Midnighter #1 review

Earth's most violent superhero gets his own book and we quickly see that Midnighter isn't just a fighter, he's a lover. He's on a first date with IT guy Jason, looking very dapper, when super-terrorists teleport into the restaurant they're in, looking for a trio of political enemies. Midnighter, with his ability to predict the move of any opponent, makes short work of them, impressing Jason no end. 

He gets a second date, on which he shows Jason more of his world, opening up about his no-longer relationship with fellow Authority member Apollo, and showing off his amazing trans-dimensional apartment. One thing leads to another - and thank goodness, as Midnighter is a painfully bad flirt - and next morning, as Jason makes him breakfast, he does something rather weird. Jason is rightly nonplussed, but before things get too awkward, Midnighter is called to assist his old associate the Gardener; she's had all her weapons stolen by an intruder, along with a file detailing Midnighter's past...

If you like DC's Grayson series, this may be another book for you. Writer Steve Orlando takes us into similar super-spy territory, giving us a fast-moving, richly detailed look at a day or two in the life of a man who lives to help others - and if he can crush some bones along the way, perfect. 
I'm not actually a big fan of violent comics, but the action here is understated. Sure, we see a painful tussle with the Modorans, but penciller Aco keeps things classy, showing us the effects of Midnighter's actions through 'x-ray panels'. I'm not sure if this is how Midnighter's super-brain presents the world, but it makes for an interesting visual. Less successful is a game of pool, Midnighter-style, with lots of tiny panels being non-conducive to showing us the movement on the table. One big frame with lots of rebounding balls, a la Cyclops in elderly X-Men comics, would work better. 

Still, that's one sequence. Aco, with inking aid from Hugo Petrus and colours by Romulo Fajardo Jr, gives us page after page of blisteringly good comic art, with innovative touches that, for the most part, serve the story. He draws a powerful, sexy Midnighter - horrific weasel hairdo apart - and cocky, imposing villains. And the normal folk, like Jason, look good too. Plus, those action sequences repay close examination - they're a lot of fun. 
Aco and Fajardo's cover isn't to my taste, it makes Midnighter seem less complex hero, more leering serial killer. I prefer the Bryan Hitch variant, coloured by Alex Sinclair which, while also not showing us a thoughtful brute, at least gives us gosh-honest superhero action. 

As an old Green Lantern fan, before the book became a boring hymn to the Crayola Corps, I was delighted to see the Modorans, because they're from the land of Sonar, the sonic super-villain. Can he be far behind? As wielder of a tuning fork gun, he's never been the most fearsome of foes, but the original Gil Kane visual - think marching band Mickey as European evildoer - is amazing and I'd love to see what Midnighter reckons to it. Would he punch Sonar, or invite him out? Ah, the pull of uniforms ...

Actually, there's no doubt. Sonar is a bad guy, he'd get roundly punched. I'd like to see that. 

Before then, I'm looking forward to having our hero catch up with the mystery person who invaded the Gardener's space this issue, leading to a battle that proves unexpectedly goofy due to the old bat's tendency to name her weapons. It's this kind of wit that'll keep me reading a book which might otherwise feel like Punisher, but gay. Heck, does Deathstroke ever get annoyed by tautology?

As first issues go, we have a winner. The creators introduce us to our protagonist and his world, some characters who may be the supporting cast, show his fighting style and set up a mission, and a mystery. I'm looking forward to next issue hugely. 
But could something be done about the hair? The man looks like a weasel. 


  1. LOL I kinda like the hair. I get the impression that he is something of a hipster leather punk. If there is such a thing. It speaks to his sense of himself as being different from everyone around him. I loved this too, and will be back to see more. I have hoped for this, and thought it should have happened before now.

  2. If there isn't already a 'hipster leather punk' I want you to invent it. Pictures! I do like our man in his waistcoat...


Post a Comment