Written by: Steve Orlando
Art by: Fernando Blanco, Romulo Fajardo Jr and Josh Reed
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 5, 2016
I was not the biggest fan of the recently canceled Midnighter series. I am not going to go on and on here about how I think that most of the other reviewers who sung the book's praises never put their money where their pens were or graded on a curve that I wasn't told about, but I will stick to my opinion just as much as others will to theirs. Now that that's over with, we can move on to Midnighter and Apollo with an open mind and a clean slate. Is Steve Orlando's new book good enough to warrant a continuation of this story? Let's find out...
The issue opens in present day L.A. and fans of Midnighter will feel right at home with Fernando Blanco's art, Midnighter's over-the-top antics and...Steve Orlando's heavy handed dialogue. I am a huge action movie fan and love cheesy one-liners, but Orlando seems to relish in giving his characters words that nobody in their right minds would ever utter. I actually don't mind it as much when Midnighter spouts off, but when the pieces of shit he's fighting start talking like modern day, gutter trash Shakespeares, it kind of throws me out of the whole thing. It all leads to a God-Train being run by Captain Half-Beard the kidnapping pirate. Honest.
One thing that this book does have is some pretty kick-ass action scenes, including a great one where Midnighter takes on the the Subway Pirates and Half-Beard in a violent ballet that ends with broken bones, pools of blood and one dead guy with questionable facial hair. Did I mention that's also where Apollo makes his awesome entrance fighting the God-Train that looks like a junkpile Transformer and by that, I mean AWESOME!!!
When the smoke clears, Midnighter and Apollo free the children and promise to help find their way home before heading home themselves. While I loved this action packed start, the personal moments that follow are the highlight of the book.
Midnighter and Apollo having a diner party? I'm in! We get to see Tony and Marina (yea!) and it's pretty funny watching them talk to Apollo about Midnighter...like he isn't there! It actually serves to stress a huge point of the last series...Midnighter isn't a "good" guy, but he doesn't have to be because he has friends who love him just the way he is. One of those friends is Apollo, of course, and after Marina and Tony leave, he really gets down to loving Midnighter!
After a little postcoital pillow talk about Midnighter's more base behaviors, we see that Marina and Tony aren't the only "friends" returning for this series. Fans should know who I mean right away and new readers will easily pick up the hint that this man is a big, bad, evil piece of shit.
If they are still in the dark, Midnighter goes after him, but just when it looks like he finally has him in his grasp, the tables turn in a very personal way that is heartbreaking to see if you care at all for Midnighter. Seriously, the guy can't catch a break!
Overall, I like what Steve Orlando is giving us here. I love Midnighter and Apollo together and the cliffhanger makes that even more immediate and much more real. If only Orlando could leave his "fight dialogue" in the bottom drawer, this issue would get top marks, but of course, he can't. If you can stomach that much cheese, you are in for a treat because the action and interpersonal relationship stuff is really good.
Fernando Blanco does a fine job keeping the feel and look of the last series intact. In fact, I may like it more just for the fact that it's easier to follow and feels more organic to the story...the last series' art tended to feel like a gimmick at times.
Bits and Pieces:
Steve Orlando does a good job with the start of this mini. Sure, the beginning falls into the same trap that the last series did with the dialogue, but it quickly calms down and gives us some really good moments. The art was good and helped tell the story and it all ends with a cliffhanger that really couldn't have gotten any more personal.