Where would one start if I wanted to read about Midnighter and Apollo? I've been seeing you on my dash and I'm just ' sign me up for this I need to read' but I don't?? know where to start??
Bless you, my friend! Bless you for seeking the truth and wisdom that is Midnighter and Apollo! May your crops flourish, may your skin clear, may the gay rainbow bring joy and prosperity upon you!
So here’s the thing. There are technically two different versions of Apollo and Midnighter that exist in the world. This is because both characters were originally created by Ellis and Hitch in 1999 for the Wildstorm Universe, as members of Stormwatch (and then The Authority). At the time, the Wildstorm Universe was arguably a much edgier place to be than DC, where people died in gruesome and explicit ways…. and then they stayed dead. Kind of.
In Wildstorm, Apollo and Midnighter begin and end as a team. They are, for most of their existence in the storyline, a couple. They get married, adopt a child, and interact as a couple who have a real relationship despite their superhuman lifestyle. Almost every story arc ever told in the Wildstorm Era is beautiful and worth reading, and I will link them to you below.
Now. Fast Forward to 2010, when Wildstorm was considered officiallly purchased/acquired by DC Comics and all their current universe runs had finally concluded. DC now owns The Authority, Apollo, and the Midnighter. So what do they do? Completely reboot the fucking universe, of course. And not only that, they retconn Apollo and Midnighters’s entire backstory of being experimental soldiers in Henry Bendix’s covert op Stormwatch Team. Instead, they’d been abducted by aliens or some shit. Whatever. I’ve made my opinion of the New52 Reboot of Apollo very clear in other posts.
So DC Universe Apollo and Midnighter end up being entirely different, both as people and how they come together as a couple. I won’t recommend much of the early New52 run for reading material, but I Do highly recommend the standalone Midnighter series (both vol 1 and 2), eventhough Apollo’s appearances are sparing. They’re still great reads, and they weill set you up for appreciating the new series that released only last month, Midnighter and Apollo!
So let me point you in the right direction to learn a bit about both Past and Present Apollo and Midnighter:
- Stormwatch, vol 2 : #4 - #9 (A Finer World)
Here lies the first appearance of Apollo and Midnighter in Wildstorm. Reading this is not necessary to understanding who they are, but it gets into their backstory pretty well and introduces a lot of big players in the Stormwatch world.
- The Authority, vol 1
As a Continuation from Stormwatch, Vol 2, this series is the real “meat” of where you will see Apollo and Midnighter shine, both as a couple and on a team. They join the Authority and spend their time being both unorthodox heroes and global celebrities. It’s pretty awesome.
Excellent TPBs have been compiled of the Story arcs in this volume, and can be found here:
- The Authority: Relentless
- The Authority: Under New Management
- The Authority: Earth Inferno and Other Stories
- The Authority: Transfer of Power
- The Authority: Annual 2000
This is a standalone piece that is a fun read. It takes place between issues #19 and #20 in The Authority, Vol 1
- The Authority, vol 2
Volume 2 continues where Volume 1 left off, with more adventures and more villains. This volume is where we see Apollo and Midnighter’s married life, the ongoing growth of Jenny as their adopted daughter, and how they work our their personal issues. Story Arc TPBs include:
- The Authority: Harsh Realities
- The Authority: Fractured Worlds
- Wildstorm Winter special 2005
This hard-to-find Winter Special from 2006 features a couple of stories in it, but one in particular about Apollo and Midnighter alone. It also features their parallel universe opposites: Pluto and Daylighter.
- The Authority: Revolution
Technically considered Volume 3 of the series, Revolution was written during a time of obvious and inevitable decline for Wildstorm. The stories within are managed first by Morrison, and then by a series of random writers all struggling to find some magic formula to bring readers back to the book. . Revolution features the one and only “break up” between Apollo and Midnighter in the Wildstorm Universe. And it sort of signals the beginning of the end for this team.
- Book One
- Book Two
- The Authority: The Lost Year
This is technically Volume 4 of The Authority Series, but the intention of a full series story arc failed after about four issues, and again the book began to change hands between writers and artists at an alarming rate. This is essentially the end of The Authority in Wildstorm, as is acknowledged in the book itself. The fun thing about this book is that they jump across multiple universes and meet several versions of themselves.
Wildstorm / DC Titles
These books took place during the transition period of DC taking over Wildstorm. Essentially, the version of Apollo and Midnighter found in these books is still the Wildstorm Version, but briefly cohabitates with pre New52 versions of DC characters.
- DC/Wildstorm : Dreamwar
A Crossover Event in which someones dreams bring both universes together. It goes about as poorly as you’d expect. On the upside, Apollo kills Joker?
A mini-series featuring mostly the Wildstorm version of Midnighter, but is a great set up for his solo-series that follows right after.
- Midnighter, vol 1
Excellent standalone title for Midnighter, still technically taking place in the Wildstorm universe but operating as part of the shift into DC tone and style.
- The Authority: World’s End
The fifth and final volume of The Authority before everything is retconned into DC’s New52. Apollo and Midnighter are only in about half of this volume, but their story is brilliant and heartbreaking and I love it.
The books below are the only things I actually liked from what became of Stormwatch and the Authority under the New52′s influence. You are welcome to read Stormwatch Vol 2 to learn how this new version of Apollo and Midnighter came to be in a relationship, but you may find it underwhelming after the brilliance of Wildstorm’s Stormwatch and Authority series. Despite that, the present day representation of Midnighter and Apollo are definitely worth reading in the following:
- I, Vampire #12
A brief appearance of Apollo, Midnighter, and Jack. It’s an incidental moment, but it’s cute because they’re ‘not quite dating.’
- Grayson, vol 1 : #1 - #18
Midnighter makes various Cameos in this series, and it’s pretty brilliant.
- Midnighter, vol 2
The critically acclaimed standalone series by Steve Orlando, featuring mostly Midnighter on his own. This is where I began to truly appreciate the DC version of both Midnighter and Apollo, and this book is the whole reason the characters are being written about today.
- Midnighter and Apollo
The latest in our heroes story! Issue #1 only came out last month, and already this book (also written by Steve Orlando) is turning out to be an amazing piece of the Apollo/Midnighter story!
This is probably way more information than you really wanted, but I hope you can use it as a starting point for learning more about my two favorite characters in the world. And remember, if you have any questions, you are always welcome in my inbox!!