Now this is more like it! After last month’s less-than-stellar issue, Midnighter returns with a level of violence and vulgarity that just warms my heart… which may or may not speak volumes about me.
At the start of the series, the God Garden was raided, and dangerous tech was stolen then sold on the black market. While the first arc dealt with finding and stopping the man responsible for doing this, the ripple effects are still in full effect. One of the pieces that went missing was the Perdition Pistol, and Spyral conveniently picked it up. Well it just so happens that another secret organization decided they wanted the pistol, and broke into Spyral to steal it. Who was that secret group? Task Force X, better known as the Suicide Squad.
It’s safe to say that Deadshot’s infiltration into Spyral to steal the Perdition Pistol is an embarrassing moment for the Helena and her spy organization, so she enlists the help of Midnighter. Ok, maybe “enlists” isn’t the best word considering she basically strong-arms him into helping. If we’ve learned anything about Midnighter though, it’s that he doesn’t’ do anything unless he wants to, and he appears to have set some stipulations for his assistance: Marina.
The martial arts instructor, turned assassin (with the help of some God Garden tech), now has a new job working as Midnighter’s informant with Spyral now that she’s out of prison. It’s unclear whether or not this is a short-term or long-term gig, but for the moment, Marina’s assisting Midnighter remotely by providing intel. This mission has him going to the Crow’s Nest, an orbiting vault, research, and development facility in space that is controlled by the government. The Perdition Pistol is being housed there, but teleportation devices don’t work, so Midnighter will have to be more creative in how he gets there.
As expected, there are a number of guards on the Crow’s Nest, and Midnighter makes short work of them. The real challenge is found in Waller’s Suicide Squad. But the Squad isn’t the only thing that Midnighter needs to be concerned about. He quickly realizes that he and Spyral may have potentially bitten off more than they can chew as his past with the God Garden and the Gardener come into play. It’s an action packed issue that tests Midnighter in new ways, and yet again encroaches on his personal life, serving as a great rebound from last month’s doozy.
The Art: ACO is back on art duties, and as usual, delivers in a way that only he can. I’ve gotten to where I usually just read books using the native guided view through Comixology because I feel that it serves the narrative better. When ACO has art credits on Midnighter though, I tend to read it both ways (native view and regular). He has such a solid understanding of Midnighter as a character that he brings a unique and interesting approach to the book. There are numerous pages where his layouts are awe-inspiring, and a feature that ultimately elevates Orlando’s narrative and characters… That being said, he still draws some interesting looking teeth…
Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.
The Good: Midnighter. As always, Orlando’s characterization of our ballsy, foul-mouthed antihero is superb. It’s a shame that more people aren’t reading this title because it’s quality work that is going unnoticed. The balance M manages between his personal life and his work life – which the smallest of lines separates – is part or what makes him interesting. Unlike Batman, M is Midnighter 24/7. Even when he’s in his “civies,” his friends still refer to him as Midnighter. But the badass has a softer side to him, and appears to be consistently trying to fill that hole in his personal life that was left vacant by Apollo as he tries to surround himself with people he cares about… People who continue to be put into danger.
The faster they run, the harder they fall. Midnighter, on all accounts, is an arrogant asshole. But I can’t help but like him. I often have to debate whether or not he actually is arrogant, or just overly confident. I feel like when you have the walk to match the talk, its more confidence than arrogance. This sentiment rings true when he faces the enhanced speedster in the Crow’s Nest. I mean, when a guy starts running circles around you threatening to take you down, and your response is “Sounds like super speed. My bucket list thanks you,” then giddily smiles until he takes out the guys Achilles tendons… You’re allowed to be as arrogant or over-confident as you’d like.
Bendix. I honestly expected the entire issue to revolve around the Perdition Pistol, but apparently that’s just the tip of the ice berg concerning Midnighter and Syral’s problems. Turns out, the Gardener had some help creating the God Garden and all of its fancy tech. Believed to be dead, that someone is a man named Bendix, who is very much alive and is working with Amanda Waller to create new tech-weapons that she and her team can utilize. And just like that, things became way more interesting.
Suicide Squad. Yet again, there isn’t much of the Squad in this issue, but when they do appear, they’re represented well. Harley and Deadshot are the only known members that make an appearance, but they’ve brought along a new member, Afterthought – Waller and Bendix’s pet project. The team hit Midnighter close to home, and Afterthought proves that he’s not someone Midnighter should take for granted by stopping every attack Midnighter throws at him.
Marina. I’m still enjoying Marina’s character quite a bit. She hasn’t done anything to really snag my attention, but the non-judgmental friendship she’s developed with Midnighter is refreshing. Her character is also bubbling with potential, and if utilized correctly, could become a major player.
The Bad: Helena. I love that Helena is being featured more, but I’d love to see her step out from behind the “curtain.” She’s a total force to be reckoned with, and I feel like readers need to be reminded of that. This isn’t really even a callout, just a wish/ preference.
Tech versus tech. There’s a trend that’s been developed that the only people who seriously pose a threat to Midnighter are those who have undergone enhancements. Orlando is going to need to find a new opposition for Midnighter, otherwise this is going to get old really fast.
- You’ve been eager to see Midnighter square off against the Suicide Squad.
- You’re interested in learning more about the God Garden and the Gardener’s past.
- You thought last month’s issue was a let-down, and hoped this month would return to normal.
Overall: Midnighter is a bloody, good time! Unfortunately, it’s the best book that nobody is reading, so if you’re reading this review, but not reading the book, then shame on you! Orlando continues to deliver a superb narrative that is enhanced by ACO’s art as Midnighter continues to build upon itself. Root himself further into DC’s mythology, Midnighter works with Spyral to confront Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad, resulting in a comic that is sure to entertain all audiences.