Midnighter (2006 comic book)

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Midnighter
Cover of Midnighter #1. Art by Chris Sprouse.
Publication information
PublisherWildStorm
ScheduleMonthly
FormatOngoing series
GenreAction · Sci-fi
Publication dateNovember 2006 – June 2008
No. of issues20
Creative team
Created byWarren Ellis
Bryan Hitch
Editor(s)Scott Dunbier
Scott Peterson

Midnighter is an American comic book series published by WildStorm, first issued in November 2006. It is a spin-off from The Authority (which is itself a spin-off from Stormwatch), a superhero team comic book created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, and follows the solo adventures of Midnighter, "the greatest tactician in the history of mankind". The first six issues were written by Garth Ennis, followed by three issues made by different writers; the last eleven final issues were written by Keith Giffen. Midnighter ended with its twentieth issue, followed by the limited series Number of the Beast. The series is also known as Midnighter (Volume 1) to differentiate itself from the character's 12-issue latter series first published by DC Comics in 2015.

Three Midnighter trade paperbacks were originally released. In July 2017 the complete series will be released for the first time in trade.

Background[edit]

Midnighter was released in November 2006 as a part of the Wildstorm Universe "soft reboot" Worldstorm, which included the relaunch and debut of many titles under the label. It was originally intended as a six-issue miniseries written by Garth Ennis only, but later was expanded to be an ongoing series, with following issues penned by other writers.[1] The book was officially announced at the Wizard World Los Angeles 2006 Comic Con, together with The Boys, another Ennis project originally for WildStorm.[2]

Conception and development[edit]

"I think the Midnighter is very much his own man; his sexuality is just one part of that. Never mind the fact that he doesn’t kill people, would Batman do the things we’ve seen the Midnighter do? Batman fights for the status quo, the Midnighter fights to make the world better. Simple as that.”[2]

— Garth Ennis on Midnighter being seen as "the gay Batman".

Midnighter idea came when Ennis was having a lunch with other WildStorm people. Beside his A Man Called Kev and Battler Britton vanity projects, Wildstorm editor Scott Dunbier asked Ennis to also do something a bit more commercial in return, so the writer suggested to "go straight for the jugular and give the best character they’ve got his own book", which in his opinion would be Midnighter. Ennis described the character as "utterly lethal and he tells it like it is. He’s got a nice dark sense of humor, too." About Midnighter's sexuality, the writer stated that “His sexuality is not a complex issue: he likes fucking men. He likes fucking one man in particular — but that doesn’t mean he wants to be around the guy 24/7, hence the solo book." At Midnighter presentation, Ennis said that he could do more than six issues, something that didn't happened, and would try to maintain it as a solo book, without "any major appearances by The Authority in general" ("superteam, yawn"), "Apollo in particular" ("boring blond twat") or crossovers ("They can get someone else in for that").[2]

Keith Giffen became the ongoing writer for Midnighter's last ten issues after a request from Dunbier, since Giffen previously expressed desire to write The Authority. According to Giffen, the idea was to keep Midnighter's consistency in characterization while adding his own different feel to it. He stated Midnighter was an interesting character to him because he "never quite understood his power": "The idea of somebody who faces you down, and two seconds after meeting you, knows how to defeat you? That's kind of intriguing. Just playing around with that will be interesting." The writer expressed similar feelings to Ennis about keeping Midnighter on his own and "pull him back from The Authority", saying that he didn't want "that kind of feel that Midnighter is an extension of The Authority book." Giffen also added that he wished "to keep [writing Midnighter] until they throw me off the book."[3]

Story arcs[edit]

The Killing Machine (#1–5)[edit]

# Title Publication date
1 "The Killing Machine (Part One)"[4] November 1, 2006
2 "The Killing Machine (Part Two)"[5] December 6, 2006
3 "The Killing Machine (Part Three)"[6] January 4, 2007
4 "The Killing Machine (Part Four)"[7] February 7, 2007
5 "The Killing Machine (Part Five)"[8] March 7, 2007

Single-issue stories (#6–9)[edit]

