Friday, November 03, 2006

Midnighter #1


faggot


swish


fruit


AIDS



We get it.

Midnighter's gay.

We get it.

There's a lot to like in the first issue of Midnighter by Garth Ennis and Chris Sprouse. It's yet another twist on the classic Ennis Hard Man character, but with enough twists and turns to make a story I want to read more of.

What I don't want to read more of is page after page of gay bashing. Perhaps this is similar to 70s Black Panther or Luke Cage, where every plot revolved around racists and racism, but it somehow feels less noble in intent. Perhaps because it's so casual and pervasive? Perhaps because it feels very one-note? Perhaps because it feels like a verbal tic used by Ennis to separate Midnighter from every other black-leather-clad badass he writes? "Ah, yeah ... that's right," says Ennis. "Midnighter's the gay one. OK. Off to write the issue." Is Punsiher filled with Italian jokes? Was Jesse Custer constantly defined by being a Texan?

Ennis hits the truly interesting part of the character in the first few pages. He's a reductio ad absurdum Batman, a killing machine who is only barely human. He exists only as action, and is uncomfortable without it. That's the hook this series could hang on, and Ennis develops a situation that takes full advantage of it. But if Midnighter becomes issue after issue where the lead character is defined purely by his sexuality, I won't be around to see how that Millar-esque last page reveal resolves itself.

3 comments:

Steven said...

Was Jesse Custer constantly defined by being a Texan?

Yes.

Actually, he was. In fact, he was constantly defined as that most stereotypical of Texans, the cowboy.

It's an Ennis tick. Have secondary characters make the cliched remarks and assumptions to write around the stereotypes.

It's just no one is offended when called a cowboy, whereas even suggesting someone might be gay is likely to get you hit in some parts of the country.

Mark Fossen said...

I haven't read Preacher since it's first few issues, so thanks for the memory refresh. I've definitely lost my love for Ennis' work, ans probably need to stop buying things with his name on them.

Bones said...

I've definitely lost my love for Ennis' work, ans probably need to stop buying things with his name on them.

I already have. Since issue 3 of "the Boys" I'm officially done with Ennis. I was never his biggest fan, and "Welcome back Frank" stands to this day as the only work he's done that I thought was truly outstanding. I skipped this Midnighter series even though he's one of my favorite characters.