Lead-up to the Story
This has been an eventful story in Daredevil, Hood and Mr. Fear have been at each other’s throats during a turf war. The hood has allied almost every B and C list villain, and the Fear has concocted a new drug that makes his thugs unstoppable, and unwaveringly loyal. To make matters worse, Fear got his hands on Milla, and drugged her. Milla then went crazy and pushed an innocent bystander into an oncoming train, killing her. She was then convicted and committed to a psych ward, as Matt Murdock struggles to keep Milla out of jail, and stop her from admitting to what she did (she’s still crazy), Daredevil has to focus on protecting Hell’s Kitchen.
Ed Brubaker provides us with the final part of the six part story line, and with such a lot of buildup, he has to deliver or Daredevil will have just been a total flop. Daredevil, before this story arc, and even in the beginning of this one, was horrifically poor, as I referenced in a previous post of mine, when I claimed I was going to drop DD from my pull list, but gave it one last shot, and he delivered. In short, if this issue bombs, you can be sure that this series is going is lose some readership. Thankfully, it seems we can always count on Ed Brubaker to deliver the comic goods.
We discover, fairly early on in this issue than the turf war was really just a ploy by Mr. Fear to mess with Murdock, to try and push him over the edge, to mess with his wife, and to wreak havoc in Hell’s Kitchen, which Daredevil considers his personal responsibility. It seems to be working. As the previous five issues of this story arc consisted mostly of text, it was a breath of fresh air to have some serious action. Murdock squares off with Mr. Fear, who has seemingly drugged himself to make himself fearless. Despite this attempt at giving himself at an advantage, Daredevil still emerges victorious, and demands he cure Milla. But, much to his dismay, there is no cure, Milla is permanently doomed, good news for those who were not fans of Milla. Could Quesada be on a quest to kill off every romantic figure in the hero’s lives? Does he want all characters to be miserable like Peter Parker before MJ fell in love with him? We’ll have to wait and see, but the similarities are there.
Michael Lark, Paul Azaceta, and Stefano Gaudiano do a good job with the art. One might think that having three different colorist, and then an inker, Matt Hollingsworth, on top of that would lead to a very mismatched art style, but it doesn’t. It is done in a fairly bland, and simplistic style that fits the Daredevil franchise very well. Of course it is art, but I’m going to call it a very artistic style, using a very limited colour palate, and because of the limited palate, a strong and confident use of shading. All of these features give this comic a very powerful visage. The other day, when I did my review of The Incredible Hercules, I noted how almost every panel seemed to be filled with motion. Well, here the art style is almost the exact opposite, and was part of my decision to review this one; in Daredevil each panel seems to be entirely static, that is to say, frozen in time. Not just frozen in time, but frozen in high speed action. The fact that this issue is more action orientated really gives the artists the chance they have needed to be able to show off their abilities. Almost every panel is filled with a sense of urgency, and combining this with the more Spartan art style gives the impression that the action had paused for only a second, and the artist had to draw it that instant. It is done very well.
Is it Worth Buying?
If you have not been following Daredevil, I would say no, but start up with the next issue, and the new story arc. If you had been thinking about possibly dropping Daredevil from your pull list, I would very strongly urge you to read this issue and reconsider, because it really looks like things will be picking up in Hell’s Kitchen in the coming months.