Friday, January 1, 2016

Midnighter #6 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Ho boy.  Midnighter is not going to take this well.

Let's start at the beginning.  The issue opens with Midnighter fighting off the attack on Matt.  After he tackles him and removes him from the line of fine, Midnighter takes the fight to the helicopter where the gunmen are located.  (This entire fight sequence is amazing.  ACO uses small embedded panels to show Midnighter moving from Point A to Point B.  Usually, I find those panels distracting, but it really works here in showing how fast he's going and how fluid his movements are.)  The attackers are revealed to be a HYDRA-like group called Multiplex.  (Midnighter apparently faced them previously over the "Rohmer reactor," but I didn't really remember that.  I had to re-read issue #3 to remember that it was the device that transferred life essences into someone looking to prolong his life and that Multiplex is actually the DCnU's version of Jamie Madrox.)

After Midnighter takes out the attackers, Matt has to renovate his now-destroyed apartment.  As such, we get a sequence of them engaging in sexy time in different places around the world as the renovations happen.  It's sweet, particularly when Matt expresses a reluctance to return to reality and Midnighter cockily replies that he can kick its (reality's) ass.  Soon upon arriving in the new place, Matt gets a call and learns that some hoodlums roughed up his dad.  They immediately go to the idyllic suburb in Connecticut where Matt was raised, and Midnighter is disturbed by the fact that he can find no traces of evidence, even with his enhancements.  He baits some locals into attacking him, but he realizes that they know nothing.  As Matt expresses concern that Midnighter can't keep him safe, Midnighter realizes that he can't see the future just as they're attacked by some folks that commandeered a school bus.  He discovers that the attackers are robots, and he realizes that he's been fooled by "Holt-Griffin skin," a type of technology that blocks other technology.  He also realizes that Matt's dad is a plant, an "industrial homunculi."  After he destroys him, Midnighter tries to comfort a distraught Matt, only for "Matt" to stab him and reveal that he's Prometheus (something I only knew because the "Next Issue" box says simply, "Prometheus").

OK, we have a lot to discuss here.  First, we know so little about Matt that it's hard to be shocked by the revelation at the end.  In fact, I had to go searching through my back issues just to remember what we know about him.  I actually thought that he was an agent of a foreign government, but, re-reading issue #1, I was reminded that he was actually just a patron at the restaurant that the Modorans attacked searching for said agents.  Issue #3 says that he's a banker, though he doesn't seem to go to work that much.  But, it all goes to the point that he very well could have been Prometheus this entire time and we wouldn't have known any different.  Midnighter gets into a relationship with him so quickly that it's perfectly believable that Prometheus manipulated him from the start.  Second, I'm having a hard time making connections.  For example, is Multiplex linked to Prometheus?  The fact that I had to re-read so many issues just to understand this one certainly shows that Orlando is telling a deep story.  But, it also shows that we could probably use some more aggressive use of editor's notes to help us move through the issues more seamlessly.

The biggest question is obviously whether Prometheus has been Matt this entire time, or if Matt is...somewhere.  (Probably not Heaven, since he's a banker.)  But, we also need to know what beef Prometheus has with Midnighter, since it's not clear to me at this point.  Why did he have to lure Midnighter into his nest?  Why not a frontal assault?  Does it have something to do with the theft from the God Garden?  Everything's feeling a little jumbled, and I feel like we could really use some answers.  Clearly, Midnighter also wants the same answers, so the confusion works in terms of the narrative.  But, I'd like a little less confusion, a little more ass-kicking right now.

*** (three of five stars)

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