writer: Ray Fawkes / artist: Juan Ferreyra / DC Comics
Welcome back to the darkness! Gotham by Midnight is back, and to be honest, I didn’t realize how invested I had become to this series until I thought DC might drop the title. This is the first horror series I’ve ever enjoyed – not including Hack/Slash, if something that campy counts – and I find myself attached to its cast in a way one wouldn’t expect from a genre that thrives off shock value and the devaluation of characters’ lives.
But alas, here we are at issue #6, with Gotham by Midnight still on shelves and readers seeing the aftermath of Spectre’s dark, grand scale battle for the city. And here’s where I’d like to note one of the things that makes comics like these special: in the city of Gotham, these stories are largely unaffected by Batman. In fact, our Dark Knight is pretty useless against the dangers they face, and it’s a beautiful thing. It brings weight to new characters, and it makes their responsibilities important knowing that Batman’s brilliance is largely inconsequential here.
There’s no swooping in to save them. They have to figure things out on their own. And then they get called crackpots and receive no recognition for it. Being a hero really is a C-, fam.
This issue begins the series’ second story arc with a new artist, having Juan Ferreyra replace Ben Templesmith. While Templesmith’s artwork fit well with Gotham by Midnight, Ferreyra’s more realistic style manages to be quite different without changing the feel of the series. His artwork is quite stunning actually, and one can only wonder if he would be able to maintain this level of quality if he draws the entire arc. Time will tell, but in the meantime it’s refreshing to see clearer depictions of our characters and some amazingly beautiful panels.
Gotham by Midnight #6 has a rather isolated plot with nothing of particular magnitude in regard to the bigger picture, so the allure comes from reflections on the past climax with the Spectre and how those events will shape the team’s trajectory for the future. We get more insight into Lisa’s understanding of who she is, which was probably the highlight of the issue for me, albeit seemingly minor. We also see Tarr struggle with all that has happened, and it’ll be interesting to see how he responds with faith, science, or maybe complete withdraw.
Come for the eerie fun, stay for the characters – either way, Gotham by Midnight is an externality in the land of DC Comics and a unique one worth reading. It’s like watching a paranormal True Detective, so pick it up if that sounds the least bit interesting to you. Issue #6 seems to be as good an entry point as any.
You can read previous reviews of Gotham by Midnight here.