This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is a duo: Apollo and Midnighter. Both superheroes first appeared in “Stormwatch” (vol. 2) #4 in February 1998. Writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch created the pair.
The duo’s most prominent aspect are that they’re analogs of Superman (Apollo) and Batman (Midnighter). Unlike the actual World’s Finest, both Apollo and Midnighter are gay.
Apollo is a human (real name unknown) bioengineered by a secretive agency into possessing a vast array of solar-based superpowers. Said powers are similar to those of Superman’s (flight, strength, and heat vision most prominently). At first, Apollo led the United Nations-backed superhero team Stormwatch. Apollo eventually joined the group the Authority, a team that didn’t answer to any government or official body.
Midnighter (real name also unknown) was another bioengineered teammate of Apollo’s. He too was initially a part of Stormwatch, then later the Authority. Midnighter’s powers include superhuman strength, agility, stamina, a healing factor, and the ability to predict his opponent’s attacks/moves in a fight.
Unlike Superman and Batman, Apollo and (especially) Midnighter are quite willing to kill their enemies.
Eventually, Apollo and Midnighter fell in love and got married. They soon after adopted Jenny Quantum, a teenage girl who, similar to the Baby New Year/Father Time, is the living embodiment of the 21st century; Jenny was born on January 1, 2000. Jenny possesses vast quantum manipulation powers, which let her do almost whatever she wants (teleportation, create and manipulate matter, etc.).
DC bought the Wildstorm characters in late 1998, but shut Wildstorm down by 2010. After the purchase, DC incorporated the characters into the greater DC Universe. At first, the Wildstorm characters lived on a parallel Earth (“Earth-50”). The characters were folded into the main DC Earth after the 2011 New 52 reboot.
Midnighter and Apollo have received their own ongoing books in recent years, the most recent one as part of DC’s “Rebirth” revamp in 2016.
“The Authority” was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for outstanding comic book at the award’s 14th and 15th annual ceremonies. However, “The Authority” lost each year to “Green Lantern” and “Catwoman” respectively.