Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Midnight #1 - Red 5 Comics - A Review

Midnight #1 - Published by Red 5 Comics - Created by Tom & Terri Hodges, Script Paul Ens, Pencils and Colors by Tom Hodges, Inks by James Bukauskas. Coming out this November.

The premise of the book is that a husband and wife team are a doctor and assistant DA during the day and Midnight and Knightgale super heroes by night. If that wasn't enough to make you tired just thinking about it, they also are raising a daughter with the assistance of a nanny/ aide de camp, think Alfred younger and in a skirt.

Going into to this book I was a little hesitant as it all sounded too cute and just a little pedestrian in its concept. As I started reading the book I was still feeling the same way and the artwork was skewed towards an animation style which is not my favorite, but as I read the story I was transformed into a fan of what was going on. We are immediately introduced to our ultimate "power couple" on a rare date. We get to know them as a couple in a relationship for a couple of pages. The interchanges between rang very true for me and the visual exchanges are dead on to what all couples share.

After we met them as a couple, we get to see them in action as heroes and finally back home as a family, leading into their day jobs and a solid cliff hanger. The dialogue between David and Tarilyn (small aside I dislike her name) whether as a couple, heroes or as parents really worked well and I had an immediately feeling of a really strong relationship and want to know more about the family. Even the brief glimpses of the nanny and their child were well done and you immediately know the central cast within the span of one issue.

The actual powers that they have was ill defined, but it is very early in this series. There is so much here with both back story and going forward that I can see this series having a really long life. My one hope is that they allow people to get older as time goes by, because if you add a child you cannot let the child remain six forever. Well, you can, but I prefer to see growth in characters as they learn from experience and to see that reflect somewhat in their aging. In other words you can age slow, just age a little. Invincible is doing a great job with this right now.

The art was an adjustment for me as I grew up falling in love with Neal Adams as the ultimate super hero artist and when I read super hero titles I expect a little more realistic look. Again as the story progressed my opinion changed and the animated style really fit hand in glove for the overall feeling of the book. Now Tom Hodges has redefined square jawed hero to be "square jaw" and his wife has the pointiest chin ever created, but it works, it really works. The pacing and layouts of the book are excellent and as you read it you will occasionally get a smile as the personal interactions ring so true. Tom captures a wide range of emotions in his art and does it well.

Last and certainly not least this is a great all ages book at this point. Enough depth to the story and the relationships that an adult can relate to, but a nice fast moving story that a child would enjoy and be able to follow. In a comic world that has too few books to be able to read and enjoy with younger children, this book is a welcome addition.

Tom Hodges provides an excellent background piece at the end of the comic telling you why an idea that he has had since 1997, took ten years to make it to the stands. This book looks to have a huge upside and I can see little bits and pieces of the back story being added even as we move forward. There are so many stories and ideas with the premise they have set up that it will probably be a tough job to try and fit it all in.

If you are looking for gore and misery, skip this book, if you are looking for a fun book that is about fighting crime, being married, raising a family and holding down a job, sign up for Midnight.

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