(This review first appeared almost two years ago on the apparently now defunct Geeks Unleashed site. I will be reprinting (reposting) a series of reviews and interviews formerly on that site.)
From Dark Horse Comics, Drew Edward Johnson, Lizzy John, Steve Dutro.
Matilda Finn works for MI: Omega. Never heard of them? You’re probably not supposed to. The Omega team works in the background investigating all that makes noise and cast shadows in the middle of the night. Big or small, if its unknown to modern science they will investigate and make it known within their small circle. Some might thing that its been done before. X-Files, Hoax Hunters and the list goes on. But never has it been touched upon with the twists in this book. What could have been a trite idea is over flowing with original takes making this comic more than worthy of the Dark Horse label.
The story starts off with a younger Kevin Kaycee and Arcturus Finn investigating fairies. There are monsters, advanced technology and moral debates. The moral debate is where I gain complete faith in Drew Edward Johnson as a writer (the artist part will come later). Instead of debating the rights of a fairy replace those words with Black or slave or woman. While Finn is on the moral high ground there is sadly no debating that Kaycee’s methods have yielded valuable scientific data. Just because it might be immoral it would be a damn shame to not use that information.
Back to present day and Kaycee is missing underneath Loch Ness. Matilda is called in to save him by… the similarly surnamed Arcturus. This could be interesting. Matilda doesn’t tell the other agents her true last name and this is going to be a fascinating back story over the course of four issues.
A well drawn story too. Johnson got me three times within the pages of one issue. His anatomy is ridiculously good. Even made up creatures that obviously don’t have a photo reference look grounded in the reality of muscle and skeletal structures. He draws the best fist to the face I may have ever seen in near thirty years of reading comics. Finally there is a scene with a monster that brought tears to my eyes. I don’t want to reveal because this issue is well worth every penny. As a parent though it was very upsetting and even if every other part of the story was horrible I would still read the rest just for closure. That’s how you make a powerful scene.
Thankfully its not awful and there is some great world building in here. So much foreshadowing, so many hints to reveals that will no doubt blow the readers minds. Fish tank. Seriously, that’s all I’m going to say. Fish tank. It completely threw me for a loop and I had to reread pages to understand what happened. Its comics like this that show the true beauty of the medium. The combination of words and pictures together that exceeds what either can do on their own.
Midnight Society: The Black Lake is going to be a sleeper hit for Dark Horse. Get in with this first issue and gloat over every one else when they pay 10 times cover.