Midnighter was a member of an secret experimental academy team created by the insane former Stormwatch Weatherman, Henry Bendix. Bendix erased the team's memories when he gave them superpowers. Midnighter, alongside Apollo, Lamplight, Crow Jane, Amaze, Impetus, and Stalker, formed the ill-fated team that would be sent to their deaths by Henry Bendix on their first mission. When Midnighter and Apollo sought extraction during this mission, it was only to discover that Bendix has no intention of wasting time or resources to save them when he could so easily replace them with more "super-soldiers."
Betrayed, Apollo and Midnighter managed to escape with their lives, but would spend the next six years in hiding on the streets, attempting to remain invisible to the Weatherman's ever-watchful eye from the Stormwatch headquarters orbiting the earth. During this time, both team members fought to better the world on a smaller scale, and came together as lovers. Because of their self imposed exile, both Midnighter and Apollo were ignorant of Stormwatch's battle against Henry Bendix, and of his supposed death at the hands of Jenny Sparks. Only when Jackson King, the new Weatherman, discovered them on radar and brought them in for questioning (ultimately testing their loyalties by sending them on a mission) did the pair realize they were free to live in the open again as normal human beings. All files related to whom both Midnighter and Apollo were before their introduction into the team were believed to be lost, and since neither man could remember, Jackson King instead gave them new identities with which to retire from the super-soldier business.
Midnighter was once a boy from Kosovo who was abducted by owl shaped aliens when coming back from working in a neighbor's farm when he was a child. His life ended that night, what he is today grew from that wreckage of an existence. He was experimented upon for many years before he finally escaped. It was during his escape, in which the air dent he was in fell apart that he first met Apollo.
Midnighter was created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch.
Midnighter appears to be the Wildstorm Universe's equivalent to Batman, but without the moral restraint. He is also married to Apollo and has an adopted daughter named Jenny Quantum.
Post-Flashpoint: Earth 0
At the end of the DC Wide crossover Flashpoint, the mysterious figure known as Pandora explained to the Flash that the separate worlds of mainstream DC, Vertigo and Wildstorm would be folded into one, as only combined could they face the coming threat to Earth and the universe. In so doing Midnighter became a member of the regular DC continuity. Because of this most of his past seems to have been erased, Midnighter is first seen when Stormwatch members are trying to convince Apollo to join their team.
Major Story Arcs
However, it was not to be. Less than a year after Apollo and Midnighter's retirement, nearly the entire Stormwatch team was slaughtered in an Aliens/Stormwatch Crossover. Jenny Sparks would develop her vision for a new team, known as the Authority, and she approached Apollo and Midnighter about joining. Reluctantly (and because of Apollo), Midnighter agreed. It was then that he would take his place as "Night's Bringer of War," on a team consisting of Apollo, Swift, Jack Hawksmoor, the Engineer, the Doctor, and Jenny Sparks. His relationship with Apollo would only be hinted at until the Regis story arc, in which it was confirmed they were a couple.
Of the many foes Midnighter faced with the Authority perhaps the most life-altering was the very governments they sought to improve. At one point, the political powers of Earth attempted to overpower the Authority and replace them with The New Authority, consisting of Surgeon, Teuton, Machine, Last Call, Rush, Street, and Union Jack. Of his team members, only Midnighter (along with baby Jenny Quantum) managed to escape capture and evade detection. His skills would ultimately free and save all the other original members of the Authority, though it very nearly cost him his life. Midnighter is notable for being one of the few gay superheroes in print. After his near death at the hands of government creation Seth (where even his backup heart was ripped from his chest), he married his longtime partner, Apollo, in a civil service on the The Carrier. Together, they adopted the reincarnation of Jenny Sparks, Jenny Quantum, as their daughter.
Recently, even this happiness has been short lived. Midnighter was manipulated into believing that an Apollo from the future contacted him to tell him how the the Authority would ultimately become the very world oppressors they sought to overcome. This information prompted Midnighter to leave the team, as well as his husband and daughter, and to work alone for a time. However, it was discovered he was being controlled by a still-living Henry Bendix, who then set him in battle against his previous team members after getting on board The Carrier. Fortunately, Bendix's control over Midnighter was broken by the combined efforts of Jenny Quantum and Engineer, freeing him to once again join the team and be with Apollo.
