Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Comic Book Review - Gotham By Midnight #4

Gotham By Midnight #4, DC Comics, cover-dated April 2015.

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

The “slow burn” of the prior four issues seems likes it is continuing as issue five begins, as a drunk Jim Corrigan tries to convince Sgt Rook from Internal Affairs that they can be friends. Or at least that maybe Rook will not pursue his case against the Midnight Shift. But that changes quickly as strange things bubble out of Rook. At the same time, Dr. Torr and Detective Drake are fighting similar beings on the Gotham streets. And as the being attacks all over the neighborhood, Corrigan knows what this means.

“Get away. Get as far away as you can … judgment is coming. Divine judgment. I can’t hold it back this time.”

And finally it happens. After teasing and tempting us, Jim Corrigan finally “Spectres out.” One of the concepts that Ray Fawkes has included in this series is that Corigan barely controls the Spectre’s wrath, and ultimately can not control it. And this is the classic “Old Testament” version of God’s wrath, which may well level a whole city if the sins therein are determined to be too great. It is a sense of judgment not tempered by mercy. Ben Templesmith's art style portrays well this disconcerting image.

But we do get some great monologuing when the Spectre arrives.

“I am the Spectre. I am Heaven’s Blade … I am the storm. And you … Abomination.”

While that fight is going on, Doctor Torr has figured out the motives of the beings they’ve been fighting since issue 1. It has to do with the sins that arose from the founding of Gotham City. The beings are “psychic reminders of genocide.” And what do they want? For Gotham City to be judged.

And the Spectre is just the supernatural being to do it.

Sister Justine is (rightly) terrified of the prospect of the Spectre wreaking havoc in the city, but she and Lieutenant Weaver must hit the streets. “A lot of people are in trouble. It’s time to earn our pay.” So by the end of the issue, the entire team is out on the streets, and the Spectre is facing down a big ugly monster.

We end the issue with two great questions. “What’s going to happen?” “Who knows?”

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