DC Comics 2016
Written by Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Fernando Blanco
Coloured by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Lettered by Josh Reed
If you haven’t been reading this series you’ve been missing out. It’s the perfect example of why someone, or someones, should have an ongoing series with these characters. Not only is Extrano back from limbo as a more serious person to contend with but finally we’re seeing Neron in a role that’s more well suited to his place in Hell, so much more interesting than that Underworld Unleashed mess.
The more I read Steve’s work the more impressed with him I am, his skill and talent continue to defy genres and he’s incredibly adept at writing interesting and complex characters. That he could pluck Gregorio from obscurity and rework like this just goes to show that any character in the right hands can be awesome. I for one also appreciate that Midnighter and Apollo have a gay supporting cast as well, there aren’t too many out superheroes or characters in the DCU, per capita, and honestly that they manage to know and rely upon each other well it’s just one of those perks you don’t pay attention to at first but greatly appreciate.
Another aspect of this that I’m a huge fan of is that Midnighter and Apollo are a couple again. That longterm relationship is going strong and Midnighter is willing to do what he’s about to do to go rescue the man he loves. Forget for a moment that they are two men I mean how utterly romantic is it to see someone willing to literally go to hell to get his man back regardless of what’s at stake for them personally? It’s the strength of the writing and characterisation here that makes you feel the love he has for him and it just helps you bond further with him, as if that were needed or even possible at this point.
Absolutely loving the interiors here. The use of page layouts utilising the angles, perspective and backgrounds really show off a great eye and visual storytelling skills. I’m a fan of the attention to detail here and the creativity and imagination in the demons we see is amazing. Fernando and Romulo really work well together and create great visual counterpart to the words.
While I am immensely enjoying seeing both what Midnighter is doing to get to Apollo it’s just as much fun seeing Neron posture and monologue with Apollo. I mean from the bar where Tony the bartender and Midnighter talk of last drinks, which just begs for more I mean c’mon now, to seeing that moment when you think Neron might have beaten Apollo’s spirit there’s this cohesiveness to the story that we don’t see enough of.
It’s rare to find something so well written that while you think you know what the ultimate outcome will be it’s the journey of getting there not to mention the ramifications of everything that occurs that excite you as a reader. Gripping, exciting and full of raw emotion this is what fans of intelligent comics want to see more of!