Thursday, February 4, 2016

Midnighter #9 Review

My Arm is Complete Again

Written by: Steve Orlando
Art by: Aco, Hugo Petrus, Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Tom         Napolitano
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: February 3, 2016

I know that I haven't been the biggest supporter of this run of Midnighter and I've talked about my problems with it in my reviews and on our podcast...probably a little too much.  Well, this week the rumor that it was being canceled hit the Internet and while I was expecting a huge outcry, it didn't happen.  Maybe it will when and if it becomes official, but for now, all is quiet on the Midnighter front.  Either way, I'd like to get my two cents in and be done with it.  I think it's a shame it's being canceled, not for myself, but for all those people who love it.  You know, those reviewers and readers who keep telling the world how great this book is month in and month out.  "Best Book Ever", they yell..."Book of the Year", they claim.  How could this book possibly live up to the slew of perfect scores that were thrown at it?  The couldn't.  There was not a perfect issue in this run and that's nothing to be ashamed of.  I just wonder how many people bought an issue after seeing a 10/10 review score and felt let down by what they got...which was not any fault of Steve Orlando.  Again, I was not a fan, but at least I can say with full honesty that I rated each one as fair as I could and in the end, it just wasn't for me.  By the way, my average score for this series was a 6.3 which is actually higher than a couple books that I considered myself a fan of.  Odd.  Here is my review for this month's issue...

The issue opens with Midnighter talking to his Spyral handler, Marina, and it's all about giving the reader a quick catch up of where we stand.  Task Force X has stolen the Perdition Pistol and while that sounds like a lot of words just thrown together, I really liked this opener.  Why?  Because it leads to Midnighter being shot into space in what is literally a bullet with it's sights set on the "Crow's Nest", a research and development space station.  It hits it's target and it's game on.

Since this is the Suicide Squad's haunt, we get a quick bit with Amanda Waller.  She's watching Midnighter from a secret Arctic Base and while it makes sense, it didn't feel right.  In fact, one of my biggest problems with this issue is that the big draw of having the Suicide Squad fighting Midnighter never pans out because it never really happens.  Sure, Harley and Deadshot are there, but Steve Orlando leaves them as window dressing while Midnighter battles random guys.

First up is an idiot in a Mercury Mantle (a vest) that gives him super speed, but not the sense to run away as fast as he can from Midnighter.  After a cool enough monologue from Midnighter, he takes out speedy speed speed, finds some interesting information and then blows the whole station to bits...Perdition Pistol and all.  I don't think that was part of the plan, Midnighter!

Back at Spyral, he explains the what's what to Helena and after giving the vest yet another name (now it's a Hermes Harness), he drops the bomb that Henry Bendix is involved.  For long time Midnighter and Stormwatch fans, this might be the coolest name drop that this series has had yet.  I just wish that Orlando would have dug into the bag of movie catch phrases and had Midnighter say either, "Shit just got real" or "This just got Personal".  Missed Opportunities.

We then head off to Boston and get a little down time with Tony serving up jalapeno poppers (?) while everyone talks about Midnighter like he isn't there.  It's M's inner circle (for the moment) including Jason and Robert.  I like Jason, but Robert and this silly documentary annoys me a bit.  I don't care how much he says it, who is going to benefit from a documentary about a killer vigilante with a fight computer in his brain who can't remember his past?  I don't get it.

Oh well, I guess I have to deal with it because it's in full effect and of course, shit goes down quickly. The Suicide Squad finally shows up and...Midnighter fights Afterthought, a F grade villain whose name fits him.  I get what's going on here, Afterthought's power is a good foil to Midnighter's fight computer, but when you promise the Suicide Squad, you can't just have Harley and Deadshot spitting out awful dialogue and nothing else.  Maybe they will get more involved next month, but as the issue ends, I'm not sure Midnighter will make it that long.

This was not the worst issue of Midnighter.  Again, it's far from perfect, but it was fun enough and I'm all about the fun. However, I did have an epiphany during my second read through of it as to what bothers me the most about this series.  While I hate the overly complicated dialogue filled with nonsense names and overly dramatic action phrases, it's the fact that every single character in this book talks the same.  It doesn't matter if you are a superhero, villain, store clerk or infant...if you are in this book, you will talk like every other character around you.

Aco and Hugo Petrus share art duties and when i say that they do a great job of making the book seamless, that's not entirely a compliment.  While I appreciate that there are no jarring transitions, both do a fine job of giving the reader an overcomplicated look that confuses more than it explains. That's pretty much par for the course in this book, so I really can't say I was surprised or even upset. I have become desensitized to it.

Bits and Pieces:

This was an okay issue of Midnighter filled with the usual...good action, bad dialogue and doesn't need to be this confusing art.  The actual story behind it all fell kind of flat with little participation from the actual Suicide Squad, but there is a dangling thread that will have old school Midnighter and Stormwatch fans excited.  While I was glad this issue didn't infuriate me, it didn't do much to thrill me either.


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