When things go bump in the night in the Batman universe it’s usually from the Dark Knight knocking over criminals, but that is no longer the case. DC Comics has just announced a new horror themed comic that will take place in Bruce Wayne’s city called ‘Gotham by Midnight.’ The series is going to be penned by Ray Fawkes (‘Constantine’, ‘Batman Eternal’) and illustrated by Ben Templesmith (’30 Days of Night’, ‘Ten Grand’).
Both of these creative geniuses have had a lot of experience with horror and Fawkes has previously written Batman so there won’t be that much of a transition for him. In fact, ‘Gotham by Midnight’ will stem directly off ‘Batman Eternal’ which is the title he’s worked on. While it will be in that same specific universe, it will run completely independent from it. While Batman is involved, he won’t be taking center stage on this one.
The story will focus on ‘The Midnight Shift’ which is a group working on strange cases akin to those you would have seen on ‘The X-Files.’ The department is run by Jim Corrigan and Batman will both assist and hand off cases to him that aren’t in his realm of expertise. Wait, something Batman isn’t ready for? Maybe it’s more of the cases he doesn’t have time for.
You can take a quick look at concept art for a few of the characters below:
Recently Fawkes sat down and gave a lot of details about the series that fans should enjoy. Specifically one aspect he talks about is Corrigan who is also host to The Spectre. Yes, this won’t just be about police investigating crimes as we’ll have a bit of the superhero action involved as well:
“Jim Corrigan’s terrible secret is he carries the divine judgment of God around in his body, not of his own free will. So he’s better motivated than anybody to get involved whenever a big, supernatural monster shows up on the scene. If he doesn’t do something, sooner or later The Spectre is going to handle it, and he has an Old Testament way of handling things. We will be seeing The Spectre here and there, but that’s usually what happens when Corrigan messes up and doesn’t get it handled in time.”
So we’ll mainly see The Spectre pop out as a last case scenario. That’s good to know as I don’t think he should just pop out for every little crime that comes up. Who else is on the team that he’ll be relying on?
“Lisa Drake is another detective in the Gotham police force, and Corrigan’s partner in a weird sort of crew who skulk around in the night and chase ghosts. You will not have seen this Lisa before. There’s also a forensic investigator Dr. Szandor Tarr, a bit of a creepy dude but very reliable. Their religious consultant is a nun, Sister Justine, who has a very peculiar and particular talent.”
NOW it is really starting to sound a bit like the cases you’d see on ‘The X-Files’ where the alien conspiracy wasn’t involved. Who knows? Maybe they’ll be some little grey men in here as well.
Now if Spectre is going to pop out on occasion that means something serious is happening. While this doesn’t sound like a book that’ll have a ton of enemies that humans can’t deal with, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone pulling strings.
“Yes, there is a big bad thing, and it may be connected to something you recognize but you won’t recognize it in this form. This is, after all, a story about police and detective work. They have to figure out what it is they’re looking at and I want the readers along for the ride.”
So we’ll be getting a villain that isn’t recognizable, right away.
This sounds like a great book for the horror fans out there in the DC Universe who don’t want to be stuck in the middle of any ongoing series. You’ll get some Batman but mainly as a plot point and the real action will be gritty police work. I think it’s a solid idea. Do you think Fawkes and Templesmith are working on something fantastic or is the Dark Knight all that Gotham both needs and deserves?