It’s always a breath of fresh air when you go into a new comic series with zero expectations, and it blows you out of the water. Such is the case for me with Midnighter from DC Comics. While I’m a longtime fan of the character, I wasn’t convinced that they could make a solo series featuring Midnighter that wasn’t just EXTREME Batman.
Not only have Steve Orlando, Alec Morgan, and DC Comics made this a book that can’t be compared to Batman in any way, shape, or form, they’ve managed to make it a more compelling series than anything the Bat has done since No Man’s Land (save the brilliant run by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and the run on Detective Comics when The Riddler was seemingly on the side of the angels.)
This issue picks up where #1 leaves off, with Midnighter infiltrating an office building that has been taken over by Marina, a woman with the ability to use Killing Sounds (granted to her by someone from the God Garden), as well as her own inherent martial arts abilities. Midnighter being Midnighter, he takes her down for the injuries to the innocent, but carries out her mission on those responsible for her husband’s death.
Scattered throughout the issue are flashbacks and plot elements that serve to build a spectacular foundation for making the character of Midnighter deeper and more interesting than he’d previously been. We see his breakup with Apollo, we see his new relationship playing out in Moscow (complete with fantastic takedown of a homophobic thug in a bar utilizing two – count them – two fingers), and we see his budding friendship-after-the-arrest with the aforementioned Marina. And the closing line of the book is so perfectly well done that I’m actually mad I have to wait 4 weeks until the next issue drops.
Were you previously on the fence about this title, I urge you to jump off of it and pick it up. It’s got incredible action sequences, touching character beats, and logical development of the main protagonist that I didn’t think possible for where the character was previously to his current incarnation (which, honestly, I feel started with his portrayal in Grayson #1.) The art is sharp and nuanced – just Frank Quitely enough to be visceral, yet unique enough to make it’s own mark.
This book has an A+ delivery two issues in a row – and if they do that with issue 3, they’re officially on a hot streak. Few comics achieve that in the day and age of event storytelling, but Midnighter is on the right track.
5 out of 5 stars.