Written by Steve Orlando
Art by ACO
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr
This issue kicked ass! And my thoughts on this book are the same as my thoughts on Gotham by Midnight… There aren’t enough people reading it. Sadly, Gotham by Midnight is coming to an end, and even though Midnighter is pulling equally dismal sales, I’m holding on to hope that the book will begin to lift, or is getting crazy amounts of digital sales… Cause I don’t know if I can handle losing both of these titles in such a short amount of time. So if you haven’t checked this book out, do so! For those of you waiting for the trade, please don’t! That might be too late! Go get this book! Catch up! Please!
Anyway, I had concerns that Orlando was going to take the narrative down an obvious route (and in some ways, he did), but overall, I’m really pleased with this issue. It was precisely the jolt the book needed to keep from heading down a path of becoming stale, and it did so wonderfully. If there’s one take-away I personally took from this book, it’s to trust my instincts! But more on that later…
This issue follows M’s gallivanting with Grayson in Russia, and returns us to the status quo. I love seeing Midnighter and Dick together, but it’s nice to revert back to M’s supporting players, and build on those relationships. This issue specifically focuses on his relationship with his boyfriend, Matt. We know that someone close to Midnighter will be targeted in this issue, and the only obvious choice is to target Matt… especially considering last month’s issue ended with Multiplex putting Matt in his crosshairs… which is right where this issue picks up.
Midnighter’s enhancements kick in just in time for him to get Matt to safety, and take care of Multiplex in a way that only Midnighter does. And all of this takes place within the first three pages. For a moment, I was relieved that Orlando didn’t kill Matt (it would’ve been way to obvious, and I wouldn’t have believed Midnighter’s reaction if it were dramatic), and felt confident that we were out of the woods concerning immediate threats to Matt… until the next few pages featured montages of the two becoming closer. Suddenly, I was worried again… And to be clear, I could care less if Matt were killed, I just don’t want this book to fall to that level of storytelling.
Thankfully, the rest of the issue was full of surprises. Seriously, I don’t want to give away any details, but it’s damn good! What you think is happening, isn’t the case. And the person “close to Midnighter” that gets hurt, is most likely the LAST person you’d expect. The pace quickens as the issue races towards a finish, finally revealing the “big bad” behind everything that’s been taking place since the first issue! The raid of the God Garden, the tech, the plan, it all comes to fruition in this issue, and you’ll be left desperately wanting next month’s issue!
Be warned, there are spoilers below.
The Art: I love ACO’s art on this book. There isn’t much finesse in his art, but he has a very distinct style that is unique. I will admit that his layouts can be hard to follow if you’re reading the physical comics, or even digitally in a standard view… However… I happen to read digitally and use Comixology’s Guided View, and it works perfectly for ACO’s style. If you’ve never checked out this feature, I strongly recommend you do so! The books will begin to feel more cinematic, and big reveals/ shocking moments will have the impact and effect they should, rather than being spoiled by turning the page and seeing the panel before you actually get to reading it.
Aside from the technicalities of the app though, ACO captures the mindset of Midnighter, and how he approaches people/fights in a unique way by snapshotting very specific details. I also don’t mind his grittiness as I feel it adds to the tone of the book, but I do wish that he’d work on mouths/teeth… It can be distracting at times.
To see some of the internal art, check out the spoiler tag below.
The Good: There’s soooo much good here! You already know that I love the juxtaposition of Midnighter. He’s a badass. He’s a softie. I’ve mentioned this tons of times, so I’ll spare you. But the plot twists here win every time. The fact that the person after Midnighter only used the attack on Matt as a distraction so he could get to people Matt loved was a great sleight-of-hand. It was unexpected, yet still a little expected, but done really well. They went after Midnighter’s loved ones by going after Matt’s dad.
And then it happened… Matt’s dad wasn’t Matt’s dad. It was another distraction for Midnighter thanks to tech that inhibits Midnighter’s abilities… and Matt isn’t exactly Matt… he’s the one that’s pulling the strings of this whole operation.
And I’ll be damned if I didn’t hint at this in my review of issue 3 before finally giving into the notion that he’s a normal guy. This is why I said I need to trust my instincts! I knew it, and convinced myself otherwise!
Oh and one more thing… Matt is actually Prometheus!
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why I made the comment about the person close to Midnighter that gets hurt is “unexpected.” I mean, Matt’s father gets hurt, but hurting someone close to Matt isn’t really unexpected. It also isn’t really Matt’s father. And Matt is really Prometheus, so that rules him out… And nobody else close to Midnighter gets hurt in this issue… so who am I referring to? Lucas. Yep, in the end, he’s the one that’s hurt. Emotionally and physically. Midnighter/Lucas tries so hard to not separate himself – and this issue touches on this idea early on – but in the end, there is a difference.
So… funny little side note. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been working on some comic books, and that some of them were specs consisting of DC characters. Well, one of the books I was working on was a team book called Savages that featured Midnighter (as well as Red Hood, Katana, Bane, and an original character), and the villain of the book is… you guessed it… Prometheus. So… do great minds think alike, or is this just extremely obvious?
No joke, I pulled together a full pitch presentation for my friend that’s an artist to convince him to read the script and provide the art.
The Bad: Aside from some stiff dialogue in some portions, there isn’t much bad here! But overall, I finished this issue and was pretty damn psyched!
- You love Midnighter.
- You’re enjoy stories that provide a good set-up and reveal.
- There’s just not enough maiming in your comic book rotation.
Overall: Midnighter is a bloody good time, and Orlando delivers every step of the way! If you want an all-encompassing book that will keep you invested, this is it!