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‘Midnighter and Apollo #1’ (review)

midnapo_cv1_dsWriter: Steve Orlando
Artist: Fernando Blanco
Cover: ACO & Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Published by DC Comics

Midnighter is fighting a band of thugs known as the Subway Pirates. The leader of the gang ‘Half Beard’ has kidnapped some kids and Midnighter intends to rescue them.

Midnighter boards the Holy Wagon, a runaway thug filled subway train used by Half Beard as his mobile base.

Beating everyone on board to a pulp Midnighter pulls Half Beard out and onto the tracks. Half Beard laughs that it is a God-Train and the kids are an offering.

The God Train is a giant robot built from old subway cars. Midnighter smiles and tells Half Beard about Apollo and how he is literally a God too.

Apollo arrived after defeating the robot to find that the station terminal had a hidden room holding the kids captive. Midnighter hands the children over to the authorities while the paramedics carry away the now dead Subway Pirates.

Apollo is uneasy with the damage caused and the loss of life but the affections of Midnighter put him at ease.

Later in Opal City, Tony questions Midnighter on how the world’s finest couple is getting on and if they were moving in together. Midnighter comments that his combat computer brain ruined his relationship with Apollo once before so they are now taking it day by day.

Marina calls them inside from the balcony for a feast. Apollo has literally cooked the entire contents of a recipe book. The four sit down to dinner and discuss rebuilding their lives. Later as Tony and Marina leave Lucas (Midnighter) and Andrew make love.

Later Apollo (Andrew) questions Lucas’ methods. He questions why he allowed the children to see his violence and if killing is always the solution. Midnighter sees his lovers point of view but is fairly black and white on the issue. “Some people just need to be killed.”

Elwhere at the Oblivion Bar, Mister Henry Bendix is trying to broker a deal with other villains but nothing entices the likes of Ali-Ka Zoom, Blackbriar Thorn, Mister Graystone, Felix Faust. Ra-Man, Kulak or even Extrano. However a controller of the undead sends three decaying representatives to Bendix an in exchange for a magical weapon. This weapon is the Ace Of Winchesters, a rifle forged from a halo, the bones of a saint and some infernal gemstones. With it now in their possession they agree to kill both Midnighter and Apolllo for Mister Bendix.

As Andrew sleeps, Midnighter suits up, and  uses one of the teleport doors to travel to Bolton, UK.

Midnighter is on the hunt for Bendix and finds a creation of his ‘Powerhouse’ in a pub. He refuses and get a boot to the jaw for his insolence.

Over the next few nights Midnighter interrogates others in his own unique style, getting closer and closer each time until he finally tracks down the hideaway that Bendix is using.

Bendix has set a trap. He created Midnighter and had him trapped inside a room miles below the Earth’s surface with teleporting blocked by Rose, his computer AI.  Midnighter might want to kill him but Bendix has a clause to the ready.

A villain named Mawzir is indiscriminately killing civilians and Apollo races to the rescue, fighting off the villain. Midnighter watching from a view screen realises Bendix has set a trap for his lover as well, and watched helplessly as Andrew vanishes.

Apollo wakes up from a daze and is horrified to be surrounded by demons, a shadowy figure tells him he will never see his hearts desire again.

He will never leave the bowels of hell itself.

To Be Continued…

STORY: 5/5

A thoroughly enjoyable first issue. I like the LGBT equals of Batman and Superman. Their relationship seems a natural fit, they work off each others skills much like Clark and Bruce but also work together as a couple.

It’s nice that they as polar opposites keeping the other in check.

Seeing them enjoy dinner, socialise, just as much as seeing them in action, it is all equally important. Not for publicity, not for pushing any buttons of social awareness but just for great storytelling. Their relationship is the core of the story and it is just a joy to read. It’s great to learn that they are dysfunctional too, having broken up and reconciled.

Wonder Woman has recently been ‘outed’ as bisexual, but who cares? Honestly her books are still some of the best written in the industry and Steve Orlando has written a great dynamic duo, a force for good that is a bloody good read! I don’t care about the sexuality angle, but my beef is (one which I share with Apollo) that Midnighter always going for the kill. Obviously the loss of one to the other in the balance they have crafted is going to create a good story about that balance being overturned so I’m in it for the adventure!

Bring it!

ART: 5/5

Some fantastic panels with frenetic style. Fernando Blanco has clearly had some fun storyboarding the script here. The fact there is an equal amount of drama and it doesn’t throw off the art is a plus! There is a little too much reliance of coloring where the inking is a bit sparing but it adds to the feel of the book and as it’s a first issue I need some time to get used to that.

COVER: 5/5

The boys mean business!

Really eye catching and a welcome return for them both.

I like the art but the background could have added so much more to the cover.

Still it got me to pick it up so mission accomplished!

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