Written by Steve Orlando and Andrew Wheeler
Is anyone else really frustated by how WordPress keeps pushing their dumb “block” system while I just want to keep using the classic method?
Note that these two comics take place after “Infinite Frontier” but their respective Wildstorm stories must take plalce before it. “Festival of Heroes” doesn’t feature any Wildstorm stories, per se, but there are two Grunge pin-ups, for the completitionists out there: he appears in the cover, drawn by no other than Jim Lee, and in a Jim Cheung illustration. I love Jim Lee, but the way he hides every character’s feet in both of these post’s covers is kind of hilarious.
In “DC Pride” Midnighter regular Steve Orlando writes a story set “years ago” in which Midnighter goes on a date with Extraño, famously DC’s first gay superhero. Now, I take some issue with this. It’s true that Midnighter followed Apollo for over a year before deciding to reveal himself by intervening in Stormwatch’s recruitment attempt, so he had a window of time where he could date others, but Orlando’s own Midnighter series establishes in issue 1 that “[Midnighter] had never been with anyone before [Apollo].” Another explanation could be that “years ago” actually means “back in 2015” when Apollo had briefly broken up with Middy after learning Lucas wasn’t his real name. Either way, let’s move onto the plot, which is pretty insane. Extraño and Middy are after Count Berlin, a neo-nazi vampire who stole the bones of Patroclus to rewrite the ancient warrior’s story with a spell so that he and Achilles weren’t lovers, but cousins. The couple storms the villain’s castle, and while Extraño undoes the spell, Middy smashes Count Berlin’s skull over and over. As it turns out, he can regenerate indefinitely as long as they don’t use some classic vampire weakness like garlic, wooden stakes or silver, but that just adds to Midnighter’s fun, who promises the vampire will be begging for sunrise by the time he’s done with him.
After a gorgeous pinup featuring Apollo and Midnighter, they share a story written by Andrew Wheeler. In it, the villanous Eclipso rains on a Pride Parade – literally, sending a cursed rain that summons everyone’s rage and anxiety to the surface for him to feed on the pain. Syl, a young magician who was accompanying gay hero Aqualad, summons his teacher to help, Extraño, and he brings with him a horde of queer superheroes, whom he names Justice League Queer. These are Extraño, Apollo, Midnighter, The Aerie, Batwoman, Bunker, Crush, The Ray, Shining Knight, Steel, Tasmanian Devil, Traci Thirteen, Tremor and Wink. Together they send Eclipso through a portal, and celebrate their pride.
Next: The entire “Savage Dawn” crossover, which includes “Superman” Vol.3 Annual 3 and issues 48 – 50, “Action Comics” Vol.3 issues 48 – 50, and “Superman/Wonder Woman” issues 25 – 27, written by Greg Pak, Gene Luen Yang, Peter Tomasi and Aaron Kuder.