REVIEW: Midnighter and Apollo #1 (of 6)

With the recent announcement that Warren Ellis is going to be bringing back the Wildstorm label to DC I’m guessing that the events in this premiere issue will have some lasting repercussions. Keep your eyes on this mini as more details about the Wildstorm re-launch emerge.

I’ve always been a fan of these two characters. From their introduction in Storm Watch to their time within the Authority, Midnighter and Apollo were the heavy hitters of the Wildstorm U. For the uninitiated Midnighter is like Batman without the moral compass while Apollo is like Superman without the Mid-Western upbringing. Together these two have been part of adventures that have stopped an alien invasion, mad scientists, and more than one rogue super group. They’ve changed world government, saved the soul of the twenty-first century (AKA Jenny Sparks) and through it all have become one of comics ultimate homosexual power couples.

While the blood and action are prominent throughout the issue, it’s the focus of the couple’s home life that provides a deeper insight into how far these two characters have come since their creation in the late 90’s. Apollo seems to have gained a softer edge, a quite charm that is endearing to witness. He knows his spouse and just how difficult life can be for someone who always seems to know what is going to happen before it happens.

Midnighter for once has shown his vulnerable side. In the past we have only been able to witness him as the proverbial tough guy. He was a stone cold killer that would rival Wolverine in body count and Batman in smarts. His mental enhancements have given him the ability to “read” people and situations, enabling him to find the perfect attack method before the fight even begins.

It’s here in the quiet moments that the comic thrives. Watching these two superheroes entertain another couple for dinner is intriguing. It was nice to see another side to characters that are usually hip deep in blood and guts. (Don’t worry there is plenty of action in the book too, but it’s your typical comic fare) They are a typical modern couple, pulled off better than most depictions of marriages and relationships that we normally see in comics. They care for each other in a way that leaps off of the page.

While the titular characters are back so is an old foe from the early days of Storm Watch. Henry Bendix has returned. Now it’s yet to be revealed if this is the original Bendix, his son, or his doppelgänger, but this is only bad news. It’s here that I think that this mini-series might be the starting point for the return of the Wildstorm Universe. Bendix is dealing in some heavy-duty black magic to get back at Midnighter. I don’t think that it’s unfair to say that this character helped shape the birth and future of the Authority and now could be the catalyst for a universal rebirth.

I won’t spoil the ending here, but our heroes are in much worse shape by the end of this first issue than when we first met them. In fact you could say that one of their lives has gone to hell. Literally.

Final Thoughts:  It’s nice to hear that the Wildstorm Universe is coming back. The Authority was one of the best super hero team books on the shelves for a number of years and slowly faded away. With the looming return of so many interesting characters this title may be the precursor to amazing things. I say check this one out for the story, but to the collectors out there, you might want to grab a copy just in case this is the lightening rod that brings back the Storm.

Final Grade: 3 ½ stars

Midnighter and Apollo #1 (of 6)
Story: Steve Orlando
Art: Fernando Blanco
Colors: Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Letters: Josh Reed
Publisher: DC Comics

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