One of the brand new series to come out this first week of June from DC Comics is Midnighter. The Wildstorm characters haven’t actually had the best of series since the New 52 was launched, with most of them failing due to low sales and/or low quality. This one may have a better chance though, since it’s spinning out of the very successful and fantastic title, Grayson.
Does it provide the same amount of fun and quality as that title? Is it good?
Midnighter #1 (DC Comics)
Let’s meet Midnighter. He was a member of Stormwatch (or maybe he still is), has a computer in his brain, is a sort of superhero/vigilante with no qualms about killing, and he kicks all kinds of ass. He’s also on the lookout for love and maybe onto something right now. However, there is trouble brewing that he’ll need to address soon.
The first issue of Midnighter is an interesting one. The comic does a good job of getting you into the Midnighter character, even giving a good enough reason for us to learn his background without it feeling shoed-in or unnatural (we learn it as he talks about himself to his date). Outside of very unnatural dialogue and exchanges at points, of which there are certainly a few, you do really come to understand and get his character rather well. It’s good for new fans, returning fans (though I’m not sure how they’ll feel about him being broken up with Apollo), or people who got interested in the character after seeing his appearances in Grayson.
Well that was certainly something.
That being said, the comic itself feels pretty flawed when it comes to other aspects. Besides being a character-focused issue, the focus for the series doesn’t come in until the very end, where it felt a tad crammed into one page. It’s like writer Steve Orlando forgot about what he established in the opening scene and then had to immediately jump back to it at the last second. I really think the final pages could have been better scripted so the ending didn’t felt so abrupt and shoved in, like maybe having the opening action piece at the end to establish what happened (also to space the action in the comic a bit better as well). Don’t get me wrong, the ending had a great hook to it that could lead to somewhere interesting, but its execution was lacking.
The dialogue felt awkward, stilted, and unnatural a lot of the time, being rather hard to follow with what exactly the people were talking about or what the point they were making was. This is very evident when the cannon fodder bad guys early on show up and make their big speech or in the final scene with Midnighter talking to his date the day after their big night. It even feels slightly padded in areas, apparent in an out of nowhere superfluous sex scene that adds nothing to the character and seems just tacked on. These aspects of the story and writing really do the hold the comic back a lot, which is a shame since the regular writing mechanics are done well.
Light can escape a black hole? Oh great, he’s getting emo on us again!
The artwork is done by Aco on the pencils and Romulo Fajardo, Jr. on colors. Aco’s artwork is good for the most part… when he is focused and trying to tell a more straightforward narrative. When he’s not, like in all of the action scenes, the comic becomes a confused and jumbled mess that is often at times hard to follow. The action was incredibly confusing and when it wasn’t, it is just very static shots (that look awesome admittedly) that had no movement or force to them. It really takes you out of the experience as you try to follow what exactly just happened. Also noticeable was that there was a lot of white space and areas that were just asking to be filled in, making the comic feel like it was wasting a lot of space. Lastly, the colors by Fajardo were decent looking, but felt overly similar to his other work over on The Omega Men. Honestly felt a points like I was almost looking at the same work with the similarities at play.
Is It Good?
Midnighter #1 is a good, but flawed comic. It does a great job of introducing the main character to the audience and getting them attached to him, but it falters in other ways; the story is almost nonexistent, the ending is abrupt, the dialogue is awkward and hard to follow, and the artwork is messy when it comes to the action. I think this has potential to be a good, even great comic, but right now it’s a comic that’s lacking. There’s work to be done here and I do look forward to seeing where it goes once the story is underway and improvements are made.