cover image Gotham by Midnight, Vol. 1: We Do Not Sleep

Gotham by Midnight, Vol. 1: We Do Not Sleep

Ray Fawkes and Ben Templesmith . DC Comics, $14.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-4012-5473-5

The X-Files meets Constantine inside Arkham Asylum in this offshoot from last year's Batman Eternal series. Jim Corrigan, aka the Spectre, is one of the not-quite-normal officers assigned by Commissioner Gordon to Gotham City PD's Detailed Case Task Force. The group is an off-the-books operation charged with fighting evil of a supernatural nature, including a number of child disappearances that point to sinister activities afoot in Gotham. Even Batman (who appears in cameos) can't handle this job. This collection doesn't stint on either the atmosphere or the action. The former is present in the gothic tonalities from various artists, including Templesmith, that darken every gloomy page. The latter is kicked swiftly into high gear once it becomes clear that Corrigan's Spectre side can't exactly be contained. Fawkes's careful assembly of his motley crew of misfits is slowed when they spend far too much time gaping in terror at the Lovecraftian evil exploding all around. With a more organic pace, this could develop into a worthwhile series. (Aug.)