Better get my excuses done first, because this volume co-stars The Midnighter who is gay and a few homophobic slurs get thrown around. If you find this "triggering" don't read on, this 2005 Garth Ennis penned miniseries is not for you. I however found this to be fucking hilarious for reasons I'll elaborate upon in a moment. Now I am a gay woman myself, always have been, always will be. Never even kissed a bloke, I only sleep with women. I have lesbian and gay friends, I've marched during Gay Pride, I shop in gay shops, used to go solely to gay nightclubs and pubs. Basically I'm a big ol' 41 year old lesbian who is old enough to remember some pretty homophobic times. But I also have a very crude sense of humour and this Ennis story is designed specifically to try and push every "offense button" going when it comes to homosexuals. However, while it depicts homophobes, I don't believe it is homophobic. The Midnighter is one of the few superheroes Ennis seems to actually like (and I covered the Ennis penned initial arc and one-shot as part of the Midnighter's first on-going solo book here), and he is never shown in a poor light. Also I like the fact that the kind of people being homophobic are just who would be in real life, homophobia doesn't just disappear overnight. Yes we can get married now and serve in the military and so on but old attitudes die hard and this book confronts them head on, amongst all the other wonderfully offensive stuff going on in it. I also think of all the comics I have read this one says "cunt" more than any other. I won't quote every cunt that gets spoken, but I am going to institute a "cunt counter" to keep a running total of how many times it crops up. Just for my own amusement really, you buncha cunts!
|You have been warned!|
|Kev's sci-fi fantasy|
The story begins with Kev having a sci-fi sexual fantasy, with himself as a super soldier. As he fantasises he has a good wank. Walking through the windows are the I.R.A (Irish Republican Army - Catholic) and the U.V.F (Ulster Volunteer Force - Protestant). Both are there to kill Kev for the deaths he caused while undercover in Northern Ireland. They each burst into his bedroom at the same time, but shoot each other instead while Kev finishes himself off.
|The Troubles still not over for Kev.|
Kev: "I'll tell you what I'd like Frogett. Ten minutes in a locked room. Just you, me and a baseball bat with a big fucking spike in the end."
Froggett just smiles and says he wouldn't be a pushover and leaves Kev to answer the phone, and he's told a friend of his has committed suicide.
On the Carrier, one of the female members, a be-winged human called Swift is singing a song to herself about her position in the team:
Swift: "Now I have often heard it spoken... that on this team I'm just a token...The rest are white but that's OK, because not one but two are gay. It sure can leave you poor... when you're the ethnicity du jour. When you're an Asian chick. Asian chick! The way I get used to it makes me sick, trapped here with this buncha dicks. Because I'm an Asian chick."
The song goes on longer but you get the gist. Then the goblin appears and hits her in the face with a cream pie too, taking her out.
|The phantom flan flinger attacks.|
On the Carrier all but the Engineer and the Midnighter have been incapacitated by the pies. They start trying to prise one off, but the goblin pops up and pies the Engineer. It attacks the Midnighter who opens an airlock sucking them both outside into space.
Kev is called to his superior's office, a severe looking woman tells him The Authority are in trouble.
Kev: "Oh, not that shower of cunts again."
(Cunt Count: 4) He complains that the Midnighter can't take a joke and is the worst of the lot of them. But his boss says The Midnighter has landed somewhere in the British Isles and says Kev is the only one he trusts. He needs medical help so Kev will take him to the nearest Intelligence post. When Kev protests, she says he'll do it or she'll have him strung by the balls from Waterloo Bridge.
He asks Kev if he can guarantee his safety, Kev says he can until he drops him off. Woozily The Midnighter asks Kev how he came to join the S.A.S. Flashback time, we see Kev as an aimless youth in Luton. He signs up to join the regular army, the recruiter assures him that it's 1986, "who on earth would the British army be at war with these days". Then we cut to Kev's team caught in a riot in Belfast being pelted with rocks.
