Down to the Underworld

Daredevil #10

The Mole Man has turned grave-robber, snatching dozens of bodies from a cemetery in New York City — including the body of Matt Murdock’s father. So Daredevil has pursued the Mole Man underground, narrowly avoiding death in the jaws of his monstrous minions. He soon learns the Mole Man’s motives — when he was just normal, short, ugly Dr. Harvey Elder, there was a woman at his workplace who was the only person who treated him kindly — and when he found out she had died, Harvey had stolen all the bodies in the cemetery just to find her and tell her, postmortem, that he loved her. Daredevil shows up, and a terrific fight breaks out — the Mole Man, despite being short, overweight, and almost blind, is a skilled fighter. Will Daredevil be able to stop him? Will he be able to save the gravenapped bodies?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Near-perfect from beginning to end. Amazing action, great dialogue, and beautiful characterization. Unexpected depths for the Mole Man, who is both sympathetic and astoundingly creepy. It’s a little scary how much fun this comic is every month.

All Star Western #7

Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham have traveled to New Orleans in pursuit of criminal mastermind Thurston Moody. They soon team up with Western vigilantes Nighthawk and Cinnamon after Hex saves a bunch of people in a terrorist bombing. Turns out the terrorists are radical anti-immigration loons, and Nighthawk and Cinnamon recruit Hex, with his ever-present Confederate Army uniform, to spy on them. This leads him to a gladiatorial arena where immigrants and non-whites are served up to be killed by beautiful assassin Z.C. Branke. But will Hex’s undercover investigation stick him in the ring as well?

Verdict: Thumbs up. My minor nitpicks are (1) Aw, gee, not more of that useless Amadeus Arkham! and (2) I think Jonah Hex is too well-known in DC’s version of the Wild West to be able to go unrecognized by the criminal community. But other than that, good dialogue, good action, and great art by Moritat.

Snarked #6

Wilburforce J. Walrus, Clyde McDunk, Queen Scarlett, and Prince Rusty, along with the rest of the crew of the Old Gertrude, are searching for Snark Island and the kidnapped King — but they’re soon accosted by pirates — the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Dormouse, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the White Rabbit, Humpty Dumpty, and the Caterpillar. The pirates are all starving and desperate for our heroes’ crocodile steaks, and their battle tactics are fairly eccentric — firing some of their own crew at the other ship, then sitting around and arguing until they themselves get boarded. Will Queen Scarlett be able to hatch a plan to subdue the pirates? And will the Walrus manage to rescue everyone when that plan flops?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wonderfully funny stuff. Great cartooning, lots of funny situations, just an all-around fun comic for kids of all ages. Yes, that includes you grownups, too.

Secret Avengers #24

The Secret Avengers run around the robot-filled secret city of the Descendants. They get beat up, argue, get shot, and get angsty while the robots plan some sort of generic Evil Doomy Evil Doom.

Verdict: Thumbs down. So much angst, so much boredom.

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