Monday, November 16, 2015

Comic Book Review: Gotham By Midnight Annual

Gotham By Midnight Annual, DC Comics, cover-dated September 2015.

“The Gentleman Ghost,” by Ray Fawkes, with art by Christian Duce. Cover by Juan Ferreyra.
There are a variety of ways that a comic book Annual can go. This is a pure stand-alone story, one that could serve a solid “jumping on point” to the reader who hasn’t been reading the ongoing series.

The plot is very simple, a mystery involving the Golden Age character Gentleman Ghost. Along with a mystery involving the valuable necklace The Tears of Eurydice, the story includes the New 52 origin of how Jim Craddock became the Ghost. 

This story does not feature the full cast of Gotham by Midnight. Detectives Only Jim Corrigan and Lisa Drake are featured. But the simple-sounding plot and small cast are not drawbacks, but in fact add depth to the mystery.

The Spectre appears, and suffice it to say that he doesn’t like ghosts. They represent a disorder in the afterlife; they are things that simply should not be. 

"Dead men lie down and rise not again. Thus speaks the Lord."

This is an interesting take. Comic book character routinely violate the Hebrews 9:27 process of "just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment." It is wholly appropriate for the Spectre to be the one character who is made wary by the presence of ghosts. They are unduly delaying their judgment.

It is also an interesting commentary that despite the Spectre's distaste for such beings (and one would assume, the Spectre's Boss), that they nonetheless are allowed to exist in the DC Universe.

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