Pullbox Reviews: Midnight Task Force #1 – A Supernatural/Cyberpunk Murder Mystery

midnight-coverMidnight Task Force #1
Mad Cave Studios
Written by Mark London
Art by Alejandro Giraldo & Julian Gonzalez
Layouts by Andy King
Issues 1 & 2 available now!

In the year 2055, Detroit is a dystopian, nightmare fueled city in need of salvation. In order for schizophrenic anti-hero, Detective Aiden McCormick to find justice for the destitute citizens of Detroit, he will have to listen to the voices in his head.

In 2055, the city of Detroit has a serial killer on the loose. His/her victims have nothing in common, except for the obvious. Similarities in their deaths include the removal of the victims’ eyes, a triangle carved into their flesh, and the presence of metal fragments at the crime scenes that suggest the use of small explosive charges. On the plus side, Detroit PD has Detective Aiden McCormick on their side. Always the smartest man in the room, Aiden is obsessed with puzzles of all kinds, and he looks at crime scenes as the biggest puzzles of all.

What no else knows is that Aiden also has help. As the head of a military special operations team before his time with Detroit’s police department, Aiden led his elite squad into the most difficult assignments. They were considered the best of the best, holding the highest success rate of any other unit, but they were killed in action in Afghanistan. The only one left alive, Aiden McCormick carries the emotional and physical scars. He also somehow carries the personalities of his team, and together they’re still solving the toughest assignments.

Mad Cave Studios is still an up and coming publishing company, but they’ve got a cool mix of titles on their roster already. After I had the chance to chat with the guys running their booth at Wizard World Chicago this year, I picked up a few of their books and did a write up on their fantasy title Battle Cats. Now, with Midnight Task Force it looks like they’re taking a swing at a story blending elements of urban fantasy and cyberpunk. It’s a pretty cool concept, and like their other titles it’s got a great look to it, compliments of the art by Alejandro Giraldo and Julian Gonzalez.

Overall, as a new title Midnight Task Force does its job very well, presenting an interesting concept with a slick look. The one area that might throw some readers is in the dialogue. If you were to ask most writers, though, creating smooth and natural sounding dialogue is one of the toughest aspects of writing. With that in mind, I’m hoping that people can be a little more forgiving and let writer Mark London catch his stride. In all other aspects of the story, London has concocted a piece of work that should stand apart from the crowd. Aiden McCormick is as flawed and damaged a protagonist as a reader could hope for. As the details of his condition come through- is he really hearing the voices of his old SpecOps team or is he insane?- there’s a lot of potential for development and growth.

Take a look at Midnight Task Force, and the other titles from Mad Cave Studios. They’re putting together some really cool titles that don’t look like stuff that’s already been done.




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