Home > Vertigo > Midnight, Mass.: Here There Be Monsters #1

Midnight, Mass.: Here There Be Monsters #1

January 27, 2004

Quick Rating: Great
Title: Arturo

The Kadmons are back… and so are the monsters!

Writer: John Rozum
Art: Paul Lee
Colors: Sherri Van Valkenburgh
Letters: Janice Chiang
Editor: Zachary Rau
Cover Art: Tomer Hakuna
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

For those of you who didn’t read the first Midnight, Mass. miniseries… boy, did you miss out. But don’t worry, I’ll catch you up. Adam and Julia Kadmon are monster-hunters, paranormal investigators and celebrities. This husband and wife team are world-famous for killing monsters, exorcising evil spirits and generally making the world safe for normal people like you and me. It’s like Ghostbusters crossed with The X-Files.

Fortunately, the first issue of this new six-issue run does not depend on the first miniseries at all — I’ve already given you all you should need to pick up this first issue in which a new threat arises. When we’re kids, we’re all afraid of the monsters that crawl out from beneath our beds in the dead of night. In the world of the Kadmons, the monsters are real, they’re mad, and they want to come out and play.

Rozum has created some really great characters in this series. In addition to the menacing (yet darkly humorous) monsters, Adam and Julia are incredibly surprising in their sheer normalcy, considering their unusual life. For some reason it has become very rare in comic books to see a husband and wife who genuinely, unabashedly love each other. They may fight and bicker, they may disagree sometimes like all couples do, but at the core they compliment and complete one another. It’s incredibly refreshing to see a story about a married couple where the meat of the conflict doesn’t come from one another, but from the outside forces that create the bulk of the story.

And let’s not forget the monsters — Paul Lee has designed some seriously creepy creatures here, but he hasn’t lost any of the wit and charm that Rozum puts into his scripts. Many of the monster designs look like the sort of thing a kid would draw or the kind of monster you would see in a child’s cartoon, except magnified and made more horrific. They are, to be blunt, ugly, ugly creatures, and still a whole lot of fun.

“Fun,” in fact, is probably the best single word to describe Midnight, Mass. It’s the Vertigo title that tackles the same demons and creatures that most Vertigo titles do, but it does it with a lot of wit and a self-aware smirk the entire time. Now if only DC would put out a trade paperback of the first series, you guys could catch up and see what I’m talking about. But don’t let that keep you from giving this book a try.

Rating: 9/10

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