So I’m reading Midnighter this morning, and I have the local news on the TV for background noise. While I’m reading, they start covering politics and discuss Donald Trump and some of his brash behavior/ comments… and it’s right as Midnighter is up to his typical behavior in this issue. Specifically:
My mind immediately went to, “If I pulled quotes from Donald Trump and Midnighter, I wonder if people would be able to tell who said what? Probably not…” Why did I think that? If you don’t know by now, that’s just how random I am. But seriously, considering my situation at that time, it was a relevant thought. Also, I’m not endorsing ANYONE other than Midnighter with this statement. I want to clarify that. There’s a difference between a vigilante and a potential President of the United States. Anyway, enough politics, let’s get to this issue!
Midnighter has made a point of toying with Spyral, and it’s been an enjoyable love/hate relationship since we first saw the two cross paths. Midnighter’s respect/ attraction for Dick Grayson has developed a slightly more friendly relationship between the two factions, and has since created some incredibly fun team-ups. At the launch of this series, the God Garden was infiltrated, and most of the Gardner’s tech was stolen. With the equipment being sold on the black market, Midnighter set out to regain possession of what was taken, but he wasn’t the only one.
Spyral had also been tracking some of the equipment along the way, and managed to get their hands on the Perdition Pistol. The only problem with secret organizations gaining access to secret tech, is that at some point another secret organization is going to find out, and they’ll try to exploit that situation. In this case, it’s Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad. At first glance, it doesn’t appear to be too dire of a threat. I mean, the Squad is formidable in their own respect, but going against Midnighter and Spyral doesn’t seem like the wisest choice… But Waller knows that, and she’s got a winning hand up her sleeve.
While Midnighter manages to reclaim possession of the Perdition Pistol – at which point he destroys it due to how dangerous it is at the dismay of both Waller and Spyral – he learns that the situation is much worse than he or Spyral could have anticipated. Waller hasn’t just been searching for God Garden tech, she’a also found out one of its creators, Bendix. In case you’re not putting the pieces together, this is basically the equivalent of Midnighter’s daddy, but unlike the Gardener, he apparently lacks any amount of humanity. As it turns out, Waller was looking for the perfect weapon, but it wasn’t an object more so than a person, and she wanted Bendix to help her create that person. So far they’ve succeeded in their efforts, and have one extremely dangerous assassin named Afterthought, who beat the crap out of Midnighter at the end of the last issue.
This issue kicks off with Helena and Marina searching for Midnighter at his last known location, only to find a wake of destruction, and an unconscious friend of M’s. Midnighter is currently being held captive by Amanda Waller and the Squad at one of their local facilities. His toe-to-toe with Task Force X didn’t go so well in the last issue thanks to Afterthought – who has enhancements that are very similar to M. The altercation left Midnighter in a pretty ragged state, which led to this current predicament. That doesn’t mean he’s any less mouthy though… actually, he might be a little more mouthy than usual.
I fully expected Afterthought to be the “star” of this issue as well considering his set-up, but thankfully, he’s nowhere to be found! If you remember, I had concerns pertaining to Afterthought because he was so similar to the previous villain, Prometheus, that it felt as though Orlando was backing himself into a corner concerning who was capable of opposing M. With his absence due to a separate mission, we’re forced to spend a majority of the issue focusing on some standard Squad members: Deadshot, Harley, and Parasite… A shift that I find more enjoyable and entertaining than Afterthought.
Waller wants info on Spyral, and she sees Midnighter as her best option, so she’s enlisted some help to torture and interrogate him. M bides his time with Waller, naturally taking any opportunity to insult anyone within earshot, but the moment he has an opening, he takes it. All hell breaks loose (or I guess you could consider it a “riot of fun” if you’re Midnighter), as the issue shifts to an escape mission, before turning into a witch hunt for Bendix.
It’s always fun to have some cannon fodder around because it lets Midnighter be as brutal as he wants. We’ve seen him get creative in the past (Remember when he killed someone with a steak?), and this issue doesn’t disappoint. There’s no steak in this instance, but there is a chair and a tooth. I’ll leave you to ponder what potentially happens with those two items.
The highlight of this issue is the fight between Midnighter and the Squad though. Harley’s involvement in this issue is quite fun, because in many ways you’re mixing one type of crazy with a completely different form of crazy. It’s Deadshot and Parasite that create some of the better action moments though. The fight is entertaining from start to finish, and it ends with a pretty shocking conclusion that will leave you desperately wanting the next issue so you can see where the story will go next.
The Art: ACO continues to provide solid art with amazing layouts. He crams so much detail and story into his panels that it’s insane. And just when you might think, “Wow, this is really busy…” he slows it down to let you breathe… or just delivers breathtaking splash pages. I continue to have issues with his faces and mouths from time to time. Waller, in particular, had some rough moments in this issue, but other than that, the work continues to be pretty top notch.
Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.
The Good: Midnighter. Come on! Did you expect anything else? The character himself has been the best thing about each issue! He’s crude, foul, relentless, and pretty much an asshole on every level…. But he’s a lovable asshole, and you can’t help but cheer for him every time he does something like this:
Or even something as gruesome as this:
It’s the combination of completely kicking butt with no regard, and not giving a *beep* about what anyone has to say about his methods… or his mouth.
The Wall. I thought Waller was written really well here. I don’t feel like we’ve had an intense Amanda Waller for some time, and it was a nice reminder of how ruthless she can be. She’s got the Squad on a leash, and she’s not afraid to remind them of that. Yes, you might consider her statements to be a little much in this issue at times, but you also have to keep in mind that she’s a woman that’s overseeing and running a program where the worst of the worst are sent on secret missions for the U.S. government.
A helping hand. So… let’s talk about that Midnigther/ Deadshot altercation. These toy were trading some passive aggressive/ verbal blows early on, and you knew it was going to play into a fight at some point. Well, it was pretty freaking awesome. I mean, what happens when you have a man that never misses going against a guy who has enhanced abilities, and can predict the outcome of thousands of scenarios in a matter of seconds… A damn good time! That’s what you get! Midnighter doesn’t need the clean getaway, so he’s not opposed to taking some fire. That alone led to this “Oh $#!%!” moment!
I have two issues with this book. The first issue is Afterthought, and the fact that he’s basically a lift of Midnighter and Prometheus… I’ve already referenced this, so I’ll move on. If this book weren’t ending in June, then I’d probably have some suggestions for going forward, but that seems mute at this point.
M’s personal life. Initially, I enjoyed seeing Midnighter’s personal life, but at this point it feels forced. He was burned by letting people close to him, so I feel like there should be some separation between he and his friends… especially when his lesson from the previous arc was that while he may not be too concerned with his personal safety, the people close to him are fair game for collateral damage. Instead of giving that part of his life a break though, he has a friend (or a friend of a friend?) following around for a documentary. My only question is, “Why?”
We don’t need this! It feels illogical and out of place. If this had started at the beginning, sure! Following Prometheus? Hell no! If Orlando wanted to keep a pulse on Midnighter’s personal life, he should have just kept us involved with the friendship between Midnighter and the bartender of his local haunt.
- You like when Midnighter “has fun.”
- Midnighter vs Deadshot
- You’re curious to see how many ways M can manage to kill someone.
Overall: Midnighter is a big middle finger to the status quo of super heroes, and that makes him awesome! It’s a shame more people didn’t give this book or character a fair shot, because he’s hard not to enjoy. And when you can make the Suicide Squad look tame, you know you’re a badass.
SCORE: 8.5 /10