Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Ray Fawkes
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Release Date: 2nd December, 2015
Okay, so things are more than a little bleak in the latest issue of Gotham by Midnight. With Jim Corrigan – AKA The Specter – plunging into the icy depths of the Gotham River, seemingly to his death, and the decomposing bodies and cursed souls of everyone who ever died unjustly in Gotham (which, as you can imagine, is a lot of people) joining with gargantuan dealer of death Ikkondrid the Betrayed, it’s safe to say that the Midnight Shift have their work cut out for them.
Writer Ray Fawkes ratchets the tension all the way up here as things rapidly spiral out of control, creating what appears to be an absolute no-win situation. I guess every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case the impending cancellation of this series adds a worrying level uncertainty about just how things are actually going to play out. With just one issue left, the situation is almost unimaginably dire, and with no “oh, it’ll be fine, they have to be okay or the series would have no characters left” safety net in place, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we may not get the happy ending we’re all hoping for.
Juan Ferreyra’s artwork is… okay, look, I’ve been saying the same thing about this guy for the last two-plus years, and every time I pick up a comic with his name on the cover, my jaw hits the floor yet again. Ferreyra is an absolute rock star, and this is undoubtedly the perfect title for his utterly distinctive style. Fawkes also gives him all manner of opportunity to flex his creative muscle as the shambling, decomposing corpses and decidedly “un-DC” levels of violence provide an aesthetic which is unlike anything else in the Big Two’s lineup at the moment (and that’s a good thing, for the record).
Honestly, I’d actually put this right up there with issue #9 of this same series as one of my absolute favourite single issues of any comic this year, and the way Fawkes gradually builds things up, heaping more and more tension onto the pile as he flicks between the different geographic locations is truly masterful. The final pages push things to a whole new level – assuming that were actually still possible at this point – and set the stage for what should be an absolutely astounding finale.
While it’d be easy for me to hang my head and feel despondent about the upcoming final issue of this series, I’m adopting a ‘glass half full’ approach here. This is a series that is undoubtedly going to stand the test of time and be looked back on in years to come as one of the truly tragic comic book cancellations. It’s better to burn out than to fade away, as they say, and if that’s the case, then Ferreyra and Fawkes are poised to unleash an absolute supernova of a final issue that’s going to make a lot of people feel pretty damn stupid for missing out on this one.
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