Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Ray Fawkes
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Release Date: 22nd July, 2015
Gotham’s “Midnight Shift” are in trouble. Still reeling from the loss of one of their own, and under increased scrutiny what appears to be a single-minded Internal Affairs crusade, the team are struggling to keep things going at a time where the supernatural threat to Gotham has never been greater.
This issue focuses mainly on Lt. Weaver and his increased apathy towards his work, a situation which causes him to butt heads with lawyer Kate Spencer as she tries her best to help save the department. Corrigan is off battling his own demons (although not literally, which makes a change) following the death of Sister Justine, and the rest of the team are hanging on by a thread as they are called in to investigate yet another paranormal threat. It’s all rather fraught and tense quite frankly, which makes for utterly compelling reading.
Without any disrespect to Ben Templesmith, whose work I absolutely love, artist Juan Ferreyra has taken Gotham By Midnight to a whole new level with his distinctive vsual flair over the last two issues. We are finally treated to some of the trademark Ferreyra tentacles here (Juantacles? Yeah, let’s go with that) during the reveal of the latest demonic beastie, as well as a jaw dropping appearance by a certain ‘physical embodiment of God’s vengeance on Earth’. Yeah, you know the guy.
Ferreyra also shows off some of his artistic genius (yeah, I said it) with a few of his layouts here. On more than one occasion, he creates some strikingly beautiful pages by stacking his panels together within a cutaway of a house. It may not seem like much, but it actually adds a truly sublime extra dimension to the flow of the book. The characters look fantastic, the monsters look uniquely terrifying, and the colours? Oh, the colours. Simply put, this is an absolutely gorgeous book, and I fully encourage all of you to take a quick at some of the preview pages below before going any further into this review. Go on, I’ll wait here.
Yeah, see what I mean? Wow indeed.
While writer Ray Fawkes seems to be embracing more of an episodic approach to his second arc rather than one long story, the series continues to flow just as smoothly as it always has. The overarching story with Internal Affairs threatening to shut the Midnight Shift down gives the series a firm sense of direction, and each of the characters is being given their own moments to shine during the course of these ‘one-and-done’ encounters. The dialogue is crisp and natural throughout, and each of the characters has been given their own unique voice – something that can usually be a significant challenge in such a relatively young ensemble piece.
Overall, while the meat of the ‘big picture’ is clearly still to come, the development of the characters and the well-structured variety of the ‘monster of the week’ format is working extremely well for Gotham by Midnight thus far. A wonderfully scripted book brought to life by some of the finest visuals on the shelves today, this is a shadowy corner of the DC Universe that deserves a hell of a lot more light to be shed on it. So take a little peek under the rock that is Gotham By Midnight. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
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