Midnighter currently has his own series in which he works apart from The Authority. In the first three issues he was kidnapped and forced to travel back in time to kill Hitler by a man named Paulus who replaced his second heart with a remote controlled bomb. A simple task that got very complicated when few officers from Temporal Police Department tried to stop him. He was captured by them, but forced their ship to crash in 1945. He teamed with them to get back to his time where he threatened Paulus with the death of his younger self. He then battles a mad scientist who experimented on stray animals. He defeated him and returned a missing cat to a young girl who asked for his help. He then had the scientist experiment on criminals he captured and then adopted a cyborg dog from the scientist.
Midnighter Remember His Past
The Midnighter became increasingly unhappy with not knowing his original identity or even remembering a normal human life, so Jenny Quantum helped a hacker friend of the Midnighter's discover that his true name was Lucas Trent, born in Harmony, Indiana on July 14, 1967. When the Midnighter tried returning to his hometown and his old identity, he ended up battling paramilitary superhumans who wanted to take over America. But he also became certain he never had been Lucas Trent, because Trent was remembered by everyone as a nice and decent man and the Midnighter knew himself to be a gleeful killer through and through. To Jenny's surprise, however, he wasn't angry with her for the deception; instead, he returned to Harmony to impersonate Trent further and practice being a normal person in a normal daily life. He also recently teamed up with the hero Grifter.
Due to the events following the assault by clones of the High the planet is now in a ruined state. Midnighter along with the rest of the Authority have been stranded in London (now Unlondon) due to the death of the Carrier. He spends his time bringing refugees to the Carrier's corpse as it is the closest thing to a safe location. He has to protect them from several threats such as diseased super beings called Incubites. When Apollo is infected by the Warhol virus (now calling itself the Burn), he attacks the Authority, seeking to use the doors to the Bleed as a way of spreading the Burn throughout the multiverse. The team manages to freeze him in order to prevent this from happening. Midnighter has a dream where a Century Baby named Gaia asks him to find her, telling him that she knows how to save Apollo. When he reaches the island that Gaia is stranded on, he finds himself under attack by a god-like force of nature called the Green Man, who turns out to be the former Doctor driven insane by the planet's demise. With the help of the team, Gaia manages to take control of the island and subdue the Doctor so that she can heal him. She gives Midnighter a magical apple and tells him to feed it to the infected Apollo. When he does so, Apollo is cleansed of the Burn and restored to normal.
The Dark Side
Stormwatch tries to convince Apollo to join their team, however Apollo is reluctant to do so and that is when Midnighter appears and dispatches the three Stormwatch members that were there, namely Martian Manhunter, Jack Hawksmoor and the Projectionist. He then reveals that he has been following Apollo for quite some time now and has taken an interest upon him because of his power set and the way that he deals with threats. He then offers him a deal of partnership. Martian Manhunter then reveals that he was pretending to be out cold so that he could get a grasp of the situation and the threat presented, and tells the duo that Stormwatch could use both Apollo and Midnighter. He explains that Stormwatch is not in fact a regular superhero team and that the team has little qualms with killing.
During this time Adam-One shows up through a door and offers Midnighter a place on the team as well, telling him that his skills are wasted against thugs and criminals when he could be defending the planet with Stormwatch. However, at the same time that this was happening Harry Tanner was up on the moon trying to deal with a alien threat, called the Scourge of Worlds that sent pieces of the moon as meteorites into Earth's atmosphere. This cut short the conversation and Apollo agreed to go deal with the meteors while Midnighter went to deal with a fallen meteor that turned into a rampaging antibody. When they arrived at the scene the antibody proved troublesome and absorbed all the members of Stormwatch present, with the exception of Midnighter. Apollo soon joins him and the two of them, in conjuction with the Projectionist [who was at the base] manage to come up with a successful plan to free their 'team members'. With this done, it allowed Hawksmoor to lead half of the team into an ancient formerly-underground city called Alba Umbra and from there allow Jenny Quantum to power up one of the cities' artifacts to turn the monster into glass.
