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Crossing Midnight #5

Posted: Friday, April 6, 2007
By: Martijn Form



Writer: Mike Carey
Artists: Jim Fern (p), Mark Pennington (i), Jose Villarrubia (colors)

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo


Plot: The conclusion of the two part story arc "Cut Here."

Comments: "Öbut I will give the creative team the benefit of the doubt and will stick to Crossing Midnight for a couple more issues."

Thatís what I wrote in the last line of my review of issue #4. At the time I thought that was the truth, but I know better now!

Itís no disaster, like a Tsunami, but Iím gonna leave Crossing Midnight alone from now on. It will let it collect dust on the shelves of my comic store. I will make them erase this title from my pull list. Crossing Midnight #1 through #5 will be boarded, put in plastic and then placed into a box in the attic. And I will forget all about it.

I can imagine that Mike Carey has a plan for this book. Why else would Vertigo publish this? They must have seen the synopsis of the great saga Mike Carey is trying to build. The Vertigo editors must have been told that this will be fantasy like the epic The Lord of The Rings.

A Vertigo title will always get the benefit of the doubt from me because I feel totally comfortable with this publisher. But the creative team isnít getting my vote anymore. Mike Carey may be a brilliant writer, but after five issues Crossing Midnight doesn't seem to have any direction. Itís probably because Iím not intelligent enough. I canít see the grand scope of Mike Careyís writing.

To show you further that I lack intelligence, I'll confess that I donít understand Jim Fern's art either. I donít understand his artistic decisions. But again itís maybe because I do not understand comicsÖ

The art is emotionless. A panel looks like a snap shot taken a second too late for that golden moment. Like it's hanging in mid air. My doctor says I got flat feet, but these panels are flatter than my size 10. Jimís art looks like the work of an architect: precise and accurate ink lines without telling an emotional story. Itís like looking at a freezer. There isnít one moment that shakes you around. Itís the art that makes this story duller than it should be. (Ooh, sorry donít forget the boring colours!)

The way the story is told is childish and not Vertigo worthy. There isnít one panel in the whole book worth remembering or to give it a second glance. The first issueís story concentrated on the twins and their relationship as they were being threatened by an evil samurai.

But now we dive into the story of their dad. This has absolutely no meaning for the story. Okay itís a twist, but will it be of any interest to the ongoing story. I doubt it. Mike Carey sets a scene, tells half the story and leaves the restÖ well, where does it leave the rest? I could have read this issue in under 10 minutes, and understood the whole story through and through. Iím not that kind of reader who is put off by one bad issue. I always will give a new series a chance until the end of the first story arc. But I need to leave Mike Carey alone for while.

The cover of this issue is a great metaphor for Crossing Midnight. Itís chaotic and pushing hard to pretend to be multilayered, but it just isnít there.



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