Tag Archives: Steve Orlando

“Supergirl” vol 7 issue 18

Written by Steve Orlando

Wildstorm concepts: Wildstorm Khera

Supergirl Kherans 18Supergirl 18There’s not much I can say about this one. It’s a single panel’s mention of Kherubs as part of the species who are in Earth… Which is expected from Orlando, the main guy who was interested in Wildstorm between DCYou and Infinite Frontier. But hey, I have to chronicle all instances of Wildstorm in DC!

Next: “Batman: Urban Legends” issues 1-5, written by Matthew Rosenberg.

Also, because I’m tired of articles claiming “DC is now bringing their Wildstorm characters into their universe” after 10 years of that happening, I hereby introduce my new Wildstorm appearances in the DC universe counter.

Wildstorm appearances in the DC Universe: #379

“DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration” issue 1 and “DC Pride” issue 1

Written by Steve Orlando and Andrew Wheeler

Wildstorm concepts: Authority - Midnighter Authority - Apollo Gen13 - Grunge

foh1Is anyone else really frustated by how WordPress keeps pushing their dumb “block” system while I just want to keep using the classic method?

Anyway…

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.

RCO081_1620748743

DC_Pride_Vol_1_1In “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.

pinup

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.

“DC Cybernetic Summer” issue 1

Written by Steve Orlando

Wildstorm concepts: Authority - Midnighter Authority - Apollo 

DC_Cybernetic_Summer_Vol.1_1Apollo and Middy are enjoying a nice beach getaway in Coast City when Midnighter catches something on the military bands. A military cruise ship is under siege by Monsieur Mallah, who’s trying to free his lover Brain. While Apollo fixes the sinking ship, Midnighter battles Mallah. The simian calls him sexy and thinks he can get the upper hand because monkeys can use all four of their limbs as hands, but Middy promptly proves his feet are just as deadly as his two hands.

Meanwhile, Apollo encounters Brain and realizes the ship’s hull is super-dense because it’s one giant A.R.G.U.S. cell to hold Brain. The villain pleads his case to Apollo, asking him to relate to wanting to be with your loved one at all costs. On his end, Mallah does the same: they’re just acting out of love!

Ultimately, the heroes arrange for the villains to be locked up together, fulfilling their dream to be together. They thank the world’s finest couple.

Next: “Dark Nights: Death Metal: Multiverse’s End” issue 1, written by James Tynion IV.

“Electric Warriors” issue 6

Written by Steve Orlando

Wildstorm concepts: WildCATS - Helspont

Electric Warriors 006-000

This was a very small, unexpected cameo: The series “Electric Warriors” takes place after “Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth”, a 70’s series that showed Earth ravaged by a mysterious Great Disaster. In Electric Warriors  we catch a glimpse of the past before the Disaster: supervillain extraordinary Lex Luthor predicted it, so he gathered a cabal of the most prominent supervillains to warn them. Among them, surprisingly, is Helspont. He doesn’t get any lines or anything, but we’re told he didn’t believe Luthor, and that caused his demise.

Sin título

 

“Midnighter and Apollo” issues 1 – 6

Written by Steve Orlando
Wildstorm concepts: StormWatch - Bendix Authority - Midnighter authority-apollo

Midnighter_and_Apollo_Vol_1_1The story begins with Midnighter trying to rescue some kidnapped kids from Captain Half-beard’s Subway Pirates. When he catches Half-Beard, he explains he’s using the kids to fuel his God-Train, which runs on innocence and turns into a giant robot. Luckily, Midnighter brought Apollo, who deals with it. Afterwards, they go to Apollo’s place in Opal City, where they celebrate with friends. Midnighter hasn’t moved in yet, after months of dating, because they want to take it as it comes. Everything is swell, but Apollo is concerned — Midnighter was particularly brutal in taking care of the pirates, perhaps because the kidnapped children reminded him of himself. Apollo wonders if killing is always the solution.

Meanwhile, Bendix is still around. To try and kill Midnighter, he attempts to recruit several magic users, but he only strikes luck with the Lords of the Gun. To help them, he gifts them the Ace of Winchesters, a special gun. At the same time, Midnighter starts beating up criminals who have been empowered by Bendix, until one of them gives away Bendix’s location. He visits Bendix, but the villain disables the Doors and shows Midnighter his plan: a Lord of the Gun, Mawzir, is killing Apollo in Opal City. Midnighter’s only way to help him is to fight to the surface through a gauntlet Bendix designed. Midnighter can’t spare the time to kill Bendix, but he still stabs him with a stapler. Middy beats the gauntlet easily enough, but when he reaches Mawzir it leaves. Midnighter is left with an allegedly dead Apollo, but he knows deep inside he’s still alive. Middy spends the next three days bathing him in sunlight.

