writer: Ray Fawkes / artist: Ben Templesmith / DC Comics
Toss your script, your recipe, your rhyme book—anything that’s formulaic—because that’s what Gotham by Midnight just did. Previously, in its standard blueprint, each issue would highlight a different character, give us a flashback in their honor, and solve a paranormal mini-crime within the issue’s subplot. That’s what I expected for a few issues longer—a slow build at a consistent pace until readers are comfortable enough with the characters, then they hit us with the answers and larger-scale story arc: The Rangers fight the putties, Rita sends a monster, and then the Rangers call their zords when she makes the monster grow. Repeat like nine times and change it the 10th, right?
Or the fourth! Chapter 4 came hard with Gotham’s reckoning, like a storm that wasn’t expected so soon. It began innocuously enough: Corrigan waxing philosophical as he gets drunk at the bar with a sober Sergeant Rook. Two seconds later, the bodies start dropping, the cars start speeding, and we meet the character we’ve all been waiting for, the Spectre.
Tarr, the brains of the group, has an epiphany and figures out who’s the spirit that’s been running through the city, only it’s a little late because that spirit decided to go ahead and start killing everybody. Lisa Drake begins having the worst headache of all time as she senses all the death around her, more than she’s ever felt before. Meanwhile, the Spectre rises from Jim Corrigan in the middle of Gotham City and says he doesn’t care if you still don’t know Szandor Tarr or Lieutenant Weaver; he’s ready to go now.
Speaking of Lieutenant Weaver, dude has the most hilariously bad moment of the serious thus far:
Chapter 4 swerved Gotham by Midnight into the fast lane and expedited a plot that didn’t even need it. I was just fine getting to know the characters and riding along with the slow build, but this made the series even better—a series that I not only enjoy, but one I’m looking forward to.
This is still a young series and this is a good issue to jump in. You can find previous reviews of Gotham by Midnight here.
Score: 8 out of 10