Midnighter has his ex boyfriend back in action–his name is Apollo for those of you not keeping track–but their back is against the wall. That usually means lots of punching and fighting, but is it good?
Midnighter #12 (DC Comics)
I enjoyed the last issue, giving it a 9 out of 10 for a few reasons, but damn are those layouts exciting. This issue opens in a bit of a complicated quagmire, so let’s let DC Comics official summary do the heavy lifting:
Midnighter, Apollo and the Suicide Squad square off against The Unified—one of Henry Bendix’s most dangerous creations! Is their combined strength enough to stop a being as powerful as Superman and as intelligent as Midnighter?
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Why does this book matter?
Steve Orlando has made quite a good run at Midnighter as he’s tough as nails, still loves the ultra violence, but also has a tender side as well. Apollo has brought that out, but his superior fighting skills are still on point for sure. Mix that with Aco’s sick layouts that bring mini panels at opportune times to deliver the close-up hurt and you have yourself a quality book on your hands.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Orlando has successfully pulled off a Midnighter vs. Superman story. That’s because the villain has been created to be like Superman, but he’s still in his infancy so Midnighter can handle it. Oh, and Apollo, who’s practically Superman himself, wore him down a bit. Once Apollo does get the wear down (which I might add this has some good teamwork written into this book), Midnighter brings the pain and it’s fun as always to see.
Orlando has given Midnighter a bit of redemption too with some solid moments reconciling with Apollo that aren’t cheap. They’re genuine and help make the character that much more complex. Orlando manages to make us believe Midnighter has grown and he has better and brighter days ahead of him.
The art continues to look great with Hugo Petrus and Aco sharing art duties. Romulo Fajardo, Jr. is on colors and he does a bang up job too. The lighting effects are nice throughout due to the colors, but they especially pop when the action flies. There’s one page in particular drawn by Aco featuring a skeleton with some fantastic coloring (blues around bubbles, red skull, green body…the works!) which make for a psychedelic look. I really can’t get enough of Aco’s layouts, with panels being broken up with straight lines that lead to smaller panels breaking things up further. It gives the entire book a chaotic and action packed feel that’s quite nice.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Anyone hoping for more of the Suicide Squad will be sorely disappointed. They sort of pop up here and there, but it seems like a missed opportunity they weren’t used at all in this issue. That takes the teeth out of Waller’s story arc in this issue as she comes face to face with the bad guy pulling the strings. It doesn’t help matters that he’s not only conked out and then slinks away at the last second too. Cliched and a bit lazy.
While I adore the art, some of the action was hard to follow this go around. The bad guy is falling apart and a lot of extreme close ups were used, which combined made for a hard fight to track. It’s all very chaotic, which may have been the point–but it took the teeth out of the fight scene.
This is about all you get of the Suicide Squad.
Is It Good?
Orlando successfully concludes the last issue of the arc. Storylines are tied up, the action is epic, and Midnighter gets to team up with his ex Apollo. It wasn’t a slam dunk, but it still delivered.