Midnighter is one of those characters you love if you like lots of violence and a bit more crudeness in your comics. He brings a real world sensibility to a Batman type of character who breaks bones instead of stopping asteroids. This week his ex-boyfriend Apollo is back in his life, but is it good?
Midnighter #11 (DC Comics)
Per DC Comics’ solicit:
At last, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Apollo returns! Midnighter’s caught in the crossfire between the Suicide Squad and Spyral—now he must team up with his ex to stop Henry Bendix from creating a monster!
Why does this book matter?
Writer Steve Orlando has been crafting a compelling story of terrorism, the ways in which we counter it, and ultimately a solid rendition of Midnighter. At the same time artists Hugo Petrus and Aco have been crafting an interesting comic due to some inspired layouts.
Love these layouts.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue balances two storylines between Midnighter healing from his near death experience in the last issue and Amanda Waller trying out a new weapon as her Suicide Squad waits on the sidelines. Orlando keeps the story interesting even when there’s a lack of action because the character dialogue is so fluid and the plot is compelling, though there is a strong action scene later in the issue. Sure, the premise is something we’ve seen a thousand times (questionable good guys creating a weapon to fight bad guys), but in the face of a very human Midnighter it’s fun to see how he can go toe to toe with the most powerful of villains.
Which is one of the most entertaining sequences in this issue as we get to see Midnighter take on a boomerang character and a master fighter. These scenes work incredibly well due to the number of panels used by the art team. It allows us to see every punch and kick, enhancing the amount of action per page which is useful when Midnighter is all about the hand to hand combat. They also do a fantastic job with the non-action scenes as a panel here or there can highlight a smirk or a serious look to bring focus to the dramatic tension of the characters.
Speaking of dramatic tension, Apollo and Midnighter have some great sequences too. There’s one long dialogue heavy page of Midnighter explaining himself to Apollo that’s well written and it goes a long way in showing how much he cares for his ex-boyfriend. These scene helps solidify Midnighter as a human being even though he’s crushing skulls and breaking arms with a big grin on his face.
It can’t be perfect can it?
While the Suicide Squad stands around I was surprised Orlando didn’t do more with Harley Quinn or the remaining members. They’re there, so why aren’t they talking more (or in some cases, at all)? I suppose in a way it’s to show they aren’t necessarily all-in with the plan to create a super-man to crush terrorists, but it doesn’t help sell the age-old plot either. If you can get over the fact that we’re reading a story we’ve seen before, and understand it feels different in a Midnighter story, it’s not such a big deal.
They are back together again, even if Midnighter is bloody as heck.
Is It Good?
From the detailed and highly original layouts to a heartfelt and humanized Midnighter, this story should find its way to the top of your list.