Gotham by Midnight #10

Gotham By Midnight 10

Ironically titled “Nothing Will Stop Us”, Gotham by Midnight No. 10 picks up where we left off: Jim Corrigan covered in gore and his world collapsing around him. Equally, it meets the bar set in the previous issue with a story that manages to further the plot and character development despite the majority of it being consumed (in a good way) with an extended car chase scene (more on that in a minute).

We’ve got so little time left with this book, I don’t want to spend it lamenting its cancellation, but I will say again that the loss of this title pains me. I’m only too glad that it appears to be at least going out without nary a whimper in sight. But it’s a crime and a shame, because look at these amazing characters:

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Run, you two! Jeez, the intensity!

I cannot express my sadness for the fact that we have so little time left to spend with Corrigan and Drake. Ray Fawkes has made them into people you want to know, people you have hopes for, people you want to see be happy and successful in their calling. To watch everything they have accomplished so far go to heck (without even the proverbial handbasket), and them helpless as they fight it, is storytelling at its best.

Full Throttle

How does one ratchet up the stakes after last month’s shocking conclusion? Well Jim Corrigan’s not just going to sit there and wait for someone to come in and mop up the mess. Or maybe he is: he’s still so shaken by the event that he’s barely lucid.

Lisa Drake to the rescue!

And what a brilliant mess this is. Corrigan is freaked out, Drake is freaked out, the whole precinct is freaked out. And even though Drake isn’t happy about what’s happened, she knows she has to get her partner out of there–both for his own sake and the sake of the city.

It’s a moral conundrum that puts Drake’s life on the line. The tension as she drags Corrigan out to make their getaway is palpable. What follows is a high-speed car chase that is beautifully and brilliantly rendered by Juan Ferreyra: enormous long panels of the road, replete with the glare of the city lights and the blur of motion–all while Corrigan and Drake fight over their next steps in this impossible situation.

Corrigan isn’t thinking straight and Drake is madder than a wet cat. As a reader you can feel the hairpin turns, the tires shredding on the asphalt. It’s amazing. Amazing to see so much motion, so much kinetic energy in a medium that, while it has its tricks for choreographing fight sequences and fancy cyber technology, hasn’t always handled dramatic police chases convincingly.

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This snippet is poor abbreviation of a truly epic sequence; seriously, you have to see it

There is a secondary part of the plot in which Doctor Tarr investigates supernatural phenomena at the site of Sister Justine’s death, which makes a stark solemn counterpoint to the frenzy of the police station escape. We still don’t have all the answers about the black flowers, but Tarr is definitely onto something and it’s very interesting.

I won’t post any spoilers here, but this issue ends on as big a cliff-hanger as the last one (and that’s saying something!). Part of me takes a deep breath and reminds myself that it’s going to be all right: they’re comic book characters, they can make it through anything! But I am also a wee bit heartbroken at the utter calamity of it all.

Seriously, I could wax rhapsodic about this book endlessly, but I think you really have to read it to get the full neck-throttling shock. If you haven’t been reading Gotham by Midnight, pick up issue No. 9 along with this one. You won’t be sorry!

Shifting Gears

The very nice Bill Sienkiewiez cover references the scene of Doctor Tarr’s investigation, though I think it’s not the best match for the issue’s content. But other than that very minor kvetch, I have no quibbles. This book is barreling toward its conclusion (and likely going to take out a few bystanders in the process). It’s excruciating that we have to wait another month for the next installment. If all comic books were as much like heroin as this book, we could eradicate the drug problem altogether.

Recommended If…

  • You love amazing art.
  • You love amazing stories.
  • You love amazing comics.

Overall

Is it hyperbole to say this book is head-and-shoulders above awesome? No, because it’s the truth. This series is rare and special in an ocean of tights and laser beam eyes–and this issue exemplifies why. Fawkes knows exactly where to cut a scene and where to let it breathe, and how to intersperse multiple storylines without it feeling like a formulaic stall. Everything in this book is organic and the result is a reading experience that feels seamless. Add to that Ferreyra’s luscious art and it feels like cinema you can hold in your hand.

SCORE: 10/10

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