With the apocalypse on the horizon, a team of supernatural warriors, magic-users, and uh…Wolverine join forces to subvert the end times or die trying. While I’m betting on the former, the Midnight Suns’ first (only?) mission may prove to be less than easy. Our story begins at Strange Academy, where young, undead student Zoe Laveau finds herself at the center of an apocalyptic vision, an experience that is shared with not only the student body but its faculty and special guest lecturer Blade – seriously. In no time at all, a team is formed with Blade joining up with adjunct professors Nico Minoru and Illyana “Magik” Rasputin, Kushala the Spirit Rider, and Logan the original Wolverine, because why not.
Not gonna lie, I had a blast reading this. Essentially Marvel’s answer to “Justice League Dark”, the conceit is simple but has just enough intrigue and unanswered questions to keep things interesting. The real draw here is the unconventional team and the fun appearances by the magical community. Everyone from Clea and Wong to Agatha Harkness pop in to deliberate, albeit briefly. While the team dynamic is in its early development stages, this lineup of misfits is an inspired one. Nico is a personal favorite and while I was unfamiliar with Kushala and Zoe, I already can’t wait to dive into their fictional history. As the team’s wild card, Wolverine is a bit of a random draw but his inclusion is both fun and nostalgic for the days when his primary mutant ability was to appear on multiple teams simultaneously.
“See, this is why nobody likes being around magic people!” With that line alone, writer Ethan Sacks proves he has a great handle on Logan but the same is true for the rest of the large and varied cast. Each character’s voice is distinct but consistent with their respective portrayals. Sacks wisely uses Zoe as a reluctant protagonist, whose vision is the catalyst for the team’s formation, as well as the arrival of their first adversary. It’s a cool throwback to the original Midnight Suns team from the 90’s, which united due to a terrifying vision and also happened to include Blade. As for the aforementioned adversary, I won’t spoil the reveal but needless to say I was grinning from ear-to-ear when I got to the last page.
A book of this magnitude needs some damn good art to show off this cast and the magical proceedings. Fortunately Luigi Zagaria delivers and then some. His character designs are pitch-perfect from Logan’s stocky stature (and brown costume!) to Blade’s movie-inspired aesthetic that has never looked better. Zagaria handles the over-the-top magic and mayhem with flourish but provides the same attention to detail in the more grounded moments, such as the the subtle body language between Zoe and her demon girlfriend Dessy. My only real complaint is the book needs to be more than just a limited series because I already need more of this team.