# Title Publication date
6 "Flowers for the Sun"[9] April 4, 2007
7 "Fait Accompli"[10] May 2, 2007
8 "Ordinary People"[11] June 6, 2007
9 "The Hercules Virus"[12] July 5, 2007

Anthem (#10–15)[edit]

# Title Publication date
10 "Past Imperfect"[13] August 1, 2007
11 "Anthem"[14] September 6, 2007
12 "Foul Play"[15] October 3, 2007
13 N/A[16] November 7, 2007
14 "Life Choices"[17] December 5, 2007
15 "Truth and Consequence"[18] January 4, 2008

Assassin8 (#16–20)[edit]

# Title Publication date
16 "VIII"[19] February 6, 2008
17 "Melee"[20] March 5, 2008
18 "By the Numbers"[21] April 2, 2008
19 "My Town"[22] May 7, 2008
20 "There and Back Again"[23] June 4, 2008

Critical reception[edit]

Midnighter received a weighted score of 7.9 out of 10 from review aggregate website Comic Book Roundup, indicating positive reviews, based on 8 reviews from comics critics.[24] Reviewing the first issue, Comic Book Revolution's Rokk Krinn considered it a "well written and exciting read." He added: "Ennis delivers an intriguing character in Midnighter and a story that is full of some serious violence."[25] Don MacPherson from Eye on Comics felt that "Ennis come through with a compelling script that demonstrates a real appreciation of the title character." He described the series as "a war comic", stating that this "makes this title book something that Ennis does better than most."[26] Leroy Douresseaux from ComicBookBin also praised Ennis writing during his Midnighter #5 review, saying that "in his comics, life is precious, making it all the more appalling that so many lives come to such horrific endings." Douresseaux was positive about Midnighter's characterization too, stating that Ennis "works Midnighter with dark edgy humor as Warren Ellis did in the early days of the character."[27]

Writing for Comics Bulletin, Bruce Logan complimented Midnighter #7 story: "The brilliance of Brian K. Vaughan’s novel approach becomes evident when one reads it." About the series, Logan said that normally he "would object to so many changes in writers, but comic book titles don't normally have one excellent writer being replaced by another excellent writer(s)."[28] Karman Kregloe of NewNowNext criticized Midnighter characterization, noting that "Ennis appeared uninterested in writing a gay character who happens to be living happily with another man and raising a teenage girl. [...] To reduce his being gay to a few jokes or jibes, as gay-friendly as they might be intended, shows a reluctance (or an inability) to write a believable gay character." He also added that, in the series, "homophobia seems to be shorthand for 'bad guy', but it reeks of laziness from the writers; [...] it's a selective acknowledgment of the hero's sexuality that reduces what could be a complex, vibrant gay character to a conflicted, inconsistent curiosity."[29]

Commercial performance[edit]

On Diamond Comic Distributors best-selling comics ranking for November 2006, Midnighter #1 debuted at number fifty-three with 39,794 copies distributed, being the top WildStorm comic issue of the month.[30] Each Midnighter issue sold less than the previous, with the last one missing the 10,000 units mark in June 2008.[31] The series' first trade volume, Killing Machine, had 2,440 units accounted in Diamond distributed comic shops during its release month, November 2007, placing at number forty-four on trade paperbacks chart.[32] The following trade, Anthem, had 1,553 units accounted in August 2008 (Nº 67 on trade paperbacks chart), and the third and last one, Assassin8, had 1,159 in December of the same year (Nº 98 on trade paperbacks chart).[33][34]

Midnighter: Physical sales per issue (in thousands)

Accolades[edit]

In 2008, Midnighter received a GLAAD Media Awards nomination for Outstanding Comic Book, but lost to Strangers in Paradise.[52]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits and personnel adapted from the series issues.

