by Ray Fawkes and Ben Templesmith
Sergeant rook wanted to follow this crew of consultants and Detective Jim Corrigan to make a report about its use as funds in an attempt to shut it down. Of course the ride along was going to lead him into a world he never imagined. But Fawkes and Templesmith manage to tell a story that even catches the readers off guard. Sister Justine and Detective Drake were left with the Attwood family while Corrigan and Sergeant Rook went to investigate just what happened to the girls. Fawkes tells a gripping and disturbing tale, supported by gorgeously harrowing artwork from Templesmith.
At the end of the first issue of Gotham by Midnight, Corrigan and Rook had come across some sort of school in search of what had happened to the Attwood girls that left them speaking in some unknown language. Issue two takes absolutely no time in diving right into the action. This landscape is Templesmith’s stomping ground, and he captures the tone and imagery perfectly in depicting something terrible and monstrous. Jim Corrigan is essentially on his own here as Sergeant Rook is in way over his head. Reduced to simply leading out the children, the story takes a break to cut to the last time this type of monster showed its ugly face. Sister Justine, then much younger, met this creature and it was how she and Corrigan first met. The issue jumps between these two points in time as well as the Attwood family home and Fawkes is able to keep the momentum and tension up as a result.
This midnight shift in Gotham had to deliver on something beyond what readers and fans of the Gotham world has presented in the past. Gotham is no stranger to creeps and crooks, but that is Batman’s world. So what would this outfit be tasked with that was not just another case of Batman’s? How could this not be a retread of Gotham Central? Fawkes and Templesmith have answered that in these first two issues as Midnight seems to be a story about the paranormal. Left in the hands of this odd bunch of characters, these are the cases that the GCPD are happy to turn away from. That dynamic between the police and this unit is certainly an interesting one that Fawkes has created early. The idea that they are aware of this unit and happy to let it do what it needs to, simply so they don’t have to, is clever and sure to be explored. Whether Rook continues to be that middle man, or simply used as an introduction to the unit remains to be seen.
For now, Gotham by Midnight is an excellent new series. DC looks to continue to use the “Gotham” brand to tell stories that seem uncharacteristic of their typical publication slate. With both Gotham Academy and Gotham by Midnight, the company have produced solid new books that hopefully turn some heads. For many, this is an unexpected opportunity to have Ben Templesmith on a monthly book published in the Big Two. For others, more Gotham is always better. Whatever the reason, Midnight is topping this week’s stack.