Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Ray Fawkes
Artist: Ben Templesmith
Release Date: 26th November 2014
It’s been said for a while that the market is reaching over-saturation in terms of books with Batman as the lead, so it’s safe to say I was more then a little wary of this book when I first heard about it.
And then I heard who the creative team were going to be.
Ray Fawkes, who many fans may know from Constantine and Batman Eternal, is on writing duties here, and does a damn fine job of it. Here, he crafts a story that, if I’m honest, doesn’t really feel like a DC title at all, having instead much more of a Vertigo feel to it. We open with the “Detailed Cases” branch of Gotham PD being under investigation because no one really seems to know what it is the department actually does. From here, we are given a brief introduction to the characters and an even briefer cameo by our favourite Dark Knight before we’re plunged straight into our first case with the investigator taking the role of us, the reader, and being dragged along.
It’s a story that’s familiar to everyone as a common opening to any crime/supernatural show on TV; there are kids, they speak in tongues and – well – shit goes downhill from there, really. It does the job though in grabbing your attention and keeping you intrigued, and a lot of that appeal is down to Ben Templesmith. Without wanting to rain on Ray Fawkes’ parade here, Templesmith is the moneymaker of the series for me. It was his name that caught my attention, being a massive fan of his work on Ten Grand and more recently on his own book Squidder. Here, it’s ‘Templesmith by numbers’ (if such a thing exists), there’s muted, tea-stain coloured walls, strong facial structures, colour that pops straight off the page, and a certain elongated characteristic to his bodies that instantly seems familiar and fits the tone of the book perfectly.
This is one for fans of the creative team – or fans of the horror genre as a whole – rather than someone looking for another Bat-Fix. Gotham by Midnight isn’t one to miss and I think it’s safe to say I’ve buckled in for the long run