|Story by||Francesco Francavilla|
|Art by||Francesco Francavilla|
|Colors by||Francesco Francavilla|
|Lettered by|| Francesco Francavilla (DHP)|
Nate Piekos (one-shot)
|Cover/s by||Francesco Francavilla|
|Edited by||Jim Gibbons|
|Published in|| Dark Horse Presents #11–13|
Night Shift #0
|Date Published|| April–June 2012 (DHP)|
December 2012 (one-shot)
|Collected in||The Black Beetle – Volume 1: No Way Out|
Night Shift is a serialized short story from Dark Horse Presents, later recollected as a one-shot. It was the first Black Beetle story to be published by Dark Horse Comics.
Colt City. January 24, 1941. The story opens with a homeless man seeing three Nazi Werewolf Korps flying above him with heli-packs. They shoot him so as to leave no witnesses.
In the Colt City's Natural History Museum, Dr. Antonia Howard is studying an item from the private collection of the recently deceased Sir Francis Thorne that was left to the museum. It is the Hollow Lizard, an amulet used by The Black Priests, a sect of Egyptian practitioners of dark magic feared by even the pharaohs.
Suddenly the lights go out and Dr. Howard hears gunshots. She goes to investigate and sees the three Nazis standing over the bodies of the museum's security guards. Realising they've come for the Hollow Lizard, Dr. Howard tries to find a place to hide only to be surprised by the appearance of the Black Beetle.
The Black Beetle knocks out an approaching Nazi before introducing himself and explaining a few of the holes in the Hollow Lizard's history. Meanwhile the other two Nazis find their brother, Ludger, as he stirs back to consciousness. They recieve a radio communication from a hooded figure in a house a few miles outside Colt City, wanting to know what is taking so long, and reminding them to leave no witnesses.
The Black Beetle ambushes the three Nazi brothers, killing two, but before he can get to the third, the remaining Nazi throws a grenade.
The explosion clears and the Nazi comes forward, but he's surprised when the Black Beetle jumps of a nearby sarcophagus and kills him. Dr. Howard emerges from another Sarcophagus and gives the Hollow Lizard to the Black Beetle for safe keeping.
Elsewhere, the Black Beetle enters a dark room with a stone pillar in the centre surrounded by machinery. He places the Hollow Lizard in a lizard-shaped indentation in the pillar. Red veins of light spread across the pillar as the Black Beetle walks away narrating, "It begins."
Meanwhile the hooded figure in the house outside Colt City listens to radio playback of the the three Werewolf Korps being killed. He recognises the name "Black Beetle" saying, "So we didn't kill you in Haiti... I'll make sure to correct that error."
As this story is the first Black Beetle story published by Dark Horse Comics, this is the debut for all characters featured.
Night Shift originally appeared in Dark Horse Presents #11–13 as three eight-page chapters. All three chapters were later republished as an issue zero, which at the time was common for series that debuted in the pages of Dark Horse Presents. The story was relettered by Nate Piekos to match the style he established in the first miniseries, No Way Out, which debuted the following month.
When a powerful totem of dark magic shows up at the Colt City Natural History Museum, Hitler sends his fearsome Werwolf Korps to collect the piece. Unfortunately for the führer, Colt City’s protector, the Black Beetle, is on the case!
From the mind of 2012 Eisner Award winner Francesco Francavilla (Batman: The Black Mirror). Collects three Dark Horse Presents stories from issues #11–#13.
All covers are by Francesco Francavilla.