After its successful Kickstarter project I was glad to see Midnight Tiger picked up by Action Lab. It was a story I was eager to read and with Action Lab I knew that it would get a wide release and I would have my opportunity to read it. What’s noticeable from the very beginning is that there’s a lot of world building going on. That means character introduction and the threading of plot lines that will play out later in the series. After a few pages of that we meet the Midnight Tiger aka Gavin. We don’t quite know his entire origin, but his powers showed up after getting his guts ripped out and being in a coma… not a fun way to discover your powers I imagine, but I appreciated that change in pace. It also goes to show that Tiger lives in a violent and dangerous city.
His first act of the night is saving a family from being mugged. It’s actually the janitor from his school which makes him wonder why they’re in the ghetto at night. There’s a great homage with this scene that you’ll have be careful not to miss. I was laughing my ass off it was that great. The fight that breaks out after the family has cleared out is very thrilling and also shows that our young hero is still learning… learning how to not get shot that is. Luckily he’s a fast healer.
The next day we follow Gavin to school and see the toll being a crime fighter and student is having on his schedule. Three thuggish looking dudes role down the hallway towards Gavin and his friends and one of them shoves Gavin into the lockers. Strangely enough, it’s a former friend of Gavin’s.
What’s strange is that after Gavin defends himself alè Peter Parker/Flash Thompson style, the two end up in the dean of discipline’s office and the former friend asks Gavin what his problem is. It’s interesting since he’s the one that started the initial conflict, but I kind of took it as a cry for help. Also Gavin pretty much turned his back on this friend when he was forced to join a gang.
Heroes shouldn’t be perfect and that character flaw humanized Gavin. Otherwise he was the crime fighting, staying up late, defender of the weaker kids and that’s nothing new. It just goes to show that he can be guilty of judging people without first understanding their reasons and motives. Deep writing if you ask me and I would expect nothing less from the creative team of DeWayne Feenstra and Ray-Anthony Height.
The art is a great style for the superhero genre. At first glance you would think this was a new character from one of the big two, but instead it’s a high quality small press series with indie roots. The action was easy to follow and Midnight Tiger has a great suit that’s iconic which is important for the superhero genre.
What’s also notable about this issue and series is that it’s kid friendly. Granted I wouldn’t hand it to a little kid, but middle school and up is definitely a great fit. It really reminds me of the comics I read in high school and those are still some of my favorite issues to re-read and think about today. Hopefully Midnight Tiger will be that type of issue for a younger generation.
Writers: DeWayne Feenstra, Ray-Anthony Height Artist: Ray-Anthony Height Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 8/13/14 Format: Print/Digital