Written by Mo Ali
Art by Andy Bloor
Published by Badmother Publishing
The Comic: Falling from Big Ben whilst being chased by a possessed horse from the American Civil War, the time travelling vigilante Midnight Man has had stranger days. Can he foil the plans of a malevolent time-spanning cabal, and save humanity in the process? He might be out of luck, he’s possibly out of time and he’s definately out of his mind. Get ready for some TEMPORAL, BULLET ACTION.’
The Review: Midnight Man opens with full out frenetic action with the smashing of Big Ben’s face by an arrow-faced man. The story does not hesitate for a moment and within a few panels the enigmatic faceless central character jumps in time, meets a maiden by a lake and shoots a demonic horse in the head. I’m gripped from moment one onwards.
“What is this craziness?” I am thinking as I flip the pages. The story comes off initially as a 1984/V for Vendetta influenced comic in a sequentially revolutionary way but switches pace and tone time and time again. Our hero(?) finds himself jumping onto a commuter train travelling through the clouds. Fights a mecha and encounters a Dragon Lady who in turn dispatches a mystically solid hologram style dragon on him as the pair fall through the air into a Blade Runner-esque cityscape.
It turns out that the arrow is in fact the hand of a clock and that our Midnight Man is full of surprises and mystery. I won’t spoil the story, but we get a showdown at an Aztec temple and more (many more) plot twists.
This book is a glorious two fingers raised at the boring three/seven act structures of modern comics. We get messed with mentally in both structure and narrative page after page and the art explodes outwards in a flurry of black and white lysergic acid for my eyeballs. The creative side of my brain is shouting “Finally!” at every sweep and turn of this story. It creates its own illogical and crazy mythos. It makes no sense – but does so with full knowledge of this fact and revels in the anarchy. You can easily see some influence from The Matrix trilogy but it’s done in such a way that Neo wouldn’t stand a chance against this nutter.
The Midnight Man himself is part Trenchcoat Brigade, part magician and part anarchist outsider. He steamrollers through the lunacy of his story with an automatic pistol and a winking knowingness as to its secrets. We see his involvement in historical events: JFK and Jack the Ripper make appearances and he even fences with Maggie Thatcher.
The book evokes the good old days of the 1980s of Black and white comics like TMNT, Marvel UK’s “Night Raven” and Warrior. Seek this out at a Convention. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the creators do for the second issue.
Many thanks for reading.