||The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's general notability guideline. (June 2013)|
Cover to the collected edition.
|Publication date||October 2000 –
|Number of issues||12 regular issues, one special (#½)|
|Main character(s)||David Grey
|Writer(s)||J. Michael Straczynski|
Midnight Nation is a religious-themed twelve-issue American comic book limited series, created by J. Michael Straczynski and published from 2000 to 2002 by Top Cow Productions under their now defunct Joe's Comics imprint. It is about a man who is killed, in a sense, and is on a journey to save his soul.
Los Angeles police officer Lieutenant David Grey encounters a brutal murder. When he tracks down a possible lead he encounters strange, goblin-like men who attack him. When he awakes, Grey finds himself in a hospital, and those around him have become translucent and can no longer see him. It is explained to him by his mysterious guide Laurel that he has lost his soul and he has now been plunged into a shadow world that runs parallel to our own. Here is where all the abandoned and forgotten people and things go.
David is told that without his soul he will slowly become like "the Walkers", the monstrous people he encountered who attacked him. David must travel on foot to New York where "The Other Guy" holds his soul. Laurel has guided many others on the same journey before, but none have survived the trip.
Along the way David encounters various tests, such as fighting these Walkers, meeting his future self, slowly losing his mind and his sense of self, and finally falling in love with Laurel, who is not in fact human. He also saves his ex-wife (who had walked out on him years earlier due to his unwavering dedication to his job as a police officer) from the Walkers. The deterioration of his marriage had left him despondent even before his soul was stolen, and it wasn't until he met Laurel that he felt a reason to live once again. He also encounters an enigmatic old man who seems immune to the Walkers attacks and has no fear of them, and is able to drive them away in terror. It is later revealed that he is Lazarus, and has been waiting since Jesus told him to do so for him to return. He is currently watched over by an angel wielding a flaming sword.
When David finally reaches New York, the Other Guy begins to lecture him on things such as life, hope, God, and humanity. He tells him that hope is a lie and that he intends to increase misery around the world until all of humanity becomes like the abandoned and forgotten people he met on his trip through the parallel world. When that is done, he can recreate the world as he sees fit. He then forces David to feel all the suffering humanity has felt over its existence, which causes him to temporarily lose his sanity and run through the streets as one of the Walkers.
Meanwhile, Laurel has surrendered herself to the Other Guy like she always does: it is in the rules, written by God Himself, that she must follow. He asks her to rebel against God as he did, but she refuses, never giving up hope. As David runs through the streets of New York, he sees a mannequin that resembles Laurel in a shop window. He remembers his humanity and his love for Laurel and returns to the Other Guy's lair where he finds Laurel being nailed to a circular wooden board.
The Other Guy tells him that Laurel was lying to him about his soul: if he recovers it he will become one of the Walkers; if he doesn't, he'll cease to belong to either world. The Other Guy also informs him that if he gives his soul to Laurel, she will cease to be an agent of God (for that is what she truly is) and be freed from her endless cycle of guiding humans to regain their souls, and she will be reborn as a human. If he gives his soul to her, he'll prove hope exists to all those who have fallen into the nether-realm. Out of his love for Laurel and his own tireless dedication to the forces of good, David does the unthinkable and sacrifices his soul to Laurel.
Years later, David has moved on with his life, becoming a source of hope for those who have fallen through the cracks in society.[clarification needed]
A deluxe, oversized hardcover edition was released in 2009. It includes Midnight Nation #1-12, the Wizard #1/2 issue, a cover gallery, and extras such as a script, layout page, and super-gloss poster (ISBN 978-1607060406).
- The Book of Lost Souls, a Marvel/Icon title in which Straczynski explores themes similar to those of Midnight Nation.