  • Phil Balsman – letters (#1–2; #4–9)
  • Pat Brosseau – letters (#11)
  • Rick Burchett – inks (#13–17), artist (#18–20)
  • ChrisCross – penciller (#11), inks (#11)
  • Sal Cipriano – letters (#18)
  • Saleem Crawford – inks (#3)
  • Scott Dunbier – editor (#1–10; #12)
  • Gabe Eltaeb – colors (#18–20)
  • Garth Ennis – writer (#1–6)
  • Glenn Fabry – artist (#6)
  • Christos Gage – writer (#8)
  • Lee Garbett – penciller (#16–17), cover (#16–20), artist (#18–20)
  • Keith Giffen – writer (#10–20)
  • Justin Gray – writer (#9)
  • Troy Hubbs – inks (#11)
  • Jon Landry – penciller (#13–15)
  • Tarvis Lanham – letters (#10; #14)
  • John Paul Leon – artist (#8)
  • Randy Mayor – colors (#1–2; #4–12; #14; #16), cover (#10; #12; #14–20)
  • Jimmy Palmiotti – writer (#9)
  • Pete Pantazis – colors (#15)
  • Scott Peterson – editor (#10–20)
  • Joe Phillips – penciller (#3)
  • Kristy Quinn – assistant editor (#1–20)
  • Jonny Rench – colors (#6–7)
  • Darick Robertson – penciller (#7)
  • Jasen Rodriguez – inks (#3)
  • Darlene Royer – colors (#12–14; #16)
  • Rafael Sandoval – penciller (#12)
  • Trevor Scott – cover (#16–20)
  • Peter Snejbjerg – penciller (#4)
  • Ray Snyder – inks (#5)
  • Chris Sprouse – penciller (#1–3; #5; #10), cover (#1–15)
  • Brian Stelfreeze – cover (#5–6; #13), artist (#9)
  • Karl Story – inks (#1–5; #7; #10; #12), cover (#1–10; #12; #14–15)
  • Brian K. Vaughan – writer (#7)
  • Steve Wands – letters (#12–13; #15–17; #19–20)
  • Wildstorm FX – letters (#3), colors (#3; #17)
  • Scott Williams – inks (#3)

Collected editions[edit]

The series has been collected into the following trade paperbacks:

Title Material collected Publication date ISBN
Midnighter: Killing Machine (Volume 1)[53] Midnighter #1–6 November 28, 2007 978-1401214777
Midnighter: Anthem (Volume 2)[54] Midnighter #7; #10–15 August 20, 2008 978-1401216702
Midnighter: Assassin8 (Volume 3)[55] Midnighter #16–20 December 24, 2008 978-1401220013
Midnighter: Hard[56] Midnighter #7–8 October 19, 2016 978-1401264932
Midnighter: The Complete Wildstorm Series[57] Midnighter #1–20 July 12, 2017 978-1401267919

