To cap off LGBT Pride month, DC Comics announced that they are reviving the gay vigilante Midnighter, whose self-titled series was cancelled earlier this year. This October, Midnighter will be back — and he'll be paired up with his superhero boyfriend Apollo in a six-issue miniseries.
Writer Steve Orlando and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr. return, while artist ACO switches to cover art and Fernando Blanco joins the impressive team as its main artist. We're most excited by Orlando's return, as his work is a prime example of how queer representation behind the scenes is as important as on the page. He effortlessly made Midnighter and his supporting cast into engaging and authentic characters without ever resorting to a cookie cutter coming out story. It's one of the few superhero comics that felt authentic to me personally as a queer guy.
And yes, part of that authenticity is yelling Sondheim lyrics at your enemies.
In the previous series, the pair had broken up because Midnighter felt like his entire identity was defined by their relationship. They reconnect and Orlando says that now "They have a firmer idea of who they are and they've become stronger and more confident together. Midnighter and Apollo are back to remind the world that it truly is a bad time to be bastards. This is the World's Finest Couple — kicking back and making each other better than they are on their own."
The Washington, DC chapter of Geeks OUT partnered with Fantom Comics for a queer book club talking about this previous series just this past weekend. The character was new to most of the attendees, and the conversation centered around what drives Midnighter (it was particularly fun when that was Dick Grayson). Even when the main plot got a bit confusing, his friendships and romantic relationships were memorable and real. Apollo is absent for most of the series, so many of us weren't sure why Midnighter was so crazy about him, outside of that whole being-a-stacked-superhero thing. It's exciting that this new series will let us find out more about them both while focusing on the strengths of its predecessor.
One problem with the marketing of the old series is that there were no references to Midnighter's sexuality or relationships in the ads or covers even though they were central to the book. In an about-face, this series was announced with a front page New York Times article talking about them as a gay superhero couple. We hope this helps get the series on the radar of an audience who we know would love to read it.
It's easy to catch up on the story, as the series is collected in only two trade paperbacks: Midnighter Volume 1: Out which is in stores now, and Volume 2: Hard, which will be released in October, just in time for the first issue of Midnighter & Apollo.