Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SPOILERS: Gotham by Midnight #1

Out of all the new Gotham content to come those past two months, this is by far the biggest "What the?" of the bunch... So, how'd it turn out?

The Spoilers:

In the GCPD, there's a precinct known as the Midnight Shift, who deal with many paranormal cases, but most of their work goes unnoticed, except by Internal Affairs, who see an arrest rate of 0 and believe the devision to be some sort of tax scam, so that's where Sergent Rook comes in, to investigate, and shut down the Midnight Shift. 

The Midnight Shift consists of Lt. Weaver, Detective Lisa Drake, Sister Justine, and Szandor Tarr, the last two of which are consultants, one of faith and one of science. They're lead by one Jim Corrigan, who just so happens to be the host of The Spectre. Rook is intent on shutting the place down, but Corrigan invites him a ride along to see what they actually do.

Corrigan and Drake interview the parents of two girls who went missing, but recently returned home. After seeing a strange mark above the doorway, Corrigan and Drake learn that the girls are acting extremely strange, and speaking a language no one can understand. Seeing that there was mud on the girl's clothing in the report, Corrigan puts some stuff together and decides to head to Slaughter Swamp with Rook, while Drake waits for Sister Justine to continue interviewing the children. 

At the swamp, this is where shit starts to get real for Rook, as a strange feeling starts to come across him. Corrigan finds an old house which he approaches with Rook, sensing something inside, meanwhile as Sister Justin arrives at the girl's home, the two kids start freaking the fuuuuuuck out. Despite Rook asking Corrigan not to, the go inside to find what looks to be a school room, full of children, with a demonic looking nun at the chalk board. So now, Rook might just be a believer.


The Review:

I had a lot of questions about this book going in, and quite honestly, a lot of them still remain, but after reading the first issue, I can tell you that this book has no problem selling itself based entirely off of atmosphere. Ray Fawkes has been known to write the supernatural stuff at DC recently, so he's a good fit for the story elements, but bringing a guy like Ben Templesmith on just seals the deal. You want someone to draw creepy and unsettling? Templesmith is definitely that guy. He nails every aspect of it, from the characters, to the setting, to the colors. Visually, the Bat line has another one of the most stand out books in DC's line-up. 

I do have some concerns, though. Outside of Batman and Corrigan, everything in this issue was new, and that's fine when done well, but the fact is, this book has "Gotham" in the title, and my hope for it is that all elements of Gotham are used to its fullest potential. I want there to be a justification as to why this book is set in Gotham, I want to see some of the vast continuity available to be taken advantage of. The first issue made a good impression, but so far Gotham is just the physical location it happens to be set in. I just hope there's going to be some reason why this book has to be set in Gotham instead of any other city, other than "I don't know, spooky shit?"

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