Devil’s Advocate

Daredevil 10.1

Matt Murdock gets called in to consult with a prisoner who he’s been hired to represent — a pyrokinetic supervillain who, coincidentally, got arrested for trying to kill Murdock — and got brought in after getting stomped by Daredevil. Matt’s been called in because the pyro claims he’s undergoing cruel and unusual punishment — the prison is hitting him loud noise and constant heating changes that make it impossible for him to sleep, even if they do break up his concentration so he can’t use his powers. But the bad guy is still under contract to bring capture Murdock and bring him to the Hellfire Club. Can Matt get out of this situation? And why does the Hellfire Club care about him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Another truly outstanding Daredevil story, with lots of action, humor, and brains. If I’ve got a complaint, it’s that the art on this comic isn’t up to the extremely high standards of previous issues of this title.

The Amazing Spider-Man #683

The world’s leaders and top scientists are trying to figure out if they can take Dr. Octopus’ ultimatum seriously — he wants to be acknowledged as the world’s savior or he’ll burn the planet to a cinder by accelerating global warming. The Avengers soon appear, and Spider-Man makes a scene by punching Al Gore’s lights out. Now don’t get all excited, Republicans — it was really the Chameleon in disguise. Doc Ock starts to activate his satellite network, and Iron Man tries to track the signal, but to no avail. And Mayor Jameson shuts down the power for Horizon Labs while they’re trying to assist. But Octavius temporarily reverses the effects of his rays, and the world’s leaders insist the heroes let the Chameleon go. Spidey has this all planned out, and the Avengers track Cham’s escape vehicle, which leads to a confrontation with the rest of the Sinister Six. Spidey’s been planning for this fight, too — but has he been planning enough?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots and lots of stuff happening in this issue, but it’s all organized well, and we don’t lose track of the action. Lots of intrigue and scheming and plenty of fisticuffs as well.

Justice League International #8

Batwing joins the team in this issue, as the JLI fights off a bunch of metahuman terrorists, including a light controller called Lightweaver, a decay master called Breakdown, and a communications hacker called Intersek. But most of the JLI are injured or dead, and the hospital and the UN are coming down hard on the few able-bodied Leaguers — and the bad guys have a secret, unwitting ally who they’ve manipulated into attacking the heroes.

Verdict: A very modest thumbs up. It’s not a bad story, just not shoot-the-lights-out good. I’m still bugged that most of the (extremely good) female characters are stuck in the hospital, and a bit peeved by the announcement that Batwing and Vixen knew each other back in Africa. Come on, it’s a great big continent — why assume that everyone from Africa knows each other?

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