However, Kev admits to The Midnighter that he did enjoy being in the army, especially the camaraderie. One day in a soldier's bar he sees two men the rest are treating with utmost respect, they are in the S.A.S. Kev thinks no more about it, he's more concerned with the fact that women go wild for the uniform. And one day he is caught sleeping with a woman by her irate husband.
|Kev in big trouble.|
Kev then says the are being followed. He runs the pursuing car off the road and pulls a gun. Suddenly his car is surrounded by more cars and helicopters, they are there for The Midnighter. The Midnighter isn't angry or surprised at this turn of events, he simply tells Kev to look up an M.I.5 file called "Danny Boy". Then he is taken away. The man in charge turns out to be Mick who was "Kicked out" so he could keep an eye on the likes of Kev. Kev leaves in disgust when Mick asks what he cares about "what happens to some turd burgler."
|It's a trap!|
Anyway, back to the comic. It's 1994 and Kev's S.A.S team is being sent on a mission to take out four targets, two Republicans, two Loyalists, taking out those implacably opposed to peace. Their involvement must never be discovered, and they formulate a plan to take out all four quickly in one night.
|Taking out a target.|
They then question the tied up Loyalist who admits that he and the I.R.A member were in business together selling hardcore pornography videos. The I.R.A had found out and was trying to beat the location of their money out of them. Then more I.R.A members converge on the house and Kev's squad head upstairs leaving the tied up Loyalist behind. He is dragged outside and his head squished with a large rock.
|A firey escape.|
Kev: "You never say much do you Tiny?"
Tiny: "Maybe you just don't listen, Kev."
We return to the present with Kev checking out the M.I.5 file he was told about by The Midnighter and his eyes widen in shock, "Jesus fuck."
Later Kev infiltrates a secret intelligence facility and finds a room full of retarded "superheroes". He pulls a gun on one of the scientists and tells her to take him to The Midnighter now. As they walk he gets her to tell him that they have been trying to create superhumans but the whole programme has been something of a failure so far. He is then reunited with The Midnighter, who has been stripped and shackled to a table and jammed full of wires.
|Crucified on the altar of science.|
Kev: "Yeah well I read that file you told me about, didn't I? I might be a cunt, but there's no way I was sitting still for that sort of shit."
(Cunt Count: 13) The Midnighter is still injured and gets into a wheelchair. He says they can't leave yet, there are kids that are also being experimented on. The Midnighter wants them rescued too. Then The Midnighter is shot through the hand by Mick who suddenly appears saying a poof shouldn't allowed near kids. Kev asks how he can support what is going on and tells him what he found in the file.
Nine years ago Apollo and Midnighter heard of an "operation by a bloke called Bendix who was a right fucking cunt" (Cunt Count: 14). Bendix was in the UK and experimenting on kids trying to turn them into superhumans. M.I.5 also showed up the same night Apollo and Midnighter went to rescue the kids, although Bendix escaped. They were led by Kev's female boss. She promised Apollo and The Midnighter the kids would be looked after, but later institgated her own operation looking into creating superhumans and had a load of kids from a state run orphanage transferred into M.I.5 custody.
|Apollo and The Midnighter rescuing the first lot of kids.|
Mick is unmoved by the story, not even by the exploitation of kids. He sneers that Tiny was a "pathetic cunt" (Cunt Count: 18) who couldn't hack the job. In a rage Kev attacks Mick and they fight which ends with Kev beating Mick to death while screaming "fucking, fucking cunt!" (Cunt Count: 20) at him.
Then his boss appears and tells him the place is surrounded and Kev can get himself out of trouble if he shoots the Midnighter dead as they can still gather the material they need from his corpse. But The Midnighter is surrounded by the kids, who form a protective wall round him. Kev's boss tells him to kill them too, and Kev, remembering the qualms his friend had spoken of before, shoots her through the head.
Kev: "Christ all-bloody mighty. What have I fucking done?"
|Boss meet bullet.|
Kev: "I hereby declare Operation Poof Rescue a success..."
Realising The Midnighter is gay, the kids freak out chanting "poofter, poofter" and saying he'll have their bums. They accuse Kev of being gay as well. "Queerbash him, children. Then I can die happy" says The Midnighter. They then leave the kids in the van outside a childrens home.
Froggett admits he jumped at the chance to beat up a group of superheroes, he used the Carrier's technology to create an illusionary construct to neutralise The Auhority and/or flush them down to Earth. Kev asks if they have a room and a baseball bat with a spike in it and takes Froggett off for a beating. Then drags him to an airlock where he and The Midnighter press the eject button together and Froggett explodes in the vacuum.
|A battle forged friendship.|
Midnighter: "There are billions down there and they'll take a long time to change their ways. Most never will. Something to think about next time we set out to change the world."
Back down on earth, Kev is drinking in a pub and decides to open the box The Midnighter gave him. Inside is a comedy pair of glasses with a nose and mustache attached. He laughs and puts it on, agreeing with a strangers comment that it makes him look like an "arsehole". The end.
|A cunning disguise.|