Sunday, February 28, 2016

Midnighter #7 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

I love this issue, even though I'm not sure I follow all the superhero parts.

Prometheus is indeed revealed to be Matt and conveniently exposits his backstory for us.  He was the son of a modern-day version of Bonnie and Clyde and, when cops killed them in front of him, he swore that he'd fight against "justice."  (Throughout the amazing fight sequence that ACO delivers here, Prometheus frequently observes that Midnighter, as a "hero," uses the same tactics against his enemies that made them "enemies" in the eyes of "justice" in the first place.)  He uses his parents' resources to become the criminal version of Batman, traveling to Shamballa and getting something called the Cosmic Key.  He used the Key to steal the technology from the God Garden, and he now has not only those enhancements but the knowledge and skills of 30 of the world's best fighters.  He's also using the Holt-Griffin cells to neuter Midnighter's own enhancements. 

To up the ante, Prometheus reveals that he created the house that Midnighter thought was Matt's house from Midnighter's own memories.  (It's easy to let the emotional impact of this revelation get lost in the fight, but it really is compelling sad that Midnighter doesn't recognize his own childhood home.  It gives you a sense of what he's lost.)  Moreover, Prometheus uploaded Midnighter's origin file into his brain and destroyed the original file.  As such, when Midnighter has him on the ropes, Prometheus forces him to chose:  keep him alive and possibly access the file or kill him (as he "should" do as a "hero" to prevent him from harming anyone else) and lose his past.  In the end, he keeps him alive, and Prometheus flees.

I'm left with three questions and a complaint from this section.  First, Orlando never specifies why Prometheus chose Midnighter as his target.  Was he just a target of opportunity?  Did Matt just happen to be in that restaurant in issue #1 and realize that he could start his campaign against superheroes then and there?  Or, did he know that Midnighter specifically would be there and ensure that he was there to put his plan into action?  Second, I'm not exactly sure what Midnighter did at the end.  He punched Prometheus' head between his hands, and ACO shows a series of memory cards appear around them.  Did Midnighter somehow destroy those memories?  Or, since they mostly just show their shared history together, was it just showing that they're done as a couple (obviously)?  This question goes to my next question.  Why did Midnighter just leave Prometheus lying there to escape?  Even if he didn't kill him, he certainly would've wanted to strip out the God Garden technology to make him less dangerous, wouldn't he?  Even if the memories were lost, would he really want to leave a guy that hates "justice" running around the place with that power set?  Finally, my complaint here is that Midnighter really, really shouldn't have won this fight.  If he really had been turned into a regular human, Prometheus would've mopped the floor with him.  But, Midnighter is really never seen as not in control of the fight.  In fact, he makes short work of Prometheus.

But, the best part of this issue - the part that gets it the fourth star - is the soul-searching that Midnighter does after the fight.  He spends time with his friend Jason and confronts the fact that Matt fooled him.  This conundrum is made all the worse by the fact that he legitimately tried not fighting this time.  Was it just bad luck that the time that he tries to be normal he winds up dating a super-villain?  Midnighter tells Jason that he has to be able trust his (Midnighter's) judgement, but Jason tells him that he's facing the problem that all us normal people face:  can you ever really know someone?  Jason tells him not to feel like he has to be perfect, because he can't be.  (Jason also tells him that people play games in the real world, too; it just sucks that the games in his world mean that he almost gets stabbed in the heart.)  Midnighter continues his tour of self-discovery, chatting with Marina and leaving a (burnt) photo of himself as a teenager that he rescued from the wreckage of the house for Apollo.  (Intriguing.)  He wonders to Tony if it's worth getting out there again and what it means that, for once, he didn't see something coming.  But, then Jason texts him and invites him to go out and Orlando shows us that our guy is OK as he tells Tony, with a smile, that he'll never stop fighting.  It just seems that he's been able to redefine what "fighting" means.

**** (four of five stars)

No comments:

Post a Comment