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dezago, Todd; Nolen-Weathington, Eric (June 9, 2009). Modern Masters Volume 21: Chris Sprouse. 21. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 73.
  2. ^ a b c "WWLA: Garth Ennis Talks the Midnighter Ongoing Series". Newsarama. March 18, 2006. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (May 22, 2007). "Talking Midnighter, Four Horsemen with Giffen". Newsarama. Archived from the original on May 24, 2007. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  4. ^ Garth Ennis (w), Chris Sprouse (a). Midnighter #1 (November 1, 2006), WildStorm
  5. ^ Garth Ennis (w), Chris Sprouse (a). Midnighter #2 (December 6, 2006), WildStorm
  6. ^ Garth Ennis (w), Chris Sprouse, Joe Phillips (a). Midnighter #3 (January 4, 2007), WildStorm
  7. ^ Garth Ennis (w), Peter Snejbjerg (a). Midnighter #4 (February 7, 2007), WildStorm
  8. ^ Garth Ennis (w), Chris Sprouse (a). Midnighter #5 (March 7, 2007), WildStorm
  9. ^ Garth Ennis (w), Glenn Fabry (a). Midnighter #6 (April 4, 2007), WildStorm
  10. ^ Brian K. Vaughan (w), Darick Robertson (a). Midnighter #7 (May 2, 2007), WildStorm
  11. ^ Christos Gage (w), John Paul Leon (a). Midnighter #8 (June 6, 2007), WildStorm
  12. ^ Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti (w), Brian Stelfreeze (a). Midnighter #9 (July 5, 2007), WildStorm
  13. ^ Keith Giffen (w), Chris Sprouse (a). Midnighter #10 (August 1, 2007), WildStorm
  14. ^ Keith Giffen (w), ChrisCross (a). Midnighter #11 (September 6, 2007), WildStorm
  15. ^ Keith Giffen (w), Rafael Sandoval (a). Midnighter #12 (October 3, 2007), WildStorm
  16. ^ Keith Giffen (w), Jon Landry (a). Midnighter #13 (November 7, 2007), WildStorm
  17. ^ Keith Giffen (w), Jon Landry (a). Midnighter #14 (December 5, 2007), WildStorm
  18. ^ Keith Giffen (w), Jon Landry (a). Midnighter #15 (January 4, 2008), WildStorm
  19. ^ Keith Giffen (w), Lee Garbett (a). Midnighter #16 (February 6, 2008), WildStorm
  20. ^ Keith Giffen (w), Lee Garbett (a). Midnighter #17 (March 5, 2008), WildStorm
  21. ^ Keith Giffen (w), Lee Garbett, Rick Burchett (a). Midnighter #18 (April 2, 2008), WildStorm
  22. ^ Keith Giffen (w), Lee Garbett, Rick Burchett (a). Midnighter #19 (May 7, 2008), WildStorm
  23. ^ Keith Giffen (w), Lee Garbett, Rick Burchett (a). Midnighter #20 (June 4, 2008), WildStorm
  24. ^ "Midnighter Comic Series Reviews". Comic Book Roundup. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  25. ^ "Midnighter #1 Reviews". Comic Book Roundup. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  26. ^ MacPherson, Don (November 6, 2006). "A Midnighter's Summer Dream". Eye on Comics. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  27. ^ Douresseaux, Leroy (April 29, 2007). "Garth Ennis: The Midnighter #5". ComicBookBin. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  28. ^ Logan, Bruce (May 14, 2007). "Midnighter #7 Review". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  29. ^ Kregloe, Karman (May 26, 2007). "Midnighter: DC's Gay Superhero Could Use Some Rescuing". NewNowNext. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  30. ^ a b "Comic Book Sales Figures for November 2006". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  31. ^ a b "Comic Book Sales Figures for June 2008". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  32. ^ a b "Comic Book Sales Figures for November 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  33. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for August 2008". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  34. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for December 2008". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  35. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for December 2006". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  36. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for January 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  37. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for February 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  38. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for March 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  39. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for April 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  40. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for May 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  41. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for June 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  42. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for July 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  43. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for August 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  44. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for September 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  45. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for October 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  46. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for December 2007". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  47. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for January 2008". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  48. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for February 2008". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  49. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for March 2008". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  50. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for April 2008". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  51. ^ "Comic Book Sales Figures for May 2008". Comichron. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  52. ^ "GLAAD Media Award - 2008 / Winners & Nominees". Awards & Winners. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  53. ^ Garth Ennis (w), Chris Sprouse, Joe Phillips, Peter Snejbjerg, Glenn Fabry (a). Midnighter: Killing Machine (November 28, 2007), Wildstorm
  54. ^ Brian K. Vaughan, Keith Giffen (w), Darick Robertson, Chris Sprouse, ChrisCross, Rafael Sandoval, Jon Landry (a). Midnighter: Anthem (August 20, 2008), Wildstorm
  55. ^ Keith Giffen (w), Lee Garbett, Rick Burchett (a). Midnighter: Assassin8 (December 24, 2008), Wildstorm
  56. ^ Steve Orlando, Brian K. Vaughan, Christos Gage, Peter Milligan (w), David Messina, Hugo Petrus, Aco, Darick Robertson, John Paul Leon, Simon Bisley (a). Midnighter: Hard (Vol. 2) (October 19, 2016), DC Comics
  57. ^ Garth Ennis, Brian K. Vaughan, Christos Gage, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Keith Giffen (w), Chris Sprouse, Joe Phillips, Peter Snejbjerg, Glenn Fabry, Darick Robertson, John Paul Leon, Brian Stelfreeze, ChrisCross, Rafael Sandoval, Jon Landry, Simon Coleby, Lee Garbett, Rick Burchett (a). Midnighter: The Complete Wildstorm Series (July 12, 2017), DC Comics

External links[edit]