Monday, April 11, 2016

Midnighter #8 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

I like Orlando, but, at some point, we've got to stop treating each issue as a jumping-on point for new readers.  I mean, how many times can Midnighter tell us that he has a fight computer in his brain?  (He does it twice in this issue, in case you're wondering.)

Part of the reason why everything in this issue feels repetitive is that Midnighter is apparently the subject of a documentary film that a guy named Robert is making.  It gives Orlando an excuse to have Midnighter not only re-hash his origin story, but also to summarize his fight with Prometheus last issue. (Of note, he definitively claims that he destroyed the file in Prometheus' brain and that he killed him.)  Robert is, of course, almost immediately in love with Midnighter, but duty calls.  (I can't remember how exactly, but we'll leave it at that.)

We're introduced to a guy named Mindawe:  he has the power to create chimeras and communicate with animals through his connection to the Red.  However, a group called the Sportsman's Ambition has synthesized his abilities, without the telepathy.  It means that they can create monsters for "sportsmen" to hunt, but the animals are confused and in pain.  Midnighter helps Mindawe take down the group, and he's almost immediately onto his next mission.  He's contacted by Helena to join forces with Spyral to go after the Perdition Pistol, one of the first items that he recovered after he left the Garden.

The good news about this issue is that the new artist may not have ACO's sense of flow, but he does a great job providing more details to the characters' features (a contrast to ACO's generally sparse line-work).  The bad news is again that the story is just too sparse.  Beyond spending too much time rehashing Midnighter's origin, Orlando also jumps from plot point to plot point with little time spent on characterization.  If we had less time on the origin and not introduced Helena into next issue, Mindawe might've felt less like an afterthought.  But, he does, and it's a weaker issue for it.

** (two of five stars)

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