As a gay guy, I don't often find myself able to put myself in the position of a character going on a date with a superhero. But, Orlando lets me do exactly that here, as Midnighter goes on a date with a guy, named Jason, that he met on a dating app. Shenanigans ensue when Midnighter has to kill a bunch of enhanced soldiers that appear to assassinate three traitors that apparently just so happened to be in that restaurant. But, Jason agrees to a second date, and it gets weirder, from a date perspective. After they sleep together, Midnighter immediately tags him with a chip that allows him to contact him at any time. Even more disturbingly, he begins telling him all about Apollo, leading Jason to remark that Midnighter is the definition of coming on strong. But, the date ends when the God Garden is ransacked by an unknown assailant, and Midnighter discovers that the Gardener kept a file on his original history, despite what she told him. In other words, if I were Jason, I'd think twice about a third date.
Orlando gives us an engaging story here, portraying Midnighter as a man adrift. His relationship with Apollo has apparently come to an end, and the guy that we see here is more emotional than the one that I was expecting, given my limited knowledge of the character. I actually welcome that, since I'd rather not read about an even more emotionally unavailable Bruce Wayne. In fact, I found myself really warming to Midnighter, and it's not just because Aco made him a pretty damn attractive package. Orlando makes it clear that we're reading about a man on a journey to discover himself, dropping some of the bravado that came in his previous incarnation. I could definitely get behind that story. However, Orlando also has to make it clear that he means it that way. As Jason says, Midnighter comes on overly strong here, seemingly unhinged. Again, a guy like Midnighter, to me, would probably be looking for meaningless sex for a while; tagging a guy on the first date seems a little uncharacteristically forward. I've offered a hypothesis here for what I think is happening, but, at some point, Orlando actually has to tell us that he means it that way. Otherwise, Midnighter is just going to seem erratic.
That said, I am still new to Midnighter, so some sort of overview of his past would be helpful. As I made clear in my reviews of the Gardener when she appeared in "Grayson," I really have no idea who she is or what her deal is, so Orlando is going to need to fill in those blanks for me, particularly as they relate to Midnighter. Plus, to appreciate his feelings over the loss of Apollo, it would be helpful to know more about their relationship in the first place. It's only the first issue, so Orlando has time, obviously. But, I wanted to lay down that marker here. Also, it would be nice to know who the hell those enhanced soldiers were, lest we're left thinking that Midnighter just so happens to be the type of guy that just so happens to go to a restaurant that just so happens to have three traitors to the same cause in it at the same time. He may be, but let's not push it.
*** (three of five stars)