Matt's Fave Comics 2008 – Batman: Gotham After Midnight

Matt's Fave Comics 2008 – Batman: Gotham After Midnight

Dec 28

I’m a sucker for Batman comics, even half-baked ones, but I don’t think this Steve Niles/Kelley Jones maxiseries is half-baked at all. It’s pretty fully baked. It probably helps to be baked when you read it. I wouldn’t know. Just a guess.


I read some of Jones’ original run as artist back in the day, when he was paired with writer Doug Moench, but I don’t think I was mature enough to understand what he was doing, which is taking Batman in a completely unexplored artistic direction.

His Batman is literally a “creature of the night,” distended and macabre, bearing no relationship to the reality of how human beings look or behave. He inhabits a shadow city that’s a descendant of the outrageous distortions created by Dick Sprang and others in the 40s and 50s–the giant typewriters, cash registers, and the like. Except Jones’ Gotham and his Batman are defined by “gothic” and exploit that visual style’s heightened emotional states to dynamic, occasionally disturbing effect.

Jones is a perfect fit for Niles’ script, which leans heavily on the supernatural, the strange, and the horrifying. The total package is a reliable, sumptuous dose of dark, ghoulish Batman every month, and that’s nothing to be sneezed at.

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