Gotham By Midnight #1
w. Ray Fawkes
a. Ben Templesmith
So let’s see… the guy who writes 2 of DC’s horror titles Constantine and Pandora and is a regular contributor to the Batman: Eternal is writing a book set in Gotham dealing with the darker, more mysterious side of Gotham and it’ inhabitants. Oh and it’s drawn by BEN freaking TEMPLESMITH!!!! What the hell is going on? The King of Indie-Horror titles ( 30 Days of Night, Wormwood, Fell,Welcome to Hoxford, Choker, Squidder and more tales of terror than you can count ) is making his DC ongoing debut, and it stars none other than long time Gotham resident Detective Jim Corrigan. You might know him better as the Spectre. Y’know…pale skin,… green hooded cloak…Vengeance of freakin’ God! How could you not love this book!
Gotham has long history with the supernatural, being home to both Jason Blood the Demon and Solomon Grundy ( born in Slaughter Swamp…on a Monday ) and let’s not forget that awesome Peter Milligan/Kieron Dwyer story “Dark Knight, Dark City” in which a cabal of Free-Masons, some founding fathers of the country ( if memory serves, Ben Franklin was there! )performed a pagan ritual and bound a Bat-Demon to the very essence of the fledgling city of Gotham.
So getting this creative team together to explore the darker corners of Gotham’s soul is a brilliant move, and the pay off is there from page one:
These four lines, along with some great artwork, sum up the modus operandi for the book so succinctly it’s beautiful. GCPD Internal Affairs’ Sergeant Rook is sent to Gotham’s Precinct 13 to investigate the Detailed Case Task Force, a special project set up by Commissioner Gordon….one with a big budget and not one solved case!
We’re introduced to the team as Sgt. Rook is, by Lieutenant Weaver on of tthe police officers assigned to the DCTF. There’s Doctor Szandor Tarr, there forensic expert, Sister Justine a nun and expert on….well that’s better left unsaid, Etective Drake and her partner Detective Jim Corrigan, who’s currently gathering information on an ongoing investigation, by consulting with Gotham’s Darkest Knight…..the Batman. ( quite probaby the best DC character suited for Templesmith’s signature style )
Corrigan believes by taking Sgt. Rook out on one of their active cases, one involving kidnapped children, he’ll be able to convince him o the necesity of the DCTF….or better yet, let the mystical underbelly of Gotham convince him.
Fawkes and Corrigan navigate the horror filled warrens of Gothm effortlessly. Tempesmith’s characters have always had distinct “voices” that matched their look and demeanor, and Fawkes, more than likely influenced by Templesmith’s designs, brings this odd collection of misfits to life, or the nearest approximation of it in Gotham City during the wee hours of the night. The book fits perfectly into continuity, with the burdgeoning “working relationship” between Batman and Corrigan established in Batman: Eternal, giving much more depth here ( including a great scene where Batman asks Corrigan why he couldn’t send him an email or flash drive, but instead had to meet him with paper files, and Corrigan’s response of electronics not quite working right around him, is just one of the we’ll thought out interactions the man possessing the power of the Spectre has over the course of the story), along with the eclectic supporting cast, as well as a hell of a creepy-as-hell-like- the-end-of- the-Blair-Witch-Project-creepy ending, this title is the perfect blend of crime horror, not only suited or Batman fans, but fans of straight up horror.
Again, I repeat:
Get this book!