With a premise similar to X-Files but a grittier edge you’d find steeped in the streets and backwoods of Gotham comes a rather compelling second issue of Gotham by Midnight.
Last month I was gaga over the art, but the plot felt undercut, so how does this issue play out? Is it good?
Gotham by Midnight (2014-) #2 (DC Comics)
Last month we were introduced to the GCPD late shift made up of a nun, a forensics specialist, a man named Corrigan and a lady named Lisa. Corrigan seemed the least human of the bunch, helping out Batman by using his fingertips, and taking an Internal Affairs sergeant through a usual night. The sergeant wants to shut them down, obviously, because what they do doesn’t seem so believable. Last issue ended with a very real demonic looking nun peering down at Corrigan and the sergeant and this issue picks up right where we left off.
Never go into Slaughter Swamp. Just sayin.
After reading this issue it’s rather clear writer Ray Fawkes wrote these first two issues as the introduction, which would explain why the first issue felt a bit unfinished. None of the characters are introduced again here, so be advised you may want to pick up the last issue. That said all the characters get a moment, particularly the nun, as we see how her relationship with the GCPD and Corrigan started. Characters aside, there’s some cool plotting at work here with a full on fight between Corrigan and a demon, new information on who Corrigan really is and a good blend of flashbacks that aren’t distracting and actually strengthen the story.
Those of you looking for Batman should look elsewhere. Sure he showed up last issue, but that was really a cursory/courtesy appearance to show he has some sort of tie to this book. That said it’s clear this is its own beast, especially since it focuses on the supernatural side of Gotham. Quite frankly it’s surprising there aren’t more books like this one, but I guess that’s because DC relegates most its books to the superhero genre. Because of this it’s highly enjoyable as we get to see a new side to Gotham.
Artist Ben Templesmith is at his most spectacular here and it’s becoming clear his strengths lie in a middle ground between supernatural and street level detective dramas. He instills a sort of dread and disturbance in every image and when this is layered on top of human characters trying to deal with supernatural events it just clicks. His work on Fell for instance, which wasn’t supernatural per se, but did harbor supernatural elements due to his work, popped so much more due to his sometimes splotchy but always compelling art. There’s a grit and grime layered on top of his line work that strengthens the narrative and I’m not sure anyone else is doing it like him. Great stuff.
I hate it when my priest monsters out.
Is It Good?
A well paced story that finishes the first story very well with exceptional art and a compelling look at its characters.