When the team returns to the Eye they discover that the Shadow Cabinet has chosen the Projectionist to be Stormwatch's new leader. While this is going on, Apollo and Midnighter slip away to explore the HQ. Midnighter tells Apollo that the two of them would be more effective together than as components of Stormwatch, since their goals differ greatly from the team's. There is a sudden emergency distress signal from hyperspace, and Apollo leaves to investigate it. Midnighter realizes that the emergency was just a distraction orchestrated by Harry Tanner so that he could steal the Stormwatch data caches. The two fight, with Tanner struggling to land a blow because of Midnighter's ability to predict every one of his moves. Just then, they are interrupted by Projectionist, whom Harry grabs and pulls into hyperspace with him, escaping after setting off a bomb on the alien horn that destroys the Eye. The force of the explosion throws Midnighter into hyperspace, where he lingers for a few death-defying moments until he is rescued by Apollo and taken back to the reformed Eye to be treated for his exposure to the hazardous environs of hyperspace. A short while later, he signs up with Stormwatch after a conversation with the Engineer, managing to persuade Apollo to join as well.
Midnighter Attacks Grifter
In his first mission as a member of Stormwatch, Midnighter is tasked with investigating a strange disturbance originating from the wreckage of the Eye in the Himalayas. When he arrives on site, he discovers that Cole Cash aka Grifter, the world's most wanted man, has also been investigating the crash. When Grifter lets slip that he knows about the Daemonite invasion of Earth, Midnighter attacks him, telling him that he cannot allow Grifter to live now that he knows what was supposed to be privileged information. Grifter struggles to fend off the attack, and manages to stun Midnighter by setting off a flare in his face. But even while temporarily blinded, Midnighter is still able to outmatch Grifter, who falls into a crevasse in the snow and is presumed dead (though he manages to save himself at the last moment). Finding nothing of significance in the wreckage, Midnighter opens a door to the Eye and leaves the Himalayas. After he leaves, the prisoner of the Eye slowly reveals himself: the Daemonite known as Helspont, who has plans for the invasion of Earth, plans that involve none other than Superman himself.
The Rise of The Demon
Midnighter convinces Apollo to accompany him to London, supposedly on a date. However, a fight breaks out, and it is revealed Midnighter had other things in mind. It turns out that Midnighter used to call London his home and served as it's protector. A nearby apartment building was a hotspot for strange happenings, which he was never able to resolve, and he came back to check up on things. This recent fight is just the most recent in a long line of disturbing and violent occurences in the building, including murder, rape, and torture. He and Apollo suit up to get to the bottom of things, and come across a boy named Lazarus scrawling pictures of demons on the walls using his parent's blood. As they enter the room, the boy, apparently unable to hold it back any longer, calls forth the demon Etrigan. Turns out he had been buried under the building, and it was his influence causing all the violence in the area. Midnighter attacks Etrigan, thinking he can take him while he's still weak, but Etrigan knocks him out with one punch. Apollo, thinking Midnighter dead, angrily attacks Etrigan, until the rest of Stormwatch shows up. Midnighter gets up, not dead after all, and joins in the attack, until they are able to drive Etrigan off. Apollo and Midnighter happily reunite after the fight is over, only to have the Engineer announce that a new rule is going into effect forbidding any romantic relationships between members. Apollo and Midnighter decide later to ignore the rule. Apollo suggests leaving Stormwatch together, but Midnighter declines, saying he feels he's found a home with Stormwatch and that he feels he needs the structure they provide.
Since escaping from The Eye after their last encounter, Harry Tanner set up a base in Antarctica, while putting together an elaborate plan to take down Stormwatch from the inside. He has a special plan in mind for Midnighter, however.
