“Midnighter” #12 is the end of the road for this series, and that’s a real shame. While this issue is merely above average on the whole, Steve Orlando, ACO and Hugo Petrus have served us one of the best superhero books. Even as the creative team spends time tying off loose ends in this final issue, they still show some of what made this title so special.
Orlando spends the first half of “Midnighter” #12 on a battle royale, as Midnighter and Apollo face off against Bendix’s own versions of the character. Strictly based on this segment of the issue, it’s good. The swarms of Multiplex bodies, the smashing into half-completed buildings, even a strong speech about nothing beating the originals — every piece of the fight is exciting and it holds your attention well.
It’s the latter half of the book, though, that makes the title shine. Midnighter’s relationships with those around him have always been a key element of the comic, and that continues here, for both friends and enemies. The state of Midnighter and Apollo’s relationship, his work with Spyral and even the supporting cast back in Boston are all dealt with in a way that’s pleasing and feels real. Midnighter may be a slightly crazed computer-brain fighter, but his relationships — both friendly and romantic — have been a shining part of the book. It’s great to see as much time devoted to them as it is to punching someone in the face.
ACO and Petrus split the art chores one final time, and it’s a cohesive final look. Both artists draw insets on the page to focus our attention as necessary, using a scattering of panels to make information pop in an almost-splatter pattern around key action and events. At the same time, though, the art is consistent and beautifully rendered; both artists can put a great amount of detail on their pages while still making them easy to follow. Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s colors are of special note because they are all over the map but never feel garish or out of place. They do a good job of giving an extra level of depth, zooming into pop art one minute and then serving a softer palette the next, as needed.
I’m sad to see “Midnighter” end; it was a strange but intriguing title, one that made bold choices and did so with strong craft. That said, the creators went out on a good note, and — if Orlando, ACO and Petrus collaborate again — I’m definitely ordering a copy of that new comic sight-unseen. Like Midnighter himself, they’re a force to be reckoned with.