Midnight Nation 6
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.
Issue 6 marks the halfway point of Midnight Nation. It bares the appropriate title, "Midway to Judgment".
Over the last few issues, David Grey has come to the realization that part of his journey in the metaphorical world of Midnight Nation requires him to come to terms with why he might belong in this world. As he travels, he realizes how poorly he treated his ex-wife, Sarah. He regrets that he was the cause of his marriage's failure.
David encourages Laurel to travel through Chicago. He secretly hopes to visit Sarah as they pass through.
The nature of David's condition of evolving into a Walker allows him the limited ability to interact with the real world. Unfortunately, David learns that this ability comes with a cost. The more he uses the power of the Walkers, the faster he becomes one.
David's effort to contact Sarah also has costs for Sarah and Laurel.
David's transformation into a Walker is obviously more than a simple physical or even metaphysical transformation. There is obviously some element of choice involved. In Issue 5 we saw evidence of temptation. We also saw how Laurel's previous companion was pushed beyond hope to the point where he succumbed to the Other Guy. In this issue, the Walkers accelerate their efforts to push David beyond hope.
David and Laurel are more confrontational with each other in this issue than they have been previously. Laurel obviously holds little hope for their mission. She is almost an automaton who carries on with their journey despite her frustration because she has no other choice. We do get another hint about Laurel's origin, but still no explanation.
Straczynski's writing is vividly effective, and Gary Frank's artwork continues to be exemplary. The scenes of the Walker's treatment of Sarah are particularly disturbing.
Issue 6 ends at the peak of the roller coaster hill. Time is running out for David Grey, and the story will accelerate from here as he rushes towards his fate.
The synopsis provides a detailed summary of Issue 6. It contains spoilers.