Later, Midnighter visits Extraño, a magician, to ask him about the possible whereabouts of Apollo’s soul. His soul is actually in Hell, being tortured by Neron. Extraño arranges for Midnighter to visit; he modifies his body so that he can harm infernal flesh, but if he activates its power it will kill Midnighter in seven minutes. To make things worse, the only thing capable of killing the Mawzir is the Ace of Winchesters, which Middy doesn’t have. He visits the Ace’s previous owner, Vodyanar, a demon. He doesn’t have it, but Middy does obtain a bullet from the gun. Afterwards, he is transported to hell, where the Lords of the Gun willingly lead him to the Mawzir. They’ve broken the Ace of Winchesters; there’s nothing that can harm them now. A tough fight follows, since Midnighter can’t use his enhancements or fight computer in hell, but he defeats the Mawzir by piercing the bullet from the Ace of Winchester through his skull.

Meanwhile, Neron has been debating with Apollo; trying to convince him he belongs in hell, to break his will and get Apollo to give away his soul willingly. Apollo offers a bet: if Neron can answer one question correctly, he earns his soul. “Why does Apollo really calls himself Apollo?” Neron thinks it is because Apollo considers himself a God, thinks he deserves more power. We don’t know if he guessed right… and by the time Midnighter reaches Neron, he’s captured Apollo’s soul.

Midnighter and Neron fight, and Midnighter unleashes the full power of his spell and defeats Neron. However, it takes seven minutes, so his body breaks fully. Then the terrible truth comes to light: Neron had guessed wrong, so he had set Apollo free; Midnighter was fighting for an illusion, and he never defeated Neron. Apollo comes to the rescue, and Neron promised to let him go, so he leaves them. However, all of Apollo and Midnighter’s victims reunite to stop them. The fly away, reaching the portal to escape seconds after it closes. Apollo and Midnighter have succesfully kicked the devil’s ass.

Days later, Midnighter moves in with Apollo, but he gives him a speech about how he’ll never stop killing. He can’t change. But Apollo disagrees; he’ll never stop trying to bring Middy into the light.

Next: “Dark Knights Rising – The Wild Hunt” issue 1, written by Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson.

“Midnighter” issues 8 – 12

Written by Steve Orlando
Wildstorm concepts: Authority - Midnighter Authority - Doors Authority - Apollo StormWatch - Bendix Team 7 stormwatch

Midnighter-008-(2016)-(Digital-Empire)-001After his last heart-break, Midnighter meets Robert and agrees to do a documentary about his experience to help others. But his job is never done: he fights a Chimera let loose in the city by a group called Sportman’s Ambition, who arrange hunts for rich people. Midnighter receives help from Freedom Beast, who guides him to Sportman’s Ambition. The group unleashes another chimera at Midnighter, but this time he knows the beast’s just angry that someone made it a monster; he can relate. He finds a new way to work with his hands, knocking the beast unconscious instead of killing. The duo dispose of the villains.

Later, Midnighter’s friend Marina is released from prison, like Midnighter had promised. He wants to give her a ride, but he’s interrupted by a call from his emergency network. When he checks it out, it turns out to be a trap from Spyral. As payback from the time Midnighter kidnapped Grayson, they want him to help them recover the Perdition Pistol. Obtaining it was one of Midnighter’s first cases after walking out on the gardener, but someone’s taken it. The prime suspects: The Suicide Squad.

Marina is chosen as Midnighter’s Spyral handler. Intel names the Crow’s Nest as the most likely holding site: an orbiting vault. Since it’s shielded from teleport, Midnighter reaches it by shooting himself from a giant railgun. The place is protected by guards and a speeder, but Midnighter kills them all. He reaches the gun and “accidentally” destroys it. As he’s leaving, he checks out a computer and finds a file on… Henry Bendix! If the Gardener is Midnighter’s mother, Bendix is his father. He was partners with the Gardener until he crossed a line she wouldn’t. Now he’s working with Amanda Waller of the Suicide Squad to complete The Unified: a military killer fueled by Kryptonian DNA and a fight computer like Midnighter’s. Spyral commands him to kill Bendix.

Later, Midnighter is hanging out with Robert about his documentary when they receive a surprise attack by the Suicide Squad: It’s Harley Queen, Deadshot and Afterthought, the only man who can dodge Midnighter. His brain is always seeing five seconds into the future. Unable to hit him, Midnighter is beaten to a pulp.

Middy is captured and taken to Amanda Waller, who wants to torture him for information about Spyral’s counter-intelligence. However, Middy counts with tiny bursts of super speed, so he vibrates the chair he’s been chained to every time Amanda blinks. Midnighter escapes from the facility and steals a ship. All the Suicide Squad tech can be tracked, so he can now head towards Bendix and the Squad protecting him.

