Writer: Ray Fawkes / Artist: Ben Templesmith / DC Comics
Damn these intros give me chills! For better or worse, the first pages of Gotham by Midnight are consistently the best of each issue thus far. They do a great job of setting the tone of Precinct Thirteen and their unsung-heroes-of-the-night attitude.
Issue #3 stays on pace and true to its formula. A self-contained conflict, a flashback for character development, and a tiny step forward for the overarching story plot. And it works. It might become frustrating eventually, but for now, it works.
This issue focuses on Lisa Drake. Years ago, Lisa was undercover on a narcotics bust that began to go sour when the dealers popped the trunk to reveal a police detective inside. That police detective was none other than Jim Corrigan, hogtied in the back and about to die. About to die, that is, until Lisa broke her cover, pulled her gun, and revealed a nice little super power. She untied Jim and they introduced themselves, and the rest was history.
How did this relate to present day? Well, other than Lisa’s introduction to the team all those years ago, they find themselves working on a case with a girl at Gotham County Hospital who has the spookiest shadow you’ve ever seen.
When a shadow starts moving independently of its owner, it’s time for Precinct Thirteen. The shadow-demon gets aggressive and the team scrambles to find a solution. Biohazard suits were a swing-and-a-miss. Casting light on the shadow? An obvious solution, but didn’t work. They needed to do something fast because, judging by what it did to one dude, you do not want that shadow touching you.
Maybe Lisa Drake can save the day again?
Overall, Gotham by Midnight continues to be a good series – and again, I was never a horror fan. Not only is it welcoming to non-horror readers like me, but also welcoming to new readers period as each issue has a one-off plot where anyone can jump right in and still have a grasp of what’s going on.
We have backstory on Sister Justine, and now Lisa Drake, so maybe next in line is Szandor Tarr. Jim Corrigan is supposed to be the obvious protagonist, although his screen time disagrees, and I’m curious to see what other characters have potential to steal the show and become favorites. The series is young and there aren’t any frontrunners yet, so the character field is wide open.
Score: 7 out of 10