Writer: Steve Orlando
Artists: Fernando Blanco, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Josh Reed
Down in the Inferno
Two lovers face their own battles in hell. Each proving their virtue, their worth, and their love for one another. Mawzir places the only weapon that can kill him, broken, at Midnighter’s feet. But with love comes determination, and as Midnighter pulls out the bullet from the gun, determination is exactly what spreads across the page. A fight ensues and Mawzir with his spider like arms, grounds Midnighter into the floor. Then to the readers’ dismay Mawzir catches Midnighter’s last hope, the bullet midair. Mawzir holds the bullet up in a mocking gesture, a deadly mistake as Midnighter jumps up and head-butts the bullet into Mawzir's head. These panels pull an easy “Holy crap!” from anyone reading them. Impressed with Midnighter’s fury, hell’s agents offer him a place among them. Not deterred, since he’s here for the only thing keeping him going, Apollo. He will get his love back no matter how much blood will be spilled.
In Castle Epicaricacius, Apollo continues to barter for his soul. Can he beat Neuron at his own witty game? Little does he know that his soulmate is coming for him. Midnighter enters the room and is distressed at what he finds. Now he’ll try doing things his way, kicking ass.
The art lays a well grounded foundation for the tone of this book. Dull colors play well with the bright splashes of red and the glow of Apollo’s skin. A dirtier and bloodier version of Batman runs across panels with angst and purpose. With no struggle with a conscious the black and grey toned
The conjunction of Midnighter’s violence and Apollo’s glowing goodness weaves an enticing story. I wasn’t sure at first; I felt it was too similar to Batman and Superman, but now I have to say I’m a big fan of these characters based on their own merit. Fernando does well with adding little details, like Egyptian vases in Hell’s castle, to add depth to the story. Some of Hell’s creatures were a little silly to me, but overall you felt the sense that Midnighter is traveling far to find his love. I also think it’s great to not only have a gay relationship be the main source of plot, but to also have it be as romantic and real as this one is. Neuron has been built up to seem like this great evil force so I am very interested in how the lovers are able to take him down. As much as I enjoyed Mawzir dying I do hope there is more strategy involved when taking down Neuron. Either way great book.
High Blessing: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩
Ariel DuPey | NCR