Remember that big monster we’ve been waiting on to show up? It finally shows up. Is it good?
Midnight Society: The Black Lake #3 (Dark Horse Comics)
Matilda Finn (HA! I see what you did there, Johnson) drags poor Billy through the water, which most assuredly has trails of urine leading away from his pants due to hideous creature bearing down on them.
But how long can Matilda keep this up? Humans can only stay under water for a short amount of time. Add in having to drag a person around while swimming for your life, and that window becomes exponentially smaller.
Of course, we’ve all known for a while now that Matilda isn’t exactly human. I won’t spoil what she is other than a complete and total badass. And forget superhero redesigns — Drew Edward Johnson illustrates Matilda’s other form into a [mythical creature I don’t want to mention in case you didn’t catch the obvious clues last issue] into perfect blend of beautiful and alien appearance.
There are also a lot of secondary characters talking to each other in heavy accents, but that’s not really important. There’s an awesome undersea chase going on, after all, which is also juxtaposed with our first really good look into Matilda’s mysterious past.
Is It Good?
Now THAT’s more like it. I’ve been pretty hard on this series so far, but artist/writer Drew Edward Johnson finally came through.
For starters, his art is (as usual) fantastic. This issue, however, takes it to a whole new level. Not only do we get to see him render an awesome creature, but the chase scene between it and Matilda is gorgeously choreographed.
As far as the story goes, this is the first time that Midnight Society: The Black Lake felt narratively relevant… most of the time, anyway. The stuff with the dudes on the dock could have been cut way back, especially considering how good the scenes with Matilda were. The information about her past is still a little fragmented, but it’s also extremely tantalizing. I’ve gone from ‘What the heck?’ to ‘I want to know more.’ We also get a major link to the previous issues’ flashbacks that help the series as a whole to feel much more connected.
I still think that Johnson spends far too much time on characters that don’t impact the story very much. But the stunning artwork and rapidly congealing plot has definitely changed my current opinion of the title. Another issue like this and I’ll be on board for whatever new tale Matilda Finn swims to next.
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