Written by: Drew Edward Johnson
Art by: Drew Edward Johnson & Lizzy John
Publisher: Dark Horse
Midnight Society: The Black Lake #1 is visually stunning and smartly written. I adored everything about the issue; from its mythological backbone to its vastly detailed artwork, I was hooked from the beginning and will be a big advocate for Drew’s new comic run. The story follows Matilda Finn, a secret agent working for MI: Omega as she heads to the deepest, darkest recesses of the Loch Ness in search of a missing cryptozoologist and his team of researchers.
One of the first things that stuck out was Drew’s ability to create fantastic character interaction that is parallel to a tense and creepy atmosphere. It reminded me a lot of Mike Mignola in tone and pacing, which is always a good thing—still making the tale feel completely unique and fresh. It felt as though this first issue was much longer than it was (in a good way) because of the sheer amount of story written and ground covered—a lot happened and I managed to feel completely immersed in its gothic beauty. No point felt over-laboured and the writing shone with a calm and naturally lucid pace. Matilda Finn could be a great lead character and is portrayed as a strong and smart woman—maybe Drew’s work on Wonder Woman gave him the grounds to create a female lead with the same integrity and appeal. I also loved the story because of Drew’s decision to use one of history’s greatest myths at the forefront of science fiction storytelling; the fable of the Loch Ness monster has never really been done justice, but finally we get to see it at the centrepiece of a new, exhilarating comic that has bags of potential to bring this mythical beast to life.
I’ve never seen artwork this thorough before. Every panel is bursting with attention to detail that brings each character to life and gives you the impression that Drew is an artist unlike any other. The characters are drawn with every ripple in their clothing and expression on their face massively different to the next and it is obvious in these nuances that a lot of time has been spent making sure that the artwork is perfect in its delivery. Lizzy John has also coloured each panel to perfection, accentuating the details—giving vibrancy to the story and helping the overall appeal of Midnight Society: The Black Lake #1 to blow all other comics out of the water.
Sometimes, when established writers create their own comics, the results can be a little underwhelming—failing to hit the mark if at all, but Drew has risen above the rest to produce a genuinely thrilling and entertaining story that is littered with great characters and rich mythology. The artwork is spectacular and for someone to both write and draw such a great first issue is seldom found in today’s industry. Seriously, I cannot rate this highly enough and I’ll definitely be coming back for the next chapter in the story.