Comic Review: Midnight Tiger #1

Midnight Tiger #1
Written by DeWayne Feenstra and Ray-Anthony Height
Art by Ray-Anthony Height
Covers by Ray-Anthony Height and Jerry Gaylord
Action Lab Comics
Release Date: July 30, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

There’s a term I’ve heard stand-up comedians use when trying to determine why a joke didn’t connect with the audience. It’s called “being too inside your own head.” It means that what the comedian thought was funny was too layered in personal experience that the audience didn’t have a way to access the material. Any story that ends with the phrase “I guess you had to be there” is a good example. So too is Midnight Tiger #1.

It’s not that Midnight Tiger is a bad story; it’s just too hard to get into. The exposition is too weedy, the characters are too underdeveloped, and the back-story is too vague to provide readers an adequate view on what is happening and what has already happened. There’s a fine line between building intrigue and not providing enough information, and unfortunately, there is too much of the latter. I got the impression that the writers have an idea of the back story for these characters, but the details are poorly revealed. Gavin Shaw apparently got his superpowers after a terrible incident that left him in a coma for three days. Was he attacked by a radioactive tiger? Are gamma rays involved at all? I’m curious about these things, but there are no further details. When I was done reading, I actually went to see if I missed an issue that explained all of this, but alas, there was none.

One positive is that the art is well executed, overall. Except for a few panels with perspective issues that gave me pause, it was a nice looking book. Unfortunately, for as good as it looks, the humor, dialog, and story development need some polish. There is room for improvement here, but Midnight Tiger is off to a rocky start.

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