Midnighter Annual #1 – Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Writers; Michael Avon Oeming, Artist; Taki Soma, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: The final chapter of this twisty time-hopping adventure arrives in this oversized annual, as Midnighter’s battle against the evil Andrej Trojan spans two timelines – and threatens to derail his most important relationship. Apollo has entered the fray, but he’s also made clear he’s pissed with his boyfriend and wants answers. Mister Miracle is there too, but Shiloh mostly seems to be around to add some action scenes and comment on the events going on around him. Apollo has mostly been sidelined through this series, being deliberately kept on the outside by Lucas – for good reason, because it’s not his Lucas. It’s a Lucas from the future who has switched places and is trying to prevent the bad ending from coming true. It’s an intriguing status quo and one that blows itself up in an entertaining way in this final chapter – literally and figuratively as they go up against an army of evil robots.
My biggest complaint with this backup so far has been that I just don’t find Trojan a very compelling villain. This issue does correct that somewhat, expanding on his backstory and giving him a bit of a sympathetic edge—but not too much. The final battle delivers some excellent action courtesy of Michael Avon Oeming, not usually an action illustrator. It also resolves the conflict between Midnighter and Apollo nicely, giving us hope for the future. It does not tie up the story of Trojan as much as I would have liked, but there’s a nice poetic fate for the villain that has some potential. Overall, any Midnighter run is going to have an uphill battle given that Steve Orland just hit it out of the park only a few years ago. This isn’t that run and it doesn’t have the emotional context of it, but if you’re looking for a run that pays tribute to the chaos of the old Wildstorm run with a bit more depth, this will read pretty well as a whole.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.