Gotham by Midnight #6 opens in the wake of the Spectre’s most recent visit to Gotham City. Corrigan’s Midnight Shift unit is still recovering, and while they assemble at the late Sister Justine’s funeral, there’s a palpable sense that the hammer is coming down on the unit thanks to Corrigan’s inability to control his alter-ego. Word begins to circle that Internal Affairs is forming a criminal case against the unit.
Of course, the dead do not wait for the living, and Corrigan and Detective Drake are contacted by a technological firm to investigate a ghost haunting their production labs. Corrigan and Drake confront the business owner, Mark Jenner, a man who seems more concerned with protecting his business records than ridding his building of the poltergeist. Corrigan and Drake notice this immediately and casually warn Jenner that if he doesn’t confess his part in the ghost’s presence, the ghost will do it for him. And while Corrigan and Drake prepare to deal with the ghost, something begins growing in Dr. Tarr’s lab…
The departure of artist Ben Templesmith was one of the big black marks hovering over Gotham by Midnight in its return. Templesmith’s washes and design work contributed so much to the book’s atmosphere that it’s hard to imagine the book without him. Luckily, the new series artist Juan Ferreyra is up to the task. Ferreyra employs a different style than Templesmith, but wisely maintains the book’s color palette, making the transition between artists smoother. That being said, Ferreyra’s style brings its own flavor to the comic. The lines here are cleaner and allow for more detail, which adds verisimilitude to the story as it progresses.
Ray Fawkes’ scripting continues to be a strong point. Fawkes knows how to build an atmosphere, using the same stylized openings that previous issues had prior to the series going on hiatus. Fawkes reintroduces readers to the group slowly, allowing for Sister Justine’s funeral to serve as vessel for his audience to reestablish their bearings. The technological bent on the story also justifies the art change in a roundabout way: an industrial ghost story demands a “cleaner” style than a story about a haunted graveyard.
Gotham by Midnight #6 may have seen an artist change but it doesn’t lose a step. While some readers will surely lament the loss of Templesmith, Juan Ferreyra’s art is just as dynamic and brings its owns strengths to the table.
Even with the hiatus for Convergence, Gotham by Midnight is still one of the best books on the stands. Ray Fawkes keeps the story moving, and with the series and its characters firmly established, it’s nice to see the dynamics between the team members change. New artist Juan Ferreyra brings exquisite linework along with eerie coloring to create a tingling sense of dread in readers. Gotham by Midnight #6 is a must-read comic.