To reach Bendix, he must get past Harley Queen, Deadshot and Parasite. At first it seems easy, but Parasite starts pirating Middy’s enhancements; taking away his powers. Unable to move, they put him in a plane and then make it explode. However, he was able to call Apollo, who rescued him at super-speed. Meanwhile, Bendix obtains the Kryptonite DNA he needed. Amanda explains he’s only helping him because they came up in the same house: Team One, Team Seven. Wow! First mention of Team One in this universe. Back with Apollo, Midnighter offers an explanation and an apology for their break-up; he needed to be better, more than a killing machine, and he’s been working at meeting new people. Those people saved him after the Prometheus incident; people he trusted like he should have trusted Apollo. But when the plane was about to explode, at the end of the world, there wasn’t anyone else he wanted to see. Apollo, being the nice guy he is, forgives Midnighter and agrees to help with Bendix.

They go with Spyral, because the Suicide Squad bombed Midnighter’s apartment and shut down his doors. Suddenly, Spyral begins to receive attacks from the Squad, using doors, technology which Bendix invented. Midnighter gets a rematch against Parasite: the monster might have stolen Middy’s healing abilities, but he knows how to slow himself down. He pierces Parasite’s heart. Then he gets his rematch with Afterthought. He knows he can’t hit him, so he just defends himself with doubled armor until Afterthought is too tired to move. Then, in a Team One Safehouse, The Unified is activated and sent to attack Modora. Modoran terrorists invaded American soil back in issue 1, so now they pay the price. Problem is, Bendix makes it a public operation where civilians are in danger too; he wants to spread fear. Luckily, Midnighter, Apollo and Spyral arrive.

Midnighter (2015-) 012-002 In a nice touch, they recreate the opening panel from “The Authority” Vol 1 issue 2. As the heroes fight the Squad, Amanda orders Bendix to stop. He refuses, explaining he plans to kill the entire population of Modora, so Amanda knocks him out. Amanda orders his troops to stop, but they’re made by Multiplex clones, and they hate Midnighter too much to stop. As Bendix escapes through a door, Apollo fights with the Unified and burns his tactical nervous system from his gray matter. Without his enhancements, it’s Midnighter’s turn, who fights the Unified with a sonic revolver to vibrate his blood until it pops. The Unified lashes out — he was created to eliminate enemies, is he supposed to ignore his purpose? Well, Midnighter did. The Unified is killed.

After the crisis, Midnighter visits the Gardener to warn her Bendix could go after her. When she suggests he should stop pretending to have a life and go back to work with her, Midnighter tells her his people see him as a person, not a means to an end. If she ever questions them again, he’ll kill her himself. Later, all of Midnighter’s friends throw a party for him. Apollo kisses him, seeing they can see where it goes. It’s a happy ending.

Next: “New Suicide Squad” issues 17 – 21, written by Tim Seeley.

“Batman & Robin Eternal” issues 23 – 26

Written by James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, Genevieve Valentine and Steve Orlando.
Wildstorm Concepts: Authority - Midnighter Authority - Doors

All-Star WesternIt’s a typical crisis for the Bat-Family: because of a radio signal, every child in the world has been ordered to kill their parents. To help coordinate things, they asked for Midnighter’s help, who lent them his Door technology. As every member in the batfamily gathers at Midnighter’s home, he’s forced to kick out the guy he had just slept with. He knows he’s acting crass in front of the heroes; they wouldn’t know what to do if he was helpful right out of the gate. To help find a batfamily member, Harper, Midnighter gets to work on his computers with Harper’s brother, Cullen. It seems all the signal transmitters block doors around them, so they’ll have to get to them the hard way. They’ll have to battle the children softly, so Midnighter stays put as ops. To stop the one responsible for everything, Mother, Midnighter sends Grayson to the artic circle. Meanwhile, Midnighter stays with Cullen, who is a tech wiz and helps him hack cameras. Cullen makes them some sandwiches — all Middy has is cupboards full of peanut butter. The nuances of civilian life continue to elude him.

However, they’re losing. Tokyo needs relief, so Midnighter sends Spoiler in – she was busy watching over Scarecrow, who was cooking a toxin to disrupt Mother’s signal. Midnighter replaces her; if the villain acts up, he’ll get someone new to be afraid of. Midnighter leaves Cullen in his place with the computers; the computer in his head showed him how it ends, that Cullen will do great. Soon, the toxin is finished, but they’ve got twelve “Orphan” assassins to deal with in each of the transmitter locations. Feeling overjoyed, Midnighter has the twelve warriors teleported to him, where he deals with the twelve at once. The anti-toxin is delivered, and the children are free from control. To wrap things up, every hero is delivered to the Artic Circle, to deal with Mother. The villain is defeated.

Next: “Grayson” issues 9 – 20, written by Tim Seeley, Tom King, Jacksong Lanzing and Collin Kelly.

“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.