Author: Steve Orlando; Artist – Fernando Blanco
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Artist: Aco
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 12/07/2016
Length: Short Story (<15K)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe/Alternate World, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Paranormal, Science Fiction
With Henry Bendix’s trap sprung, it’ll be a long road for Midnighter to be reunited with Apollo-and the path will take him straight through the gates of Hell itself!
I have to start with this: the cover is killer. I love it. The nearly monochrome depiction of the gate and Midnighter a great contrast to that, and how seemingly small he is in comparison. If the gate is this large, imagine what’s beyond it. And then imagine walking into that to save the one you love. This is Midnighter.
This is a bridge issue in the series, the ramp up to what’s coming and aligning more of the puzzle pieces together. We see Midnighter’s preparations before heading to Hell and hopefully saving Apollo. He’s desperate. And has possibly obtained his ticket to ride, to Apollo, and to coming back alive to tell their tale. This might not have been on par with books 1 and 2 as far as story progression ground covered, but it’s the most emotional so far. I am pulling for Midnighter and wanting him to survive, and for he and Apollo to finally begin a full life together.
Gregorio plays a key role again and I’m still liking him, still in intrigued by him. With those grey streaks running through his jet black hair, and his ability to get his hands on just about anything, he’s a good one to have on your side and looks good doing it. I’m curious about his story.
Meanwhile, in hell…
Apollo is using his wits and confidence to hold off Neron, aka the red-devil-eyed bearded dude controlling things there. For Neron’s part, he’s trying to break Apollo down, make him doubt that confidence, and his own truth: he doesn’t belong in hell, no matter what Neron says.
The art and coloring once again match the story in tone and the events taking place. The detail in the action scenes especially fantastic. In the one quiet moment, the mood is well portrayed by the changing light, shadow, and color. The writing is a bit odd here and there but certainly tells a story I’ve become invested in. I do wish that so many words wouldn’t be put in bold in every speech bubble. I’m guessing it’s a style choice, as well as communicating on which words to place emphasis, but most readers would get it without this. It creates a repetitious sing-songy rhythm that can get annoying.
Innywhozle, a great counterweight to that melodramatic dialogue is the humor. The storytellers aren’t taking themselves too seriously and it made me chuckle more than once. I mean, how can ya not with a creature like Vodyanar? Trust me, you’ll see. 😉
As any comic in the middle of a good series, this issue ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger. I’m ready to experience how Midnighter and Apollo escape hell (because they do, right?), what it will cost them, and how it will impact their relationship and their future.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
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