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‘Midnighter Vol. 1: Out’ Gleefully Embraces Its Identity

Midnighter is a title that knows what it is and what it’s aiming for. It is a comic about a gay superhero designed for a gay and bi male readership but with plenty to offer every other reader too. The artwork is inventive and gorgeous, even as it depicts gruesome violence. It knows how to use a metaphor in clear, nuanced ways. It balances grit, hard choices, and vigilante glee.

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‘Midnighter’ #6 has head exploding action, heartbreaking romance

Midnighter #6 is exclamation point after exclamation point with jaw busting action and intense layouts from ACO, colors from Romulo Fajardo that punctuate the big moments in the issue, and a loose, emotional script from Steve Orlando loaded with amusing one-liners and some backstabbing reveals. Reading Midnighter is like getting a new action movie each movie with a well-developed gay protagonist, who is both confident and vulnerable.

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Progressivism is on the Rise in Superhero Comics

Not only does Steve Orlando’s Midnighter comic star a gay man, it tells blunt, sex-positive stories about that character. The main cast of characters in the upcoming main Avengers comic All-New, All-Different Avengers has a small minority of white dudes.
While there is still a lot of work on the road to a utopia of complete social justice, there is a trend of progressivism in some of today’s superhero comics that is impossible to ignore.

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NYCC 2015: LGBT in Comics Panel Recap

The first panel I attended at New York Comic Con was the LGBT in Comics panel on Thursday, October 8. It was sponsored by TimesOUT, an LGBT affiliate of the New York Times. The lineup was quite star-studded and possibly the first time that three bisexual men have sat on a panel at a comics convention together. It consisted of writer Steve Orlando (Midnighter), artist Kris Anka (Uncanny X-Men), writer Jennie Wood (Flutter), artist Babs Tarr (Batgirl), cover artist Kevin Wada (She-Hulk), and writer James Tynion IV (Memetic). They represent a broad spectrum of comics genres from fashion forward superheroes to YA survival stories and even exploitation sub-genres. The panel was moderated by New York Times writer Jude Biersdorfer.

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‘Midnighter’ #5 concludes the Grayson team-up with wit and violence

Steve Orlando, Stephen Mooney, and colorists Romulo Fajardo and Jeromy Cox are in fine form in Midnighter #5 bringing the witty one-liners and ultraviolence that has become this series’ formula while adding some extra moral dilemmas and eccentricity thanks to our special guest star Dick Grayson. However, everything isn’t fun and games as the issue’s final page cliffhanger hits Midnighter in what his closest equivalent to happy place and adds another layer of mystery to the proceedings.

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‘Midnighter’ #4 is a sexy, buddy action dramedy

In Midnighter #4, our titular anti-hero continues to hunt down Akakyevich, the man who has the secret of his origins and God Garden implants, but this isn’t all darkness and angst even though readers do find out why Midnighter likes to kill. Instead, writer Steve Orlando and artist Stephen Mooney, who recently illustrated an issue of DC’s digital series Bombshells, bring out DC’s resident chiseled beefcake Dick Grayson for a team-up as they fight Russian vampires (kind of) and a testosterone heavy “thrill killing” club. Mooney uses triangular panels to add punch and panache to the fight scenes while Orlando utilizes both a monster of the week storyline and special guest star to further his long game plot with a jaw dropping final page as the cherry on top.

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‘Midnighter’ #3 has breathtaking visuals and excellent characterization

Midnighter #2 has attention grabbing layouts and fight choreography from Aco, bold colors from Romulo Fajardo, and witty one-liners that leave both James Bond and John McClane in the dust from Steve Orlando. However, it’s the quiet moments between the mayhem that make Midnighter such a relatable character and set it apart from other superhero and action comics.

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‘Midnighter’ #2 is full of action and relatable romance

When Steve Orlando writes Midnighter (through two issues), he spends equal time on both his personal life and violent crusade of justice. (That he seems to like a little bit too much.) Midnighter #2 does a lot of intersecting between these two beats with Midnighter going out on a date with a man he rescued last issue and getting a little down time in Russia and “saving” the Windcrest Corporation from a woman named Marina, who is getting revenge on them for experimenting on her and killing her husband. The fight and conversation scenes give readers insights into Midnighter’s unique moral compass and fully conveys his motivation for fighting, which is redemption, revenge, and a little bit of fun. Midnighter is not the nicest of guys, and much of his dialogue is taunting snark, but he forges a connection with Marina by the end because he empathizes with their shared connection to the experiments of the God Garden.

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‘Midnighter’ #1 is a Cool, Sexy Spy Escapade

Sorry James Bond, Jason Bourne, and even DC Comics’ poster boy Batman, Midnighter makes those chumps look like Muppet Babies. Midnighter #1 acts as an effective and thrilling introduction to Midnighter’s personal and professional life displaying both his unique abilities and how he hits on attractive men. Yes, Midnighter is one of the few high profile LGBTQ characters created by the Big Two, and he is the first gay superhero to get a solo series published by DC Comics. Writer Steve Orlando crafts a character, who is a total badass (and will tell you about it while punching you in various organs), but is vulnerable when it comes to matters of the heart because he is newly single after breaking up with his long term boyfriend.

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