So this isn’t complete, but it should be more than enough to get you started.
Also, disclaimer: I didn’t read much of the New 52 Stormwatch so I can’t tell you much about that. It got off to a really rocky start, but I have heard rumors that it got better? I should probably pick it up since I’m not buying Avengers for a few months.
Mid and Apollo first appear in Stormwatch #4 (vol 2). They aren’t really main characters - they’re part of a covert black ops group founded by a lunatic and most of them get slaughtered early on. They stick around and team up with Jenny, Jack, etc. The Stormwatch graphic novels can be found for fairly cheap on Amazon. Stormwatch Force of Nature is where you should start if you want the VERY beginning. There is nothing earlier worth reading. Believe me. But if you want Mid and Apollo only, stick to A Finer World, which I linked you to on Amazon. Also, the Jenny Sparks Secret History is mainly about Jenny, but one of the stories shows one of her pre-Authority team ups with Midnighter and Apollo.
(Look, they do the hug and fly!)
Now for a reading list!
- Relentless - very good, must read, I’m not saying anything else because you should read it.
- Under New Management - the first part is great, but then Mark Millar takes over, goes rapey all over the place, introduces Avenger-parodies as bad guys (Iron Man’s stand-in may be a pedophile and Captain America’s stand-in is a rapist). This volume has the Nativity which is Jenny Q’s first appearance, and it has some redeeming factors, but be warned about the rest of it. I wouldn’t suggest skipping it.
- Earth Inferno and Other Stories - Technically a lot of this takes place before Under New Management and none of it is terribly essential. Few Midnighter and Apollo moments and more shitty Millar writing (I AM BITTER ABOUT MILLAR). If you’re short on cash, you can skip this one for now.
- The Transfer of Power - SO TORN. It has some really sweet Midnighter and Apollo moments, but it also has a lot of unnecessary sexual violence and some pretty gratuitous violence and racism. It’s meant to show how corrupt the characters involved are, but it’s a hard read, especially since there’s a big chunk of time when those characters are the main characters, with the Authority falling to the background. This is the arc that got me into the Authority, so it’s not all bad. Also it has the wedding, and Midnighter kicking ass with a baby strapped to his chest so yeah.
(Authority fans just pretend that white leather thing never happened)
- Harsh Realities - Worth it just for the cute domestic scenes with Jenny, Mid and Apollo. Decent story, no more Millar.
- Fractured Worlds - continuation of Harsh Realities. Midnighter and Apollo go house hunting. Midnighter gets captured by religious zealots who want him to repent for his (gay) sins and he refuses to deny Apollo even under torture, so there’s that. Apollo is NOT HAPPY about any of that. Also Jenny Q’s bio family shows up. This is worth reading because you can see the characters really start leading into the next major story arc.
- Human on the Inside - This is a standalone that doesn’t really fit in any specific place. This is as close to an accurate placement in the timeline as I can figure for it. Has a lot of Midnighter and Apollo moments.
- Revolution Book 1 & 2 - Basically The Authority decides that people have been fucking up the world for long enough and they’re going to take over. This goes about as well as you’d expect. Someone comes back in time from the future to warn Midnighter that SHIT IS COMING and also that he himself is the cause of most of that shit, this has consequences for the next couple volumes.
- World’s End & Rue Britannia - READ THEM READ THEM READ THEM OH MY GOOOOOOOD.
- Prime - Has some info about Stormwatch and Midnighter and Apollo’s origins. I remember it being pretty forgettable? But I haven’t read it in years, so someone feel free to correct me. It did have some good Jenny Q moments and I think Rose Tattoo was in it. I liked her.
- The Lost Year - only the first half was made into a graphic novel, fair warning. It’s wacky adventures in alternate dimensions. Some of them are really good and there’s quite a few Midnighter & Apollo moments.
- There’s Kev. You can read that if you want? It’s not terrible, but it’s not great.
- Midnighter and Grifter: Okay, I like this, because I like Midnighter and Grifter, and also because I like snarky banter. The story is kind of meh and doesn’t have a solid ending. It also suffers from “Midnighter is a MAN and MEN DON’T BOTTOM” syndrome, which pops up now and again depending on who’s writing. I just rolled my eyes a lot.
See what I mean? Yeah.
- The Midnighter solo series is super hit or miss. There’s one or two solid issues with some Apollo and Jenny Q interactions, but most of it is basically Midnighter having a midlife crisis and being a jackass. I own all three volumes so I can’t really talk. It’s pretty separate from the main series so if you skip it you won’t miss much. Except this:
- There’s also The Authority/Lobo: Holiday Hell in which Lobo shows up for various holidays. The Christmas one was cute and had some good domestic moments. Not a must-read, plot-wise.
- The Wildstorm Winter Special has the story: Two Dangerous Ideas which features Midnighter and Apollo from an alternate universe.
Rue Britannia is as far as I got - there’s more after that, but that’s when I was changing jobs and incredibly broke, so I had to stop buying comics. If anyone read those issues and wants to add to this, please do!