April 14, 2024

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Bento Review: Gotham By Midnight Volume 1

A special GCPD task force handles the things the regular cops, and even Batman, can't handle alone in this DC book.

How long have I been getting Comic Bento books that I am only now, for the first time, getting something from DC?

And, keeping with the numbers theme, this one is called Gotham by Midnight.

Gotham by Midnight is about the GCPD Detailed Case Task Force, working out of the 13th Precinct.  They’re a special detail put together by Commissioner Gordon to handle things regular cops can’t handle.  They possibly also deal with things Batman can’t handle either.  Their beat is the supernatural.  Consisting of three cops and two consultants, they are:  Lieutenant Weaver, the officer in charge who sits most of the story out; Detective Lisa Drake, a cop who seems normal at first glance but has something going on involving how she feels when someone is about to die; Dr. Szandor Tarr, the forensics guy who may be something of a mad scientist; Sister Justine, a very soft-spoken woman who acts as the spiritual consultant; and Jim Corrigan, a detective whose body houses the old DC supernatural hero (depending on how you feel about him) the Spectre.  Not all the folks in the unit necessarily know about the Spectre and Corrigan’s connection to him, and to make things more interesting, they have two problems.  The first is an Internal Affairs officer, Sergeant Rook, coming to check the books since they never actually seem to arrest anybody but cost the department a lot of money and resources, and there is some sort of demonic thing coming to Gotham from…somewhere.

This series was creepy, made moreso by art from Ben Templesmith, the artist behind such modern horror comics classics as 30 Days of Night.  Ray Fawkes’ script is OK, but the story clearly isn’t finished here with the New 52 version of the Spectre only emerging at the end of this volume, and the clear emphasis is the Spectre showing up is always going to be bad for someone.  I’m mildly curious to see how the series ended and may get the next trade, but for this one, let’s say eight out of ten demon nuns.

NEXT BOOK:  We’ve got a Marvel work, this one from the last Secret Wars:  Warzones! 1872.