Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Darick Robertson (p), Karl Story (i), Randy Mayor & Johnny Rench (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm
In this issue the Midnighter does just about everything. He breaks into the bad-guys’ palatial (okay, high-rise seven star hotel) stronghold, gets whatever information he is looking for and does some major ass-kicking to both the lackeys and their hawt leader. Heck, he even gets to make out to wrap things up, which in his case is with his husband, Apollo. Nothing major one might say, and in deed it was, except for one small, teeny-tiny twist. It all happens in reverse order.
What I mean is that all these events are presented in a reverse chronological order in which the Midnighter-Apollo kiss opens the issue and the breaking into the villains’ lair ends it. I use "Reverse Chronological Order" because I do not want to use the G-word, "Gimmick," that I have read more times in the last few days than I did in the last month. It is sort of a gimmick of sorts, but it isn't the totality of this stand-alone issue by writer Brian K. Vaughan.
The brilliance of BKV’s novel approach becomes evident when one reads it. Read either first page to last or the other way round (first event to last), the story makes almost equal (clear) sense. One might even think of this kind of narrative demonstrates how the Midnighter, given his ability to see things/actions before they happen, might go about in his day-to-day life. Moreover, I bet that there will be at least a few who, like me, will think that there was some screw-up in the printing and that the story got published wrong. Be safe in the knowledge that it wasn’t.
Accompanying Vaughan on the artwork is the equally expressive and brilliant Darick Robertson. Robertson’s mature gritty-flamboyance is an (almost) perfect fit for The Midnighter, probably even more so than Chris Sprouse or Glenn Fabry. For the record I enjoyed the work of both Sprouse and Fabry and would welcome either of them returning to this series, as I would Robertson. Even the inks and colors, provided by regulars Karl Story (inks) and Randy Mayor & Johnny Rench (colors) seemed more, well, adult than the previous issues. Not adult in the x-rated way, mind you, but in the darker, more mature way.
Conclusion: Next month's issue will be written by Christos Gage and the one after that will be written by the J-Twins, Jimmy Palmotti and Justin Gray. Normally I would object to so many changes in writers, but comic book titles don't normally have one excellent writer being replaced by another excellent writer(s). Here’s to The Midnighter becoming The Legends of the Dark Knight of the Wildstorm universe. Here’s to "Legends of the Midnighter."
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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