[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Fernando Blanco
Midnighter has won his fight with Neron, but to no avail. Apollo was no longer in Neron’s possession to rescue, now Neron gloats as Midnighter lies dying, telling him that Evil wins.
“Not today!” exclaims Apollo, as he bursts in, knocking Neron away from Midnighter. Although Neron stranded Apollo billions of leagues across Hell, he could still hear Midnighter and returned to him.
Neron keeps his word about allowing Apollo to remain free, but summons the souls of all the people Midnighter and Apollo have killed. They are free to leave, if only they can fight their way through.
With the forces of Hell on their heels, they barely make it to the portal in time, and Midnighter reappears in his apartment and Apollo’s body is reunited with his soul and awakens. Finally reunited, the triumphant lovers kiss.
A few days later, a party is held at Extrano’s Sacrarium to welcome Midnighter and Apollo back from Hell. Gregorio notes that more attacks will come, but notes, “All I see is bad news for them…because we’re stronger than ever.
Later, in Opal City, Midnighter and Apollo are playing what appears to be a copy of Neron’s board game “Mansion of Happiness.” Midnighter interrupt the game to tell Apollo that he has rethought his views on killing, and has concluded that, “No one should have to lose what’s closest to them. Anyone who tries to take that from people deserves to die.” Midnighter has confirmed that he is a killer at heart and wants Apollo to know that will not change.
Apollo responds that for Midnighter and anyone else in the world who thinks that they’ve fallen too far, he will always pull them back into the light.
After that, they plan their evening’s activities, and after that, Midnighter proposes they “spend the rest of [their] lives reminding bastards they can survive years living without a spine.”
There is much to praise about this issue and series. For one thing, it shows how far DC has come in their use of gay characters. The story doesn’t just feature a gay superhero couple, but is an epic love story with those characters. Midnighter has literally gone through Hell to save his lover.
Also, I like how instead of Midnighter rescuing Apollo from Hell, it ends up being Apollo that saves Midnighter. Although Midnighter is badass enough to fight his way through Hell and defeat Neron, he ends up falling victim to Neron’s trickery. It is Apollo that wins his own freedom from Neron, and returns to save Midnighter. This proves that Apollo is Midnighter’s equal in bravery and determination.
I was also glad to see Gregorio again this issue. In this series, he has proven to be a powerful magician, and much more than the gay stereotype he was in The New Guardians. When I read his speech to the gathered friends at the conclusion of this story, it made me wonder if there is the beginnings of a new superteam there. I would like to see Gregorio take up superheroics again.
The worst thing about this series is that it’s over. I’d like to see more of Midnighter and Apollo. I’m sure they will be appearing in The Wild Storm, but that is separate from the DC continuity, and I’d like to see the continuing adventures of the DCU versions too. Preferably, I’d like to see them in an ongoing title, but their inclusion in a team book or more minis would be great too.
This series had it all: badass action, nods to DC history, and a timeless love story. It doesn’t get much better than this.