Anghus Houvouras reviews Midnighter #1…
Spinning out of GRAYSON comes a solo series starring the man who can predict your every move… but no one will be able to predict what he’ll do next! A theft at the God Garden has unleashed a wave of dangerous biotech weapons on the world, and Midnighter intends to put that genie back in the bottle by any means necessary. But something else was stolen from the Garden as well…the secret history of Lucas Trent, the man Midnighter once was!
I wasn’t exactly excited about the future of the DC Universe after Convergence, the event comic that felt like the most worthless use of paper since the Tom Brady deflate-gate report. Convergence was supposed to be, yet another reset point for the beleaguered publisher to try to sort things out allowing new titles to launch and continuities to be realigned.
The New, New 52.
Talk about a creative proposition broken at a fundamental level…
Still, I’m a believer that the combination of a good writer, artist, and character can trump editorial idiocy and deliver something worth investing in.
Midnighter is a character I’ve loved since the days of The Authority. One of those hard as nails characters who relied on brains as much as brawn. A brutal instrument with scientific enhancements making him one of the most deadly men on the planet. Writer Steve Orlando opens up with a great scene introducing us to the man under the mask, on a date, making no effort to conceal his identity. Like all masked characters, social outings are abruptly cut short. Midnighter is called into action where he displays his trademark skills and wit with lines like:
“You’re the human equivalent of irritable bowel syndrome”
The scene is a great jumping on point for anyone unfamiliar with the character. In a span of eight pages you get to learn about the character and get a nice strong dose of his appeal. The visuals from Aco pop off the page (as do Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s colors). This is one of the most aesthetically appealing titles of the year.
Midnighter is a character that often felt difficult to pin down outside of the Authority. Much of the character’s identity was tied to his relationship with another hero in the book, Apollo. There was a time where the two seemed more than a copy/paste of Batman & Superman with that late 90’s/Early 2000’s edge. The kind of stories that existed to answer the question: What if Batman and Superman were a couple. What Orlando has done in the first issue is impressive: He’s made the character interesting on his own and has started to carve out what could be a very interesting corner of the DC Universe.
I absolutely loved the first issue of Midnighter. Great writing, gorgeous art, and a character that feels unique in the DC landscape.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker and the co-host of Across the Pondcast. Follow him on Twitter.