Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Ray Fawkes
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Release Date: 23rd December, 2015
“If Gotham dies tonight… we die first.”
The final issue of DC’s Gotham by Midnight is here, and to say that Fawkes and Ferreyra have decided to go down swinging would be a major understatement. With the city itself facing impending destruction at the hands of both Ikkondrid the Betrayed and the seemingly out-of-control Spectre, things are looking more than a little bleak, and not even the shocking return of Sister Justine at the end of the previous issue seems able to alter that.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t overly familiar with writer Ray Fawkes’ body of work prior to the announcement of this series, but based on what I’ve seen here, I’m going to make it my personal mission to seek out anything he puts his name to in the future. Simply put, the man can flat-out write. Skilfully balancing the multiple perspectives on the same event, he flits back and forth between the giant supernatural monstrosities and the quiet, intense conversations with ease, adding to the tension and growing sense of peril with each transition.
This has been a series that has been buoyed throughout by its strong characterisation and dialogue, and Fawkes has most definitely saved his best for last with a powerfully impassioned speech delivered by Detective Drake that puts the whole series into a brand new context. The denouement of this story brings Gotham City itself to the fore as almost a living, breathing character in its own right, and offers up a wonderfully poignant conclusion to this utterly stunning series.
Visually, Juan Ferreyra continues to prove why this is quite possibly the series he was born to draw, with the larger-than-life supernatural creatures brought to life with the consummate Ferreyra flair. He also does a truly outstanding job with the sheer scale of the final conflict, with Ikkondrid, the Spectre and Sister Justine literally towering over the city, and numerous small touches – such as the decaying corpses of dead Gothamites swarming over the Spectre like ants – helping to add to the truly jaw-dropping aesthetic. The exchange between Drake and Corrigan is packed with emotion and expression, and you can almost feel the torment on Jim’s face as he desperately struggles with his inner guilt and conflict.
It’s truly powerful stuff, and a fitting to end to a series I’m absolutely gutted to see finish. Once again, pats on the back all round to everyone who has worked on Gotham by Midnight over the last year, and let’s keep our fingers crossed that we get to revisit this particular title somewhere down the line. Even if this is the end, however, I think I’m due one last attempt to try and recommend this one to as many people as possible… seriously folks, if you haven’t picked it up yet, the first trade is available now (and you can win yourself a signed copy over on our Facebook page!) and the second arc shouldn’t be too far behind. This is a truly unique book that provides a brilliantly twisted look at one of the comicbook world’s most famous cities. R.I.P. Gotham by Midnight, you’ll be sorely missed.
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