[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Fernando Blanco
Midnighter has tracked Henry Bendix down to a bunker seven miles below American Samoa. Bendix informs Midnighter that he has sent demon assassins called the Mawzir to kill Apollo, and Bendix has shielded the bunker from teleporter access. Knowing that Midnighter has to fight his way to the surface to get to Apollo, Bendix is confident that Midnighter cannot waste time killing him. But Midnighter only needs an instant to bury a stapler in Bendix’s throat.
Minutes later, Midnighter has teleported back to Opal City to face the Mawzir. But it is too late. The Mawzir, having fulfilled their contract, leave, but not before Midnighter threatens to track them down.
Three days later, Midnighter’s friend Marina attempts to console him over the loss of Apollo, but he doesn’t seem to grieving very hard. He explains that this is because Apollo’s not really dead. Marina thinks this is denial, but humours him.
Next we see that Midnighter has put Apollo’s body in a device to bombard it with solar radiation. There are no signs of life, but Midnighter vows to never give up.
Next, Midnighter pays a visit to Gregorio, a former mystical superhero who went by the identity Extrano. Midnighter explains that he knows that Apollo’s soul has left his body, and needs Extrano’s help to find what realm it has travelled to.
Extrano has a vision of Apollo, where he and other souls are carrying a demon on a large litter. Apollo has a gaping wound on his chest, and the demon tells him that for the wound to heal, it will cost Apollo’s memory of Midnighter.
Apollo kills the demon and attempts to fly the other souls away, but is quickly captured by the demon Neron. Extrano’s vision ends, and he informs Midnighter that Apollo’s soul is trapped in Hell.
Midnighter realizes what he must do and quips, “Then it looks like a lot of people are going to get their wish… I’m finally going to Hell.”
Like last issue, it’s good to see that DC is trying to make up for their overly stereotypical first attempt at an openly gay character. Hopefully this character will continue as part of the title’s supporting cast.
Also, DC seems to be poking a bit of fun at their competition, as Gregorio bears a striking resemblance to another magic-wielding hero currently in the theatres – and “Extrano” is the Spanish word for Strange.
There’s not much to complain about, other than that this is only a mini-series, and not an ongoing title. Although I am sure that Midnighter will return in some form or other before long, it’d be nice if it was with Apollo and Extrano as well.
This story is fun, and very, very violent, but it’s also shaping up to a classic love story, where the protagonist literally goes through Hell to be reunited with his lover. I can hardly wait until next issue to see Midnighter cutting a swath through the Underworld.