"Nightfall" (Part 1 of 2)
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artists: Alex Sanchez (p), Jack Purcell (i), Pete Pantazis (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics
In my review of issue #19 of this series, my opening paragraph involved my reasoning for why I like the character of Dr. Pieter Cross a.k.a. Doctor Mid-Nite by comparing him to my all time favorite character, Batman (and also to his alter ego, Bruce Wayne). Although I won’t be going into the same rant again, I will say that this issue reaffirmed all those differences between Doc-M and the Bat. Most of all, it is the aura of peace that the Doc radiates that gets me the most. There is a sense of stability about this character that extends not only to his teammates and friends but also the other people he might meet. Well, not the bad guys (they get Dr. M’s trademark "blackout" treatment).
The blackout treatment is exactly what this issue kicks off and ends with. The only difference is that the first blackout is delivered by Mid-Nite against a man who has taken his own wife and daughter hostage, and the second blackout is delivered against the good Doctor himself. The cause? Wait for it. Wait. Here you go. A vampire. Yes people, in this adventure the scientific mind of Pieter Cross has to go up against the supernatural force (of evil) that is a damn dirty bloodsucking vampire. Where’s Chuck Heston and his trusty boom-stick when you need him? Then again in this case, Ash Williams (from Army of Darkness) would be the more suitable choice, complete with his chainsaw arm.
While his previous JSA:C adventure (issues #19-20, "Skin Trade") had a more serious feel about it, this one has a liberal sprinkling of the funny stuff, the dry humor kind. Be it his conversation with the police detective or the banter with the vampire wannabe in the vampire clubhouse, Mid-Nite seems to be at ease, which given that he is "taking a few days off" is rather apt.
If there is one weak point about this story it is the artwork. It's not inherently bad, it is just a bit too "wrinkly" in places. In addition, while he is able to express the character’s emotions and reactions through their eyes, penciller Alex Sanchez cannot extend it to encompass the whole face, let alone the body. Still, Mid-Nite’s vampire bite scene comes off much better than the other "biting" scene out this week. Y’know, the one from 52.
Conclusion: After a forgettable two issues (for someone who cares neither for Hawkman or for the current Hawkgirl title), JSA:C returns with yet another whodunit mystery, only this time it is as much of a whatdunit as a who.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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