Monday, August 3, 2015

Midnighter #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Orlando is telling a lot of stories on a lot of levels in this series, and it's impressive that they're all evident in just the second issue.

First, I'm intrigued by the fact no one seems particularly concerned by how violent Midnighter is.  The guy that he was seeing last issue didn't seem to mind, and the guy that he's seeing in this issue actually seems excited by it.  Even Marina, the woman that he sort of recruits in this issue, agrees to listen to him as he goes on his missions, even though she doesn't really seem to have any reason to do so other than boredom.  It raises the question whether they all live in a world where this type of meta-human violence is so prevalent that it's lost all meaning or if Midnighter isn't exactly surrounding himself with the healthiest people.

Separately, the premise of the next few issues -- of Midnighter retrieving the items stolen from the God Garden -- is pretty great.  First, since the guy who provided Marina with the equipment she needed to make herself a super-villain used Hypnos, I have to wonder if Spyral is somehow involved.  Second, we don't know why the guy is supplying random people with equipment.  For example, we have no insight about how he knew about Marina's tragedy (that her husband was killed by a chemical that a corporation knew could've been hazardous) or why he chose her specifically to empower.  (That said, let me also mention how freaking awesome Marina's powers were.  The Six Killing Sounds?  Coolness.)

Moreover, we've got Midnighter's identity issue in the background, though, to be honest, I'm having problems keeping those problems separate from Bloodshot's similar issues.  I want to know why Midnighter eventually felt it was necessary to tell Apollo that he functionally had no identity.  Or, did Apollo discover the truth on his own?  (The latter seems more likely, since he was mad at Midnighter for hiding the truth from  him.)  But, putting aside the Apollo issue, we also have Midnighter spreading his wings as a gay man for the first time, and Orlando is really hitting that mark amazingly well.

However, we need to talk about the art.  Morgan uses a scratchy style similar to the one that Aco used in the first issue.  It sort of works for most of this issue, particularly the action sequences, though Aco used this style more skillfully.  But, it does a terrible job of conveying emotions, particularly during the scene where Apollo and Midnighter end their relationship.  For example, in the panel where Apollo activates his powers while fighting with Midnighter, the table that he throws doesn't even conform to basic aspects of perspective and Midnighter's eye is literally just a triangle with some blue in the middle of it.  I'm really excited about this book, and, as should be clear, I'm thrilled with the writing.  But, two artists in two issues (and one artist not seemingly bringing his A game) makes me worried that the editors are just phoning in their support.

*** (three of five stars)

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