Midnighter #12 Review

Written by: Steve Orlando

Art by: Aco, Hugo Petrus

Publisher: DC Comics

Have you ever been watching an action movie, waiting in anticipation for the final fight scene and then when it comes it’s everything you ever hoped for and more? Midnighter #12 is the comic form of just that feeling with the exception that it’s turned up to 11. Somehow, Orlando, Aco and Petrus manage to deliver an ending in just 20 pages that summarizes everything that makes this series so good while also delivering a touching, satisfying conclusion.

This issue presents us with the final fight between the assembled might of Midnighter, Apollo and the Suicide Squad against Bendix and his superman The Unified. With so many characters assembled, it feels like some will be lost in the shuffle. I was worried this wouldn’t feel like much of a conclusion to Midnighter if he barely appeared, but thankfully Oralando chooses to focus in on his cast of characters to ensure the strongest narrative conclusion. From the very beginning I was fist pumping the air in excitement, and there are quite a few surprises along the way. I don’t want to spoil anything, as the entire issue consists of fan pleasing moments that deliver so many great conclusions to the unfortunately short lived series. Honestly the book feels way longer than 20 pages, so much is packed in without sacrificing pacing or satisfying character arcs it’s honestly outstanding. Unlike most recent DC You books, it feels like the book has came to a natural conclusion rather than a forced one.

Equally brilliant is Aco’s utterly mesmerizing art. He’s been absolutely outstanding throughout this series, but this issue makes the others look like they were drawn using crayons. There’s an absolutely huge scale to the issue compared to the previous tightly shot issues. There are so many character on the page at a time, but not a single hair of detail is lost. It’s a sight to behold, and just makes this finale feel like the absolutely huge battle this series deserves. For a series that’s hinged quite a lot on awesome and visually distinct battles, this final issue delivers. It’s easy to think a series will fail to live up to the hype, but Aco laughs at that assumption and delivers quite simply his best work of the entire series. The fact that he makes the fights so dense and kinetic too is incredible, focusing on intricate yet easily readable panel structure rather than massive splash pages (though when splash pages are used, they’re for emotional moments rather than cheap thrills).

Overall, I’m absolutely stunned with how well this series has ended. After placing such a high bar for themselves, the Midnighter team pole vault straight over it and into the stratosphere. While I am disappointed that the series has had to end so soon, I’ll take it if it means we get to have such an awesome conclusion. If you haven’t read the series, I implore you to pick up the issues and have an absolute blast reading them. It’s been one of the smartest, emotionally hard hitting and action packed series DC have had in a long time.