Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Midnighter #11 Review

Welcome Back

Written by: Steve Orlando
Art by: Aco, Hugo Petrus, Jeromy Cox and Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: April 6, 2016

I know that I've had a very rocky relationship with Midnighter since the book debuted in June.  I'd say I'm closer to being Prometheus than Apollo, but I guess someone has to take the role of super villain in this whole love fest.  Believe me, this isn't a business decision or part of my new anti-hipster movement, I review each issue on it's own merits and I just haven't been impressed with this series.  I seem to be the only one who feels this way, at least in the comic book reviewing community.  While every other reviewer gives this book perfect scores and bemoans the fact that it was cancelled, it's sales keep going down.  What gives?  Are the people declaring it the best thing since sliced bread actually buying it or are they just giving it lip service to make themselves look good while letting it die a slow and painful death?  If that is the case (and I really am not sure it isn't) then shame on them for being the pieces of crap they truly are.  Okay, I'm done with my little rant and now it's time to get on with my review.  

I love being right.  I know, who doesn't?  But when it was revealed that not only did Midnighter survive Deadshot's "who cares if this is a Suicide Squad Plane, I'm going to blow it up anyway" attempt at killing our leather clad hero, but it was Apollo who saved him, I chalked another one up for Jimbo and had a smile on my face.  Sure, the solicit for this month's issue kind of spoiled that and the chances of the main character dying are pretty slim, but let me shine for just a moment, please! The question is, did my smile last throughout the entire issue?  You may just be surprised.

After showing us that Midnighter was indeed saved by Apollo, it's off to visit with the Suicide Squad in a shack that really appears to be much larger on the inside.  The gang's all here, but most are just window dressing with the main back and forth going between Amanda Waller, Deadshot and Afterthought.  While I'm still not completely sold on Afterthought, I do like the tension between him and Floyd.  It's not a real big deal since I really can't see Afterthought making it out of this book or even this issue.  It all leads to Bendix getting the Kryptonian DNA that he needs for the Unified and while he promises he'll play nice, we all know that's complete and utter bullshit!  Hey, I usually leave those flowery words to describe the dialogue and situations in this book, but not this month.  Up to this point, I was really enjoying myself.  

Back with Midnighter, we get a pretty good rundown of the entire series and then probably the best thing the entire series has seen.  No, I'm not talking about Midnighter and Apollo almost kissing (and maybe testing the mattress the night before), but when Midnighter explains why he does what he does and who he's become since breaking up with Apollo.  It doesn't make him a better man, but it does make him a very honest one.

It's all interrupted by a call from Spyral and the two are off to Tacoma and from here on out, Orlando starts flinging the reader all over the place.  Tacoma...Turkmenistan...Spyral Base...Suicide Squad Safe's a whirlwind tour of punches, kicks, explosions and pretty much people doing bad things to each other.  The highlight is Midnighter getting a second crack at Afterthought and I guess M's fight computer is a Rocky fan.  I swear that Afterthought muttered "He's not human, he's like a piece of iron" before going down.  Well, he should have!

The issue ends with the reader getting a glimpse at the Unified and then Bendix sending him and the Suicide Squad to Modora in a nice shout out to the first issue of this series. Of course, there are two guys waiting for them and while they may not exactly be heroes, the last page certainly looks super.

I did not hate this issue of Midnighter.  Steve Orlando scales back on the crazy one-liners and actually gives his characters some meaningful dialogue.  The story even seems to be going somewhere and I attribute that to having an actual villain(s) for Midnighter to go against.  One of my biggest problems with this entire series is that Midnighter has often been the bad guy in his own book, but here we got Afterthought, Bendix and the Unified going forward.  

I wish the love could continue, but I was not a fan of the art in this issue. Aco and Hugo Petrus share art duties and while they give a rather seamless experience, things are more confusing than they ever need to be.  At times, I have been a fan of the multi-paneled, frenzied style this book has had since the beginning...when it helps the storytelling, but that isn't the case here.  It actually takes away a bit of the fun of the Midnighter/Afterthought fight by making it overly confusing to follow.

Bits and Pieces:

I didn't hate this issue of Midnighter.  I'm sure that others will go ga-ga over Apollo being back in Midnighter's life, but I was more of a fan of the dialogue, the character development and where the story is headed, even as it heads towards cancellation.  I was not a fan of the art at all, but having a couple big bads for Midnighter to play off is just the ticket for this reviewer to finally get back on the Midnighter trolley.


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