ADVANCE REVIEW: Midnight Society: The Black Lake #1

Midnight Society: The Black Lake #1
Drew Edward Johnson (W/A/Cover), Lizzy John (C)
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale June 10

How do you balance what you are against what outside forces make you? This is one of the problems facing Matilda Finn in this new horror / pulp book from Dark Horse.

The story starts with a falling out of two friends and actions taken that will no doubt lead to cataclysmic repercussions. Whilst on a faerie hunt, Major Finn and Professor Kaycee discover something  else entirely. Cue a chase through the tunnels, with a modicum of technology and we reach the termination of a partnership and the aforementioned friendship. Fast forward a few years and we are introduced to Matilda, who has doubts about what is asked of her, but reconciles these doubts and agrees to go look for the now missing Professor Kaycee. So it’s on to Loch Ness, with an increase of characters, in the shape of the boat crew and the horrors that lie beneath.

Written and drawn by Drew Edward Johnson, the book wears it pulpy heart proudly on its sleeve. The influences are many, from Indiana Jones and The Mummy, to Doc Savage and dare I say, Buffy. This is the strength of the book. Johnson states his love of pulp stories and this shows throughout, both in the writing and the art, the latter much stronger in the first half of the book. With strong lines helping the characters stand out from an equally impressive backgrounds, the book starts, visually, in an impressive manner. The art kind of then moves with the story, both becoming a little flat after Matilda’s introduction. I did like the walk through the Museum which contains a certain curiosity, that serves to reminds and alludes to the past and current state of the relationship between the Major and the Professor. Usually about this time, I talk about the colours, supplied by Lizzy John whose work looks great in all the environments, helping to create the quality I expect from a Dark Horse book. Additionally, the lettering, by Steve Dutro is also adds to the overall look and feel.

The book ends on a somewhat of a cliff hanger, it’s maybe not the most dramatic one I have ever seen, but there is enough curiosity to whet the appetite. On the whole, the book is what it is. The first issue does the job, reaching first base and waiting for the clean up hitters of the subsequent issues to drive the story home to, hopefully, an engaging and fun conclusion.

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