Another week, another horror filled pull box waiting for your enjoyment at the local comic shop! I’m going to come clean here, just in case any of you are under the impression that I only read horror comics, the fact of the matter is, I read some of everything. Yes, including superhero comics. For this week’s spotlight, I’m focusing on a new DC title that if judged by the title alone might make you think is yet another Batman comic, but so far it’s actually been far from that. In Gotham by Midnight, we get a look at a much darker side of the city Batman has sworn to protect, and it’s been one Hell of a good read so far.
Midnight introduces us to a small until of the GCPD known as Unit 13. This particular group handles the cases that are of a supernatural nature. The main character of the book is Detective Jim Corrigan, who long time DC readers will undoubtedly recognize as the human host of The Spectre. Joining Corrigan is fellow GCPD Detective Lisa Drake, as well as two other officers and two paid consultants (most of whom are still being introduced at this point). The final character is an Internal Affairs investigator known as Rook, who has been sent in to evaluate the need to keep Unit 13 operational. It’s Rook that serves as the narrator of the comic, and also serves as the reader essentially in the book. He’s a skeptic, and unaware of the way things work in the Unit, and as he’s introduced to characters and sutations, so are we, the audience.
The thing that really works about the book is the fact that Gotham City totally lends itself to the darker side of the supernatural. Even Batman himself is often referred to, or viewed as a supernatural creature of the night. A lot of the villains that call Gotham home are as much monster as man. None of the traditional bad guys have shown up as of yet though, and truth be told, I’m more interested in stories like the one from the first two issues, in which a young boy is posessed by a demon, and Corrigan must rely on the help of one of his advisors, a nun named Sister Justine. There’s endless possibilities for this book, and it’s probably worth jumping on early if this at all sounds like something you’d like to read.
The creative team behind the book is writer Ray Fawkes and artist Ben Templesmith. Fawkes is a writer that I wasn’t particularly familiar with until he took over the current Constantine series from Jeff Lemire. At first, I was completely against a non-Vertigo Hellblazer comic, but Lemire and subsequently Fawkes’ writing shut me right the hell up. They proved that while he may not be as edgy, “regular DC Universe” Constantine is just as big of a bastard as his “mature readers only” counterpart. Ben Templesmith needs no introduction I’d imagine, he’s the other half of the creators of 30 Days of Night, and has an impressive catalog of both amazingly drawn as well as written comics, my personal favorites being Welcome to Hoxford and The Squidder.
Here’s the synopsis for Gotham By Midnight #3 from DC’s website:
There’s a dark secret in Gotham General Hospital – a supernatural menace that could infect the whole city! But Detective Lisa Drake of the Midnight Shift has a dark secret of her own…and when this new threat brings it out, the only thing Jim Corrigan can do is get out of the way!
Also out this week:
- Big Trouble in Little China #8
- Bitch Planet #2
- Clive Barker’s Nightbreed vol 2 #9
- Colder: Bad Seed #4
- Godzilla: Rulers of the Earth #20
- Graveyard Shift #2
- Judge Dredd Classics: Dark Judges #2
- Lady Death vol 3 #26
- Predator: Fire and Stone #4
- Purgatori vol 3 #5
- Revival #27
- Rot & Ruin #5
- Sleepy Hollow #4
- Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring GI Zombie #6
- V-Wars #10
- X-Files Season 10 #20