It’s always cool when publishers let creators take risks and sneak other genres through in the guise of superhero books. When I say sneaking I’m serious, I’m talking about letting writer Ray Fawkes (Constantine, Batman Eternal) and artist Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Ten Grand) set a horror comic in Gotham City but keep Batman out of it except for the occasional cameo.
DC’s new book, Gotham By Midnight, will focus on the kinds of literal monsters and ghosts that are outside Batman’s wheelhouse. Instead, they’ll be handled by a police task force called “The Midnight Shift” headed up by Jim Corrigan. Fawkes describes the rest of the team:
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.
One of the great things about the concept for this book is the way they’re handling Corrigan and his divine alter-ego The Spectre.
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.
Essentially, this is a book where Batman sees something that’s too weird even for him and says, “Oh what the hell is this?” Then he hands it off to Corrigan, who tries to take care of it before the Spectre shows up and does his crazy-ass Spectre thing. I need Gotham by Midnight like I need air. I don’t know if I can wait until November.