‘Gotham By Midnight’ From Fawkes And Templesmith Joins DC’s Increasingly Awesome Batman Line-Up
It’s safe to say that former Vertigo editor Mark Doyle has been blowing our minds since he took over as editor of DC’s Batman line, launching and relaunching titles like Batgirl, Grayson, and Gotham Academy that feel exciting, entertaining, and refreshingly different from DC’s “house style.” Now add another title to the pull-list; the horror series Gotham By Midnight, by Ray Fawkes and Ben Templesmith.
Gotham By Midnight tells the story of the Gotham City Police Department’s horror beat, the “midnight shift” that deals with monsters, ghosts, and a creepier class of creep. The book is headlined by a familiar name from the Bat-universe, Detective Jim Corrigan — who happens to be host to the vengeful divine force The Spectre. It sounds like Gotham By Midnight has the potential to be a very left-of-center Gotham Central.
In an interview with Blastr, Fawkes described the book’s tone as gothic and melancholy. “There are a lot of stories that will be more supernatural than horror, but when you get down to the core of it, the things these characters face and the decisions they have to make are the kinds of things you’d see in a really great horror story.”
Fawkes also revealed that supernatural elements in Gotham may be a contributing factor to the city’s sinister weirdness. “Gotham City is a pretty sick place, and also a wonderful place; one of the greatest cities in the DC Universe. The tact that some of the characters in this book take is that people like The Joker, Two-Face and Batman may be symptoms of something wrong with Gotham, and that may have a supernatural root. For me, the city is very Gothic, dark and shadowy, and it’s sort of the perfect setting for things that creep in the night.”
The Spectre will make appearances in the series, but only when Corrigan gets things wrong and it’s time to call in the nuclear option. The rest of the cast includes new characters Detective Justine Drake (wears a choker; has a Dracula name) Dr. Szandor Tarr (scientist, probably mad), and religious consultant Sister Justine (nun, definitely scary).
Ray Fawkes is a tremendous writer who does his best work away from the tight reins of DCU editorial on books like One Soul and Mnemovore; it seems likely he could do his best DCU work under the oversight of the creator-friendly Doyle. Ben Templesmith is best known for his horror work at IDW, having made his name on the best-selling horror hit 30 Days Of Night. He was one of the first artists to work on the digital-first Batman series Legends Of The Dark Knight.
Gotham By Midnight launches in November. Whether this is the last surprise Mark Doyle has for us before the year is out, only time will tell, but at this point we’d be pretty happy if he just overhauled the whole New 52.