“Midnighter” Vol 2 issues 1 – 7

Written by Steve Orlando
Wildstorm Concepts: Authority - Midnighter Authority - Apollo Authority - Doors

All-Star WesternThis Spin-off off Grayson begins with a Bang, as someone intrudes in the God Garden and shoots the Gardener into space. Meanwhile, Midnighter is trying out online dating in a restaurant when he and his date, Jason, are interrupted by Modoran assassins looking for traitors to their country. They use Butcher Blasters to trigger anger in people and kill them with sheer blood pressure, but Midnighter is so fast he puts on his costume without anyone seeing him and takes care of the psychos.

Later, he heads to the pool hall Al’s Masse in Boston. He talks with the owner, Tony, about having broken up with Apollo — Midnighter thinks Apollo is better off without him. Then he takes Jason to their second date, on Moscow. He shows him they can be anywhere using Doors, and Jason invites him to his place. After they have sex, Jason wakes up to find Midnighter on the floor – after spending a few years on the streets, he never got used to beds. Jason is starting to get weirded out, and it gets worse when Middy injects him with a Smartmark on his neck – an implant so that Jason can contact Midnighter anywhere. Right as the date is going wrong, Midnighter receives an emergency call and has to go; it’s the Gardener, who survived. She tells Middy about the mysteriour attacker, but also reveals she had kept an origin file with Midnighter’s past, and the attacker had just walked out of the God Garden with it.

The attacker begins sharing the weapons he stole from the Garden immediately. He shares them with Marina, a widow whose husband was killed by a corporation that poisoned him carelessly. She seeks vengeance with the Liu Sha Jue, the six killing sounds. Midnighter arrives, and to survive he’s forced to break his own ears. He’s able to take her out, but he sympathizes with her story. He begins to break corporate bones, telling them they’ll have to seek minimum sentence against Marina or he’ll be back.

It’s time for another date. Jason didn’t work out, even though they remained as friends, so now it’s Matt’s turn; one of the hostages he rescued from the Modoran assassins in that restaurant. Their date is interrupted by homophobes, but Midnighter is great at taking out the trash. Even when Middy can’t stop talking about Apollo, Matt is impressed; it’s almost too good to be true. In fact, Matt is actually the supervillain Prometheus, but Midnighter doesn’t know this yet.

Middy reflects on the time he broke up with Apollo – it almost had to happen. They were never with anyone else, they were defined with each other. Midnighter needed time, needed to learn how to be himself without Apollo.

Later, Midnighter goes after a human trafficking ring kidnapping kids and using technology from the God Garden to steal their life force. Midnighter gets to them and destroys their machine, but the trafficker and his bodyguard Multiplex escape. He can multiply, so Middy feels like it’s his birthday — endless bodies to kill. When he reaches the trafficker, he reveals he got the technology from a Noi Akakyevich, the Moscow Mongrel. When Middy comes home covered in blood, Matt isn’t even phased, which is a suspicious sign. His excuse is his mother was a doctor, so he doesn’t run at the sight of blood.

Afterwards, Midnighter visits his friend Grayson. He tracked Akakyevich to a Russian club where people pay to kill vampires, only they aren’t vampires, they’re humans treated with reprogrammed martian cells mimicking vampirism. After defeating the club boss, the fake vampire Upir, Middy hoped Grayson could use his spy science to reverse the gene therapy, but it turns out to be bobby trapped and the vampires turn to dust. However, Grayson managed to ping his nano-signature before the Martians cells degraded, so they know where they were made. This leads them to Kazan, where Middy realizes a device that blocks teleport Doors was activated. They just have to look into the only place they can’t Door — an unmapped Metro station, where Akakyevich is using his martian cells to create a Beast Battalion based on Russian Folklore. To raise the stakes, Midnighter handcuffs himself to Grayson, and they begin battling their way through the monsters. They reach Akakyevich, but he’s been upgraded by the God Garden with Telekinesis and he shows it off by sending them through the roof. This was planned by Midnighter, however — he wanted to be thrown against Akakyevich’s teleport jam satellite so that he’d be able to use Doors. They’re able to sneak up on Akakyevich and beat him, even though Grayson won’t accept killing him. Still, Akakyevich reveals he was just another middle man.

Midnighter returns home to celebrate Thanksgiving with Matt; but suddenly they’re targeted by Multiplex on a helicopter. Middy manages to get Matt down and survive the shooting, and takes Multiplex out, but the apartment is trashed. Middy and Matt go on a remodeling tour, as Midnighter takes out bad guys using God Garden tech. After the house is rebuilt, Matt receives bad news — his dad was beaten up because somebody saw Matt dating Midnighter. They visit Matt’s hometown and start looking for the culprit, but something’s wrong; the town is eerily perfect, Midnighter can’t see the future. When he’s attacked by gang members, he realizes they’re homunculi; fake people built with artificial skin from the God Garden. The whole town was a trap. He rushes home to Matt’s dad and kills the impostor. When he hugs Matt, trying to comfort him, Matt reveals his true alliegance and stabs Midnighter. The town was a trap laid by him — Prometheus.

Just as some might say Midnighter is an edgier Batman, Prometheus is an evil Batman: son of criminals, his parents were murdered by the law and he swore to fight against it. Using his inheritance, he travelled the world learning violence in a dozen languages. He’s the one who stole from the God Garden, and his enhacements blind Midnighter’s fight computer, leaving him with five senses. As they fight, Prometheus reveals he built the house they’re fighting on from Midnighter’s origin file, from his childhood memories. Prometheus can’t stop talking and gloating, so Midnighter overpowers him — but according to Prometheus, he can’t kill him, not without losing his origin file. Prometheus downloaded it into his brain and deleted the original. But doing the right thing isn’t a dilemma for Midnighter, who delivers a fatal blow to Prometheus. Right as he’s dying, though, the villain teleports away to another dimension. From the remains of the house, Midnighter finds a photograph of himself as a kid. He sends it to Apollo, and begins a slow process of healing and learning to trust someone else again.

Meanwhile, a new adventure starts as Deadshot of the Suicide Squad breaks into a Sypral black site in Boston and steals something called the Perdition Pistol…

Next: “Teen Titans” Vol.5 issues 1 – 4, written by Will Pfeifer.

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