Issue 9 Synopsis

Midnight Nation 9

Review by Mike Helba

Midnight Nation is a 12-issue comic book series written by J. Michael Straczynski and published by Top Cow under the Joe's Comics imprint.

After a long wait, Midnight nation 9 has finally arrived. In this issue, David Grey and Laurel face the Other Guy in a hellish version of New York City.

This is it. Issue 9 of Midnight Nation is the lynchpin of this miniseries. Almost every thing J. Michael Straczynski writes makes you think - really think. He can write brilliant characters and stunning action, but it's the passages that make you think that I admire the most. Midnight Nation has three issues left, and I eagerly await them, but Issue 9 is obviously the one intended to make us think.

How does Straczynski do this? He makes us listen to the Other Guy, the so-called villain who stole David Grey's soul. Throughout the story, the Other Guy is implied to be someone akin to the Devil.

Straczynski allows the Other Guy to air his grievances, to explain why he directs the Walkers to commit atrocities. When the Other Guy asks questions, we are prompted to repeat them. His points are all valid. One can turn to religion or other sources to find opposing viewpoints or the ability to ignore the question, but that doesn't make the Other Guy's points any less valid.

Straczynski has employed this concept before. It relates to "the end justifies the means." One character may oppose another, but when he learns the reasons and goals of his opponents, his own opposition is drawn into question. Straczynski pulls this off far better in Midnight Nation than he ever has before.

I was entertained by the odd behavior of the Walkers in Issue 9. I am still confounded by Laurel's behavior. I want to know why she seems to play along with the opposition. Most of all, however, I am grateful to once again read an offering from Joe Straczynski that makes me think.

The synopsis provides a detailed summary of Issue 9. It contains spoilers.