Gotham By Midnight #1
By Ray Fawkes & Ben Templesmith
Gotham Central meets The X-Files is the simplest way to describe Gotham By Midnight. This new series chronicles the GCPD’s Detailed Case Task Force, a team that specializes in the special or rather supernatural cases in Gotham. Also, one of the lead detectives is none other than the Spectre, Jim Corrigan. This comic, without a doubt, has an intriguing premise!
Ray Fawkes, known for tackling the supernatural of the DCU (Justice League Dark, Constantine), spearheads this title. He frames the introduction of the characters from the perspective of a member of Internal Affairs, investigating what the Detailed Case Task Force actually does. It’s a smart storytelling device and Fawkes handles the material very well. The only real criticism is his dialog in the book; it just came off as a little too light for the material. I was expecting him to handle it with a little less humor, but perhaps that’s just my own bias. The cliffhanger Fawkes ends the comic on will hook readers, if they like the supernatural thriller genre.
I’m honestly not a big fan of Ben Templesmith’s art style. His character designs and backgrounds, for the most part, seem sloppy and undetailed. That being said, the off kilter pencil work and simplistic color palette that he uses totally lends itself to the eerie, unnerving material. The full-page shot that ends this book is the stuff nightmares are made of!
Personally, I was not a huge fan of this comic, but the interesting concept was executed well enough to merit the purchase of the next few issues, at the very least. There will be other readers who love this genre, Batman/Gotham City, or Corrigan that will absolutely love this debut. This is a bold direction for DC and worth checking out.