Marvel's Preposterously '90s TV Series Night Man Is Coming to DVD for Some Reason

Hey, it’s Night Man!
Hey, it’s Night Man!
Image: Glen Larson Productions

While we’re currently living in a superhero TV show renaissance, there was a period in the late 1990s when comic book characters managed to transition to low-budget live-action. You probably remember Lois & Clark and The Flash, of course, but you may also have a hazy memory of a faux Batman who played saxophone by night and fought low-stakes crime even later at night. You may have even thought you must have made it up. You didn’t. The show was Night Man.


TV Shows on DVD brings news that Night Man: The Complete Collection will be available at retail on June 12. The description of the technically-a-Marvel-TV-series follows:

Based on the Marvel Comics Comic Book character, all 44 episodes of this legendary live-action series are available in this value-priced 9-disc collector’s set - for the first time ever on DVD! One of Marvel’s first forays into scripted television, paving the way for modern hits like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist.

After renowned San Francisco saxophonist Johnny Domino is struck by lightning, he finds himself literally tuned to the wavelength of evil - and no longer able to sleep. Johnny becomes Night Man, and - in a bulletproof bodysuit that allows him to fly, see in the dark, and render himself invisible - fights to keep crime off his city’s streets in this complete collection of adventures based on the comic created by Steve Englehart (who also wrote several episodes).

Johnny Domino! Watch the show’s opening credits and just try not to have your jaw drop in show at how outrageously, brazenly ‘90s it is. The saxophone music alone...

While it’s technically true that Night Man is a Marvel Comics property, the character was originally created by legendary writer Steve Englehart for the superhero line from defunct publisher Malibu, which Marvel acquired in 1994, prior to the TV show’s release in 1997. The hero got a significant upgrade for the TV show, which made him an odd hybrid between Batman and Superman, in terms of his powerset. From what I remember of the show, it tried to inject a moody, smooth-jazz attitude into what was otherwise a middle-of-the-road, syndicated action series. We can all refresh our memories in two months and be glad how far things have come.

Video games. Comic books. Blackness.



While it’s true that the publisher of Night Man was Malibu Comics, it was actually part of Malibu’s shared superhero universe called “the Ultraverse.” And yes, the Ultraverse was super ‘90s and super rad. It had a twelve-year-old kid that transformed into a musclebound superhero (Prime) and an immortal soldier that found himself trapped in a woman’s body (Mantra) and a group of teenagers that had been injected by nanobots when they were babies (Freex) and a group of strangers that were on a San Francisco trolley when it was hit by a “bolt from the blue” and all gained powers (The Strangers). In fact, the “bolt from the blue” is the same one that hit Night Man and gave him the power to hear evil thoughts.

Unfortunately, Marvel ended up not only buying Malibu and the Ultraverse, but completely rebooting it during something called “Black September.” It was never the same afterwards and ended up cancelled less than a year after that. And nowadays, there are no collections of the Ultraverse, for what reason nobody knows. You have to scour dollar bins to find issues.

(Fun fact: Malibu Comics was also the one who did the original Men in Black comics, which were dark as hell.)