Comic: "Crossing Midnight: Cut Here"
Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Mike Carey
Artist: Jim Fern, Eric Nguyen
Plot: A young father makes an offering to the god Aratsu, Lord of Swords, and in return he is blessed with extraordinary twins, one born on either side of midnight. Fifteen years later, Aratsu shows up and takes Toshi to his realm as payment for their father's prayer. Her brother Kai takes it upon himself to find her and bring her back.
Review: Mike Carey tends to be a bit hit or miss with me. Some of his superhero books tend to be a bit spotty, but when he delves into the realms of fantasy and horror, he hits a home run nearly every time. This is no exception to that rule, being a fascinating blend of both.
Those of you who are interested in Japanese mythology and/or culture will find something to love in this book. Carey's own interest in Japanese folklore first became apparent to me during his run on Lucifer, but in this book he really gets to explore that fascination full time. I've heard a lot of people compare this book to the works of Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, and there certainly are some similarities there. If you enjoy the high fantasy element of his work, then you will undoubtedly like Crossing Midnight.
Carey does a wonderful job of blending modern-day Japan with elements of ancient folklore, and the result is a world where it feels like absolutely anything can happen. Mythical beasts and gods cross over into the mundane world with ease, unseen by most, just as the characters in this book traverse (with a bit more difficulty) the borders into realms unknown to most humans.
Jim Fern's artwork is perfectly suited to the book, looking somewhat Asian-influenced to my untrained eye. And the coloring has a watercolorish look to it that really gives the book a unique feel, unlike any of the others I read.
Unfortunately, there is talk of this book being canceled due to low sales. The bean counters who oversee the Vertigo imprint have been rather overzealous with their axing of books of late, and I feel that this is one of the best, most imaginative books currently being published. The only problem is that nobody is reading it. Seriously, if you think this is something you might be interested in, do yourself a favor and pick up the first volume, "Cut Here", and if you enjoy it, keep on supporting the book, because stories of this quality come along rarely and deserve to reach a proper conclusion when they do. If you like it, tell your friends to check it out. Spread the word. Your interest just may be able to save a great story from a premature ending.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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