Thursday, September 3, 2015

Comic Book Review: Gotham By Midnight #3

Gotham By Midnight #3, DC Comics, cover-dated March 2015. 

"We Become What We Fight," by Ray Fawkes, with art by Ben Templesmith. Cover by Ben Templesmith.

We continue to learn the origins of the members of Gotham City’s “Midnight Shift” in issue 3. This time, we get to know Detective Lisa Drake. We learn how the punk-chick undercover cop met Detective Corrigan – he was tied up in the trunk in a car and Drake was tasked by her drug boss to kill him. But she manifested an unexplained power, a sort of supernatural Black Canary shriek.

Corrigan recognizes Drake’s power, which she admits she’s been living with for years. “You start to feel sick sometimes, and you need to shout it out, right? It hurts, but not as bad as if you keep it in.”

I like that we are getting to know Jim Corrigan in this series as something other than JUST the Spectre’s host. He shows some real human decency in this issue, as well as useful management skills and well-earned wisdom. Yes, I do want the Spectre to manifest soon, but I do appreciate the patience that Fawkes has shown in providing us a slow-burn style of storytelling.

Corrigan does poke fun at the supernatural aspects of their group. Detective Drake asks “why are we here,” referring to Gotham County Hospital. But he answers as if she were asking a more cosmic question, answering that they were “fulfilling God’s plan, y’know, in, like, mysterious ways.”

I also like how this slow-burn style also impacts the introduction of the team member. The key is that Fawkes has been able to include this info while also telling the story of the particular case they have been investigating. Templesmith’s art is critical in keeping the issue visually interesting, even when the overall plot is only pushed forward a little bit. The world is so different from anything else in comics, and the story contains so much crazy stuff in it, that moving slowly enables readers to be comfortable in the world of this comic.

In terms of the longer arc, the case of Gotham’s stolen children continues, as the team is attempting to translate the strange language the children now speak. The children, under observation at a hospital, also seem to be manifesting weird shadows. By the end of the issue, the team is certain that Gotham is under attack. Doctor Szandor Tarr asks the sums up the situation on the final page.

“After seeing what this creature almost did, I shudder to think what’s next. But perhaps we can make ourselves ready?”


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