After a somewhat long breakup the team is back together. One is practically Superman, the other as badass as Batman but with the will to break every bone in your body. Seems like a sweet team; oh yeah, there’s the added complexity of the two being in love. Can issue #1 be pulled off though and more importantly is it good?
Midnighter and Apollo #1 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
You wanted it? You got it-six more issues of Midnighter madness! Together again after too long apart, Midnighter and Apollo take on subway pirates in Los Angeles and demons in Opal City…but their reunion is about to take a shocking turn and send them both on an epic journey beyond all belief!
Why does this book matter?
We’ve reviewed the Midnighter series (also written by Steve Orlando), which did well to establish the compelling relationship of a man who kills and another that is too pure to do so. How they can make that work and stay lovers is something folks who love drama should be excited for.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Steve Orlando does a lot of things in this issue all of which are pulled off without much of a hitch. From the awesome fight sequence showing how surgical Midnighter is to Apollo taking on a goddamn train golem to their loving and understanding relationship — Orlando kicks off the issue with breakneck action, introduces a few supporting characters, and then ramps up Mr. Bendix and his plot to destroy Midnighter and Apollo for good.
Given the proclivity of villains to come up with crazy plans, Bendix’s plan actually is quite inspired and interesting. It utilizes Midnighter’s teleporting powers against him and potentially sets the stage for Midnighter to go from unbridled violence to violent mindlessness. There’s also a good use of montages in the issue which help convey how much work Bendix and later Midnighter go through to get each other’s goat.
This double page layout is amazing.
The art by Fernando Blanco is solid, with a fantastic double page layout showing how Midnighter fights through a train. It’s brutal and fun like the scene in Oldboy with the hammer. You have to love the use of mini panels laid over the larger ones to convey quick actions or finer details. It helps punch up a single image to make the comic feel more kinetic and action packed.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Though the supporting character friends of Midnighter and Apollo are introduced, I don’t think it’s well enough for new readers to gather why we should care about them. We’ll see how much they’re used in the 6 issue run, but as of now there’s no way of knowing what their purpose will be.
Another gripe I had was with an alien Apollo takes on later in the issue. The design of the thing is rather flat and boring. It’s some kind of black lizard with metal studded shoulder pads and it just screams blah.
Is It Good?
Midnighter and Apollo is fun in a breakneck, “Did I just see that?” sort of way. On top of that, it sets some high stakes for our heroes in love and establishes the story in an exciting way.