Sunday, October 9, 2016

Comic Book Review: Midnighter and Apollo #1

By: Jerry Montgomery 
October 6, 2016

Midnighter and Apollo #1
Writer: Steve Orlando 
Art: Fernando Blanco

Midnighter and Apollo are back once again in a 6 part limited series from DC comics. For those of you not familiar with Midnighter and Apollo,  these characters were created under the Wildstorm banner way back in 1998 and then recently merged into the DC multiverse during DC's New 52 event. They are both teammates and a couple. Thats right,  they are both gay men, though they are hardly the first in comics (Marvel Comic's Northstar character beat them out by several years). This hardly matters however,  as they basically face what all comic characters do at one time or another and issue #1 is no different. Midnighter can be best described as an ultraviolent Batman analogue with a computer in his brain to make him a better killer and oh yeah, did I mention he can open up teleportation doors?  Apollo, his partner,  has been generally regarded as a Superman analogue but when Wildstorm merged with the DC multiverse, his powers were likened to another DC character, the Ray, since Superman was well, Superman. 

In issue #1 of Midnighter and Apollo,  the story opens up with a bang as Midnighter beats up and more than often,  kills the bad guys. Some old chestnuts dug up known as the Subway Pirates. Pretty good cannon fodder to introduce us to the the extreme methods of Midnighter and the contrast of his more powerful partner Apollo's methods. The expressions of Apollo are worth a thousand words in the aftermath of the fight. Could this be a clue to troubled days ahead?  We are also afforded a glimpse into their private lives as a married couple. Living normal lives as we all do, discussing things that concern couples and then some. This issue also has more than a few cameo appearances by some lesser known DC villains as they come before some old protagonists of the duo in an effort to put forth a new, devious plan for Earth. Midnighter in the meantime, pummels his way through the criminal underworld, asking questions (pretty hard at times) about a man, a certain Doctor Bendix, who made him what he is...a perfect killing machine. Midnighter works his way through the ranks of crime until finding the man who can point him in the right direction and sets about to kill his creator. Just as it looks like certain doom for Doctor Bendix,  he turns the tables on a now helpless Midnighter. He is made to watch the fate of his mate, Apollo as he battles a nasty demon, only to witness his own trap that sends him straight to Hell (literally).

The Verdict: If you are already a fan, then you will enjoy this book immensely.  Writer Steve Orlando knows his characters intimately since creating them over a decade and a half ago and presses on in the Rebirth event. There's plenty of action if that's your thing and there's also a tenderness expressed in the relationship of these two men,  both publicly and privately.  It definitely has a different feel to it than your typical DC comic. New readers may be taken aback by the maturity of this title, but if you're looking for something fresh, give this series a try.
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