January 7, 2016
Midnighter and Apollo # 4
“Midnighter and Apollo “
Written by: Steve Orlando
Art by: Fernando Blanco
Just in case you’re unaware who Midnighter and Apollo are, they are one of DC’s power couples. Friends, teammates, lovers. Apollo, an analog of Superman, kidnapped by aliens and experimented on to create their own “superman”. Midnighter, an analog of Batman, brain replaced by a combat computer, making him the ultimate killing machine. They’ve had their differences over the years, been through some rough times, but have weathered through them to remain together. Now, in this 6 issue limited series, they may have met insurmountable odds to remain so. Apollo is trapped in hell, the result of a cleverly lain trap, set by the Lords of the Gun, a trio of demons in league with a certain Doctor Bendix. The same Doctor Bendix who created Midnighter. Midnighter is bound and determined to save Apollo and it doesn’t matter how many demons and devils he has to kill.
In the previous issues, Midnighter has been searching for the eldritch rifle, the Ace of Winchesters. One of the few weapons able to bring down the Lords and their gunslinger, Mawzir. Unbeknownst to Midnighter, the rifle was last seen when Doctor Bendix traded it to the Lords, in exchange for bringing down the two heroes. In the meantime, Apollo is in the grip of the devil Neron. Neron toys with him, wanting Apollo to surrender his soul freely to him and admit that he belongs in Hell. Midnighter has gained a way into Hell via the magician Gregorio, aka Extrano and a black candle. The only drawback is that once there, his computer brain won't work and neither will his healing powers. He will essentially burn himself out, once he expends his power. This doesn’t deter him however and neither does the fact that all he could not find the Ace of Winchesters. All he could get was a single bullet for the rifle and off to Hell he goes, cutting a bloody swathe through hordes of demons
In issue #4, Midnighter has confronted the Lords of the Gun and now faces down Mawzir in the Vascular Gardens. Fists versus bullets. How can Midnighter hope to defeat this multi-gunned killer, pieced together from the parts of war criminals. With gusto and a certain amount of sadism thrown in for good measure, that’s how! And don’t forget about the bullet from the Ace of Winchesters. If you know anything about Midnighter, you know that it won't go to waste! On the other side of Hell in Castle Epicaricacius, Neron continues his harassment of Apollo, citing his taken name as the true sign of his sin, Pride. Finally, Apollo presents Neron with a winner take all riddle. If he can guess, Apollo will surrender his soul without a fight, if not, he goes free. How will that play out to a demon who has never lost a game?! Midnighter too is presented with his own question, which could determine his own part in Hell. Can one truly escape it?
The Verdict: This limited series is surely shaping up to something interesting. As a fan of horror movies and comics, I can appreciate the occult leanings the title has taken. Some of the images and denizens of hell are truly horrible, while some are on the cheesy side, but I still like it for the most part. Since Midnighter and Apollo ‘s start why back in the Image Comics line, they had seemed a gimmicky spoof of two of DC’s most iconic characters but since crossing over comic universes, they have taken on a new life and direction of their own.