Comics · Queer

A to Z: Apollo and Midnighter

Apollo and Midnighter comicvine
Comicvine

Apollo and Midnighter are thinly-veiled versions of Superman and Batman, but bloodier and married.

And if you just sat up in your chair with a “Please… tell me more” expression, you’re in the right place! I think it’s fitting that our first installment of “LGBT+ comic characters” is about Apollo and Midnighter. They’re kind of the ur-couple, after all, and I happen to adore them… One of the earliest same-sex couples in comics, existing from 1998 in the Wildstorm Comics series Stormwatch, with a romantic reveal a year later in The Authority. Warren Ellis’s brainchild, the series takes the Justice League and raises them a level in grimdark, turning the whole thing into an unsettlingly-plausible vision of how superheroes might really behave if given the keys to the universe. The first two volumes of The Authority, before Warren Ellis left, are the ones you just gotta read. (If you’re me, you just gotta read all the rest of ’em too, but those first volumes will give you what you need!)

The relationship reveal happens at the end of volume 1 — and I’m sorry I had no choice but to drop the spoiler, I mean, it’s my whole topic — but you’ll see hints all the way through.

Midnighter smirking
I can’t even with that smirk.

Recommended Reading: 

  • The Authority Vol. 1: Relentless by Warren Ellis & Bryan Hitch, 978-1563896613.
  • The Authority Vol. 2: Under New Management by Warren Ellis & Bryan Hitch, 978-1563897566
  • The Wildstorm properties are now part of DC Comics and there’s a New 52 version of the couple in the new Stormwatchbut I haven’t read it yet!
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37 thoughts on “A to Z: Apollo and Midnighter

  1. Excellent theme! I’ll be stopping by often. Really want to read that comic 🙂 and I don’t read comics. Really pleased I found your blog – I guess that’s the great thing about A to Z, getting out there and exploring.

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  2. The first line of this post is the best: “… but bloodier and married.” Love it! Definitely intrigued me.

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    1. Yay! 😀

      Frank Quitely does the art in some later volumes and it’s quite good too. (He’s the one who drew All-Star Superman, among other things. He has a distinctive style when given free reign.)

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          1. True! But some people would claim otherwise. *eyeroll* I would hope everyone who knows anything about comics would know about these two, y’know? But that might be asking too much. 😛

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  3. I had never heard of them – have to admit I don’t know a huge amount about comics, but I’m amazed that back in the nineties there was a comic with gay married super heroes! They were well ahead of their time considering how long it took for marriage laws to change…

    I am thinking of plunging into the world of comics and I’m quite tempted to start off with Sandman from Neil Gaiman. Have you read it? I’ve heard a lot of good things.

    Anyway, looking forward to more of your A to Z posts.

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    1. I believe the “legal” marriage happens later and they’re “partners” or some such at the beginning… But it helps that it’s a strange sort of dystopian/utopian hybrid society in the comic, so they could get away with a little craziness. 😉

      Sandman is great! The early issues do reference a few DC superheroes, but mostly it’s self-contained and very literary, so it may be a good choice to start out. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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  4. *jots down ‘The Authority’ on comic wish list* I keep telling myself I’ll get back into buying comics regularly – this is great incentive. I definitely sat up and took notice 😉

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  5. I am loving this theme, and taking notes of the recommended readings (I do like Warren Ellis). I also loved the “bloodier and married” line 😀
    Happy A to Z!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary – Epics from A to Z
    MopDog – 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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