I love reviewing new comic books . . . first books of new series that are teetering on the brink of either breaking big or breaking bad. There is something special about feeling “in the know” when something is too awesome to keep to yourself.
I wish I had that feeling about Midnight Task Force.
The story is fairly complex. We are inserted into Detroit in the year 2055 as a crime is about to happen. As it turns out, we later learn that this is actually the third of a similar pattern of murders that is more and more pointing to a serial killer. In steps anti-hero Aiden McCormick, a self-described genius and a detective in the Detroit PD.
His skills are renowned and untouchable when it comes to solving the really complex cases. As he begins to investigate this third murder, he is asked to assist in a kidnapping investigation that serves as a vehicle to show his investigative skills. The kidnapping is solved in several pages and we return to the murder.
This is when he reveals his backstory in a conversation with the police commissioner and the mayor. We learn that Aiden was an orphan who was trained along with other children to utilize his genius for the military. A mission gone wrong allowed the intelligence of his team to be absorbed into his brain, giving him the mental capacity of 4 geniuses.
This is a really good looking book. The art is amazing and the colors are hypnotizing. I found myself going back and scanning each page multiple times looking for more intricate and fun details. Details like the different color framing utilized for each of Aiden’s internal dialogues with his other genius personalities. Details like the green hue when Aiden used his special detective glasses. The look is thoroughly modern and almost looks rendered, but it is clearly hand drawn and really good.
The story is a lot of fun with a great deal of promise; however, the writing is a bit stilted and clichéd, making it a bit of a challenge to read at time. I search my internal thesaurus and come up with “choppy” as the best adjective. There are moments when it flows with a real maturity to the storyline (a real MA, adults-only book), and then, suddenly, it will feel like a different writer stepped in and wanted to make sure it appealed to all ages and Aiden’s “detective talk” made sense.
Mad Cave Studios is a cool collection of new artists and seems to understand what people want, which is refreshing in the world of big corporate publishers. Indie comics are definitely hot and equally cool. I hope they keep building their list of offerings with these artists. There is something really good here…and I will keep reading.