I’ve become quite the fan of Midnighter thanks to his New 52 series, and when that run wrapped up, my human vessel experienced emotions, namely bummed outness. However, the universe provides – because boom, along came Midnighter And Apollo to fill the missing void in my life and, what a divine filling it was. Why? Because from the first page of the first issue to the final page of the final issue, this series has been an utter thrill ride.
The story follows the greatest couple in DC (go away, Lois and Clark), Midnighter And Apollo, after they’ve finally reunited after a lengthy period apart. But, that reunion is short lived as Apollo is killed in a scheme orchestrated by the ghastly and crazy sumbitch scientist, Henry Bendix (Wiki him), with his soul being damned to hell.
But ain’t nobody gone mess with Midnighter’s man, because instead of just moving on and getting a clone after a 15 minute period of being just inconsolable, Midnighter decides to go to hell and rescue his lover’s soul… And here my girl won’t even pick me up a 6 pack of juice boxes.
Now, there’s a lot more to this story than Midnighter gruesomely punching his way through hoards of demons and very much like Dante on his journey through the inferno, Midnighter and Apollo are going to learn a lot before their journey is done.
This tale is layered with snark, sass, horror, humour – and the crown jewel of it all, the relationship between the two titular characters, which ties it all together. Whenever Apollo and Midnighter interact, you want to screenshot it and post it to social media with the hashtag, “RelationshipGoals.”
It’s clear that writer Steve Orlando had fun writing this series, as the interactions between characters and the impressive action scenes flow very naturally and, nothing feels like it’s been written to merely get to the next, bigger point – I mean, Midnighter and Apollo do the dishes at one point and even that’s interesting. Basically, Orlando has masterfully woven soul into these characters to bring them to life in a magnificent way; Orlando has turned them into a nuanced superhero couple truly trying to make it work in a world where it really shouldn’t.
And for those who aren’t into that sappy crap, the actions scenes are equally great, with the first few pages of issue one featuring Midnighter jumping through a moving train, fighting some bad guys in each cart and sending their leader through the back exit in one fluid sequence, as well as Apollo taking on a kaiju god-thing made out of train carts. And that’s just issue one.
The art team of Fernando Blanco on pencils and Romulo Fajardo Jr on colours pull off a hell of a job here, with the art only further solidifying this series as 2 legit 2 quit. The most impressive thing here is Blanco’s mastery of expressions, which is a big issue in many titles where artists take shortcuts and characters have the same 3 looks on their faces throughout the book, but here, whether it’s a smirk, shock, smugness, joy, sorrow – Blanco delivers. But it’s not just expressions, as his work remains consistently solid from quieter scenes to grandiose action scenes to creative splashes, with Fajardo Jr’s gorgeous colouring boosting the art, especially the way he uses lighting. This is most noticeable with the juxtaposition between Apollo’s godly glow and hell’s gruesome, dark aesthetic.
I can kiss this book’s behind (… talking ‘about dat ass) a lot more, but instead, I’ll just say: Midnighter and Apollo. Read it. A fantastic story with equally fantastic art, there’s no reason for you not to give this limited series a go. Do it.