Review: MIDNIGHTER #9

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MIDNIGHTER #9
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Aco, Hugo Petrus, and Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: February 3, 2016

Issue #9 opens with Midnighter being shot out of a cannon and — to be completely honest — I sort of want to end the review there, because what else could you possibly need to know? I can’t even think of a better way to open a story than shooting Midnighter out of a cannon.

Anyway, picking up with his hunt for the weapons stolen from the God Garden, Midnighter breaks into a space station armed with a crowbar and does a whole heap of what he does best and tick something off of his bucket list. Aren’t comics great?

Steve Orlando’s dialogue continues to be on point, and potentially some of the best around. Every word that comes out of Midnighter’s mouth is darkly funny, and dripping with snark. That is not to say that Midnighter is nothing but inappropriate jokes and attitude, as the depth that Orlando has brought to the character over the last 9 issues has been astounding. I also find it weirdly hot anytime Midnighter makes threats, but that’s a whole other thing.

I wasn’t particularly psyched by the idea of Midnighter taking on the Suicide Squad but I realize that the movie is being released soon and we all have to pretend that we are super into the Suicide Squad — even if, for most of us, that’s a lie. I mean, I just came here to read Midnighter and have a good time but now I have to deal with these bozos stealing panel space from the world’s sexiest vigilante. Luckily for me, the cover makes their role seem a lot bigger than it actually is and they don’t really show up until way into the latter half of the book. When the do eventually arrive, it’s new character, Afterthought, who is the focus and more than a worthy adversary to Midnighter.

More important that the badly dressed elephants in the room are Midnighter’s friends. They are great and I love any scene where he is just hanging out having a good time with them. I’m always glad when the creative team afford Midnighter a slice of humanity in this way. It can’t be all sardonic quips and ultraviolence. In all honesty, I would happily read a comic that was just Midnighter has a nice day and goes to bed early because goddammit I just want him to be happy! The thing is, Midnighter is happiest when he’s punching dudes in the throat and I could never be the one to take that away from him.

With the art duties shared between Aco and Hugo Petrus and tied together with Romulo Fajardo, Jr’s vibrant colour palette, issue #9 is quite spectacular. While splitting art can sometimes lead to a lack of cohesion, the decision to opt for a single colourist and the somewhat unusual panel layout the readers are accustomed to has prevented the book looking or reading as disjointed. Insert panels over beautiful splash pages are utilized by great effect by both artists and the splashes of neon on the space station are especially eye catching next to the metallic greys and blues that dominate the scenes. What’s also noticeable is the Twin Peaks vibe that the red hues and chevron design give the Spyral headquarters.

I could have finished this review after I dropped that bombshell about the cannon because really you should have just stopped reading this and started reading Midnighter. If you aren’t already, you are honestly doing yourself a disservice.

Midnighter isn’t just a comic about sarcasm and punching, it is about figuring out who you are, balancing the light and the dark, and it is full of so much heart. On every page, you can feel how much the creative team care about what they are doing and how they are doing it and as a result every issue is a masterpiece in storytelling and besides that, just straight up beautiful to look at. If it’s not already, Midnighter should be at the top of your ‘to read’ pile. And if by chance you’ve already read it, maybe read it again, just for good measure.

The Verdict: 9.0/10

 

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