Sunday, September 20, 2015

Midnighter #3 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Although this issue has the requisite fight-of-the-week, it's really about Midnighter's personal life, and I couldn't be happier about that.

The fight part of the story involves Midnighter retrieving a girl that some bad guys plugged into a machine stolen from the God Garden.  Said machine drains the life force of kids and transfers it to adults.  It's a regular Fountain of Youth.  Seeing kids manipulated like he was as a child doesn't sit well with Midnighter, so he frees the kid and gets the name of the guy that sold said bad guys the machine in the first place.  The issue ends with Midnighter kidnapping Grayson to help him track down the guy in Moscow (or, as he calls it, "date night").

Although that part is totally solid as stories go, the "life" part is much more interesting.  Midnighter is casually dating the banker, Matt.  Jason, the guy from the first issue, is comfortably moving into the friend zone.  We learn that this situation is pretty much exactly why he ended his relationship with Apollo:  he had never been with another guy before Apollo, and he felt the need to live his life outside the confines of their relationship.  In other words, he wanted to be out and about, something that I'd wager most gays felt at some point in their lives.  It's also a sentiment that fits with the possibility of him discovering his past if he ever tracks down the file stolen from the God Garden:  he's in the process of becoming a real person, no longer defined by other people.

My only problem (and it's small) with the series at this point is that I still have trouble buying the ease with which the men in Midnighter's life embrace the violence inherent to it.  Orlando actually addresses that here, with Matt letting Midnighter know that his mother was a doctor, so he's comfortable with the sight of blood.  (Orlando even goes a step further, with Matt hilariously telling Midnighter that he's also comfortable hearing about the underside of society because he's a banker.)  But, at the end of the day, Midnighter isn't Spider-Man.  He enjoys the violence, as ACO brilliantly shows in this issue with a splash page of him smiling gleefully as he beats up some clones.  It's this part that seems to me would be difficult for a normal guy to accept.  I mean, wouldn't you worry that you're dating a sociopath?  But, Orlando makes it clear that they know that walking in the door, so I probably need to get over it.

Speaking of ACO, his return is a welcome relief.  I found Morgan's scratchy lines to be overly distracting last issue.  ACO's pencils in the first issue weren't all that well defined, but he's much more traditional here, and it works better.  One of my worries after Morgan is that this series isn't going to get the artist that it deserves, something that can spell trouble for any series.  Fingers crossed that we settle down a bit in the art department, because I'm becoming really invested in this series.

*** (three of five stars)

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