Here comes the night

By Marie-Claire Backhaus

The world is a dark place. Solving murders, gang hits and drug deals gone bad is just part of the job–police detective David Grey’s job. The line between good and bad in Grey’s world is smudged. Under this blanket of numbness comes protection from the horror in the comic Midnight Nation.

What is the truth about this world? Can you really tell what is real? J. Michael Straczynski’s Midnight Nation brings us past the breaking point of our reality into a deeper, sicker, unrighteous world.

Straczynski, well known for science-fiction show Babylon 5, is acclaimed for his masterful stories. He now takes us into Grey’s world, a good cop trying to do the right thing even against the ideals surrounding his job. Here the normal attitude for a cop is if a drug dealer dies, it’s no one’s loss.

Grey’s morals and good heart conflict with his surroundings. He feels any murder deserves investigation. Grey ends up investigating a case where a drug deal goes bad, a young man ends up murdered and the facts don’t seem to fit together.

The only one who knows anything about the murder leads Grey to more questions than answers. Following a lead, Grey takes a ride into the unknown world of the supernatural. We go where Grey goes, and with his constant inner monologue we feel connected to our hero. In one instant, the abnormal and the normal blend together. Here a new reality emerges for Grey and the reader. This story pulls the reader in right away, holding you through this new and strange journey.

Midnight Nation’s great story is held and intensified by the chilling artwork, making the comic’s drawing power stronger. The mood- changing colours, comic special effects and action scenes add to the ambience of the thriller story. This comic’s visual effects and story promise to create a great series.

Also great is the dialogue. When talking about a gluttonous co-worker, Grey says, "and he ate. He ate all the time. Never a heart attack around when you need one." Straczynki’s dialogue balances snarkiness with street-smart intelligence.

A great comic with excellent art to back it up, it is hard not to read this story more than once. And it is even harder knowing the next issue won’t be out for another month.

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