Tom Hodges and Terri Hodges have set off on an ambitious journey. They've launched a new publishing company called Antiis Comics and used Kickstarter to create their first issue of Antiis Comics Presents: Midknight. While I was at the Phoenix Comicon, Tom came by and gave me a copy of the book to read and talked to me about the companies plan to create a universe of characters a few issues at a time. The first storyarc will focus on Midknight and introduce some other heroes in the background. The next arc will focus on one of those other heroes while introducing more.
It's a bold opening… but, for it to work, they have to put out a good comic.
The first story of Midknight feels familiar enough that you get right into the grove quickly. Some elements feel like Batman while others are almost Doc Savage. The hero is a doctor by day, partnered with his wife who is currently on hiatus from costumed adventuring to have a baby. She's also the DA who is trying to put away the criminal known as Gordo the Clown, a Joker-like villain. Midknight also faces off against Slythur, a Killer Croc or Lizard type villain.
But Midknight is not Batman. He's not brooding and superior. He helps the police stop a killer, stops a hold up, gets a cat out of a tree and poses for a selfie. Unlike Bruce Wayne, David D'ville is having fun while protecting Philadelphia… and Hodges is having fun with the book. His hero makes out-dated pop culture references and obviously loves his wife and family.
This oddly reminds me of the days of Malibu comics when they created their Superhero universe that included Hardcase, Prime and Mantra. It feels like the start of something big, colorful and fun. But it brings up the question, how big could it get if Hodges the only writer / artist working on the book?
Actiis Comics Presents: Midknight #1 is a well drawn, fun story that promises so much more. Hodges art along with Jeremiah Skipper's colors stand up nicely to most other comics on the shelf. Pick up a copy if you can… you could be getting in on the ground floor of something big.
And you can jump in on the second issue Kickstarter here.