infiltrates a mysterious crash site outside Bay City, where he finds the wreckage of a UFO and a trail of dead military men left by a rampaging alien.
20"Devil in Disguise"May 3, 1998119
The evil diplomat Chang, who played a part in Johnny's transformation into NightMan, returns to Bay City with a deadly plan to do away with the high-flying superhero.
21"Double Vision"May 10, 1998120
After running over the star athlete of a local college, Johnny discovers that the victim's amazing recovery may be thanks to a scientist's work in the field of cloning.
22"Amazing Grace"May 17, 1998121
After a saxophonist friend is shot and killed during a gas station robbery, Johnny feels he is not doing anything effective to protect Bay City as NightMan. However, when he is killed in a car accident and goes to heaven, will an angel touch be able to send him back to Earth to carry on as NightMan?

Season 2: 1998–99[edit]

TitleOriginal air datePC
23"The Ultraweb"October 11, 1998201
In the season opener, NightMan gains a new nemesis in the form of Kieran Keyes (Kim Coates), a sociopathic billionaire who uses his invention, the virtual reality based Ultraweb, to take over Johnny's father.
24"The Black Knight"October 18, 1998202
A mysterious new crimefighter called the Black Knight declares war on a local crime organization. Can NightMan and this enigmatic fellow vigilante work together to achieve their common goal?
25"It Came from Out of the Sky"October 25, 1998203
An alien hunter comes to Earth to put a stop to an alien cult leader from placing the youth of Bay City under her control. This episode also hints that the lightning bolt that gave Johnny his power was not a random accident, but the workings of a higher power.
26"Book of the Dead"November 1, 1998204
NightMan must stop an evil professor from using a book of spells to unleash an ultimate form of evil.
27"Fear City"November 8, 1998205
Kieran Keyes returns, this time using the Ultraweb to abduct the players of his company's video game, Fear City.
28"Manimal"November 15, 1998206
Crossover with Glen Larson's Manimal. NightMan works with the shapeshifting Dr. Jonathan Chase and his daughter to put an end to the homicidal rampage of a time-travelling Jack the Ripper.
29"Knight Life"November 22, 1998207
NightMan and the Black Knight team up again to stop a genetically engineered assassin named Slade, whose orders come from the last people either hero would suspect.
30"The People's Choice"November 29, 1998208
Keyes returns with the intent to become mayor of Bay City.
31"Ring of Fire"January 10, 1999209
NightMan investigates two murders connected to an ancient legend.
32"Sixty Minute Man"January 17, 1999210
An alien criminal who can stop time goes on a crime spree.
33"Blader"January 24, 1999211
Raliegh encounters a face from the past while NightMan combats a group of thieves using high-tech roller blades.
34"Love and Death"January 31, 1999212
An ex-con begins to stalk Briony.
35"Burning Love"February 7, 1999213
An evil scientist seeks to harness the more than human power of a young woman.
36"Scent of a Woman"February 14, 1999214
The tracker from "It Came from Out of the Sky" returns to Earth, protecting a princess from an assassin.
37"Dust"February 21, 1999215
An evil Egyptian queen is accidentally resurrected by NightMan, and brainwashes Raliegh, forcing the Champion of the Dark to battle his best friend.
38"Spellbound"February 28, 1999216
An evil priest seeks to control a demon through the latter's half human daughter.
39"Double Double"March 7, 1999217
Keyes returns and kidnaps Nightman's friends in an attempt to force Nightman to work for him, and suggests perhaps he and Nightman are brothers.
40"The Enemy Within"April 25, 1999218
No summary currently available
41"Gore"May 2, 1999219
Slade's creators strike again with an identical (and less intelligent) monster named Gore.
42"Revelations"May 9, 1999220
No summary currently available
43"Nightwoman Returns"May 16, 1999221
Nightwoman seeks NightMan's help to protect a queen and her infant son from the woman's evil husband and his voodoo priestess.
44"Keyes to the Kingdom of Hell"May 17, 1999222
Series finale. Johnny must clear his name and rescue Raleigh when Keyes frames him for assault.

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardResultCategoryRecipientEpisode
1999Leo AwardsWinnerBest Musical Score in a Dramatic SeriesGraeme Coleman"Dust"

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Solution #13 (Oct. 1, 1994)
  2. ^ Night Man #22 (July 1995)
  3. ^ "Night Man" 1 Vol. 2 (October 1995)

External links[edit]