Midnighter #4 review

Fight clubs have become passé in the the Russia of the DC Universe. Now it's all about vampire killing, as rich young guns hand over big wads of cash to spike a bloodsucker. The stakes aren't high, though - these are vapid vamps, chained up to be easy meat. They're the result of the raid on the God Garden back in Midnighter #1, and our hero is on the trail of the thief, with the help of guest star Grayson.

The boy wonder turned superspy has been kidnapped by Midnighter because he considers it more fun than just asking for the hand Dick would be happy to give. The pair aren't the Dysfunctional Duo you might expect, working smoothly together to clean out the hi-tech nest run by a New Age Nosferatu.

Steve Orlando's script is as fast moving and sparky as ever, with less focus on Midnighter's dating life than usual but still room for a bit of flirting with Dick.
Or rather, at Dick, as Spyral's Agent 37 stays focused on business... well, the only woman around is a grumpy babushka. And she doesn't fancy him. The God Garden tech strand continues beyond this issue and shows no sign of becoming tiresome. My only complaint is
 the fate of some cute wee rats...

Stephen Mooney steps in to illustrate this instalment and gives us some great-looking pages. It you like high-kicking fights, this is for you. If you like pork-based Russian snacks, dive in. And if hunky chaps in fluffy towels are your thing, buy an extra copy for framing. 
The subtler reaction shots are as worthy of attention as the showier action sequences, and I'm delighted to see Midnighter is growing out that horror haircut. Plus, Romulo Fajardo Jr's colours elevate the illustrations, while Tom Napolitano's finely tuned fonts are easy on the eye. Fajardo also colours the cover, a terrific composition by regular interiors artist Aco.

I don't know if Dick will be back next issue, but I do know that, given previous form, another hugely entertaining, somewhat violent superhero romp is a racing certainty.


  1. I love this series, but am really disappointed that supposed regular artist has already missed half the issues in the run. Why can't comics artists just do the job instead of all this missing of issues and such. I remember a time, because I'm old I think, when comics artists could do years and years on a series without missing an issue, now days it's like a merry go round.

    With that complaint in mind, I really do love what DC and co are doing with Midnighter, and would love if this iteration of the character were top show up on a show like Arrow or Flash. He would just be spectacular if they did him just like this...

    1. I do miss the days of seeing favourite artists month after month. OK, today's artists seem to be well paid enough that they don't have to produce as many pages, but I'd love to have a modern day Kurt Schaffenberger or Curt Swan churning out 'simpler', high-quality, old-natured art.

    2. It's because editors nowadays want to see very clean, finished pencils. That's why it takes longer for pencillers to finish the work.Not like before, when artists can turn in slightly rougher pencils and it's up to the inker to finish it up. That's why guys like Sal Buscema can do multiple titles in a month.

    3. And yet, we still see inker credits. Not everyone does full pencils and inks/computer stuff.

    4. There are a few.... Mark Bagley, John Romita Jr., Charlie Adlard...workhorses all.

      But yes, the work the editor (and the readership) demands is too finely detailed to be done month after month, nonstop.

    5. Then perhaps the artists need to be given enough lead time to finish the work. JH Williams III had the right idea with Batwoman, he did an arc, the other penciller did an arc, it worked out (although the choices of other artists weren't great) and I would be okay with this, if there were a rotating team of artists working on whole arcs. But this one issue on one off thing is a distraction, and this is a visual medium, the artist really matters to the reader.

    6. I accidentally bought two copies so now I know what to do with the second. Thanks for the suggestion!


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