His plan involves tricking small time criminal The Fox into acting as a sort of dimensional portal, which Harry uses to acquire technology needed to disguise himself as one of the Shadow Lords. Harry appears on the Eye of the Storm disguised as a Shadow Lord, and tells Stormwatch that they are to take a more proactive approach to the superbeings on Earth, and tells them to kill Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern, saying they are "a threat" presumably in the hopes that Stormwatch will kill themselves in the attempt, or at least weaken them. The Projectionist also makes a return, and it is revealed that Harry has somehow implanted a false memory in her mind of him dying in an explosion, and plotting against Stormwatch with Midnighter. Midnighter sees through Harry's disguise, and tells the others that Harry is trying to trick them, but to no avail. Harry tells them to arrest Midnighter, who abducts Projectionist and heads out a Door into Antarctica in an effort to uncover evidence that Harry is the 'Shadow Lord'. While tracking Midnighter, he kills several researchers, which he uses to frame Midnighter for murder, and convince Stormwatch that he needs to be killed.
Powers and Abilities
Midnighter's abilities were designed by Bendix to give him an all encompassing advantage in close-combat and tactical scenarios. He has superhuman strength, reflexes (and moving speed when necessary), healing, senses, aim and various other enhancements. He is said to have multiple redundant systems to keep him fighting in the worst of conditions. One example of this is a backup heart. Midnighter can also turn his pain receptors on and off so he can keep fighting when the pain would stop a normal man. The pain is not totally cut off though, so his healing factor is also very helpful. He's fought with, and healed from, a broken neck, broken limbs, holes through his chest, having his whole body set on fire, contracting various viruses (including AIDS), and other things. He can also function perfectly in anaerobic environments when necessary.
Midnighter's body has been altered to give him inhuman balance as well as faster nerve endings so he can move and react quicker than any human and many super humans. He normally moves at slightly above human speed but can move so fast that enemies with super speed can't see him. Midnighter's senses allow him to detect any modifications or powers in anyone he looks at, as well as how they work, so he can defeat them. His other senses are so powerful that to trick him, his creator needed to find an alien that could not only change its appearance, but its scent and DNA.
Midnighter's most famous ability is his power to predict how a battle will happen before it starts. His fight implants include a combat computer that allows him to run through a given combat situation millions of times in his mind, almost instantly covering nearly every possible result before the first punch is even thrown. He uses this information to predict the actions and or reactions of his foes, counteracting their moves almost before they even think to make them. According to Midnighter, his powers also work by letting him see the outcome of the battle he wants, and working backwards, following the right steps to get there.
He liked to begin fights by announcing all of this, but got bored enough with the speech to have it printed on business cards, which he can leave for absent opponents (or kill them by throwing the sharp-edged cards).
In the tour-de-force issue Midnighter #7, we see his world view in action as the issue begins at the final scene when he returns from battle to kiss Apollo, and each following page takes us further back in the actions that got him there--ending on the last page with his initial speech:
"See, I'm one of those jerks who always skips ahead to the last page of a book before he reads it. I find a closing scene I love, then work my way back to the beginning to figure out exactly how it all went down. It's the same way my crazy brain processes every possible outcome for a battle before the first punch is even thrown. So let's cut to the chase, shall we? I've already run through a trillion potential versions of this entire day in my head, including the spectacularly banal conversation we're about to have. And I've settled on the finale that leaves your sick operation toppling like a house of cards...and me making love to my husband."
In the new 52 Midnighter's ability to predict the outcome of any situation still exists, but appears to have been supplemented by a form of precognition as well as enhanced knowledge. He is able to finish other people's sentences before they have thought about it, and when Stormwatch's map of alien threats to Earth materialized in front of him and Apollo, he instantly knew what it was. He has significant resistance to telepathic attacks, as he was able to resist the Scourge of Worlds' attempt to use the Martian Manhunter's telepathy on him. He mentions that he has carbon-fibre muscles that presumably enhance his strength. Harry Tanner, reputed to be the world's greatest swordsman, struggled to land even a single blow on Midnighter since the latter could predict every move he would make. After a few seconds of fighting, Midnighter immediately knew what Harry's power was. He has demonstrated the ability to move so stealthily that the Manhunter and Hawksmoor could not hear or sense his stalking them until it was too late. His suit enhances his durability; he was able to survive unaided in hyperspace for a while.
Daylighter is an alternate version of Midnighter from another universe. He and Pluto travel to the Wildstorm Universe to stop an idea-plague from killing everyone in the world.
Daybreaker is an alternate teenage Midnighter serving on a team called the Authoriteens. Gen13 are the only ones who have met this team.