Archive for Daredevil

Daredevil in the Details


Daredevil #18

Last issue, the Kingpin had Ikari attack Daredevil, but warned Matt that if he beat Ikari, he’d kill either Foggy Nelson or Kirsten McDuffie. And then the Shroud went and screwed everything up by killing Ikari. Now Matt has to masquerade as Ikari and hope Fisk doesn’t figure out the switch too quickly. Will Matt be able to beat the Kingpin? The Shroud? The Owl? Will he manage to get his autobiography published after all this time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent story and art — and the one downside is that this is the final issue of this book for writer Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, who’ve enjoyed one of the greatest runs that this character has ever enjoyed.


Silver Surfer #14

The almost-certainly-sinister Glorian and Zee offer Norrin Radd and Dawn Greenwood the opportunity to remake the universe — Dawn will be in charge of re-creating the Earth from scratch, while the Surfer is going to handle the rest of the universe. But they run into some challenges — Dawn hasn’t seen enough of the world to be able to remake it, and the Surfer is reluctant to remake the galaxy’s greatest threats, like Galactus. Can they find a way to succeed, or are they merely the pawns of more devious powers?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a fun story, and I’m really eager to see how this is all going to play out. I’m assuming we’re heading for the cancellation/relaunch all the other Marvel books are doing, but it’s hard to tell at this point.


Lazarus #19

Last issue, Forever Carlyle, the Lazarus of the Family Carlyle, able to regenerate from any wound, got shot in the head by one of Hock’s soldiers — and she’s not recovering from this injury. Her family is in a panic, the soldiers accompanying her are in a panic. This could give Hock a decisive victory over the Carlyles, and her squad is very likely to get killed by Hock’s soldiers. Is this really the end of Eve Carlyle? Oh, you can expect it actually isn’t…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nicely suspenseful sci-fi. Sure, we’re all pretty sure Eve isn’t done for, but it sure takes her a frighteningly long time to get back on her feet. And the family’s schemes and machinations behind the scenes are also pretty wonderfully done.

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Better Red than Dead


Daredevil #17

The Kingpin has double-crossed Matt Murdock pretty hard. He’s had Ikari, the assassin with all of Daredevil’s fighting skills and enhanced senses — plus the ability to see — to kidnap Foggy Nelson and Kirsten McDuffie. He wants Matt to fight Ikari — and if Matt wins, he’s going to kill either Foggy or Kirsten. Can Matt devise a plan to save both his friends? And can that plan survive when the always-meddling Shroud decides he wants to help?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great art, great story and cliffhanger. Great to see Ikari and the Kingpin here up to their old rotten tricks.


Red Sonja #17

Sonja is hired by a group of nuns to protect their citadel, a gigantic library that the local empress wants destroyed, mostly for the sake of evil. But there’s a problem — Sonja never learned to read, doesn’t value books, and is unwilling to risk her neck just for a bunch of paper. But she later has a change of heart and returns in time to run off the soldiers of the empire — but not before they inflict a possibly fatal wound on the nuns’ leader and attracts the wrath of the corrupt empress herself.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’d been worried that Gail Simone was off this comic, but yay, she’s still writing it! Characterization and humor are still strong points of this series, along with the ridiculous depravity of the villains.


Lazarus #18

Forever Carlyle, the genetically engineered Lazarus of the Family Carlyle, is leading a small strikeforce into the disputed territory between the Families Carlyle and Hock in Duluth. Meanwhile, plenty of inter-family politicking and squabbling is going on back home as the siblings try to get their father healed — or decide who will lead the family next. And the campaign in Duluth is going fairly well — except for one fairly severe security slip-up…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Quite a cliffhanger at the end there!

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Drum Monkey


Astro City #24

We met Sticks last issue. He’s an intelligent gorilla from a secret city of fightin’ gorillas, but all Sticks wants to do is hang around Astro City and play drums. But supervillains keep trying to turn him into their lackey, and in an attempt to get away from that, he decides to join a superteam called Reflex-6. He’s an effective crimefighter — but superheroing just isn’t in his blood, so he quits to go back to full-time drumming. But then he and his bandmates are attacked by more supervillains — and he can’t bring himself to let them be harmed, too. Is there a solution to his problem?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s not a perfect issue — we get way too many side-characters, many of whom are of minimal importance, and I don’t entirely buy the superhero band — and Sticks’ later alter-ego as Tuxedo Gorilla is really just way too silly. But aside from that, the character work is excellent, the art is wonderful, and while I’m not a big fan of Reflex-6 or Powerchord, I really want to see more stories where superheroes fight monster supervillains like the Screampunks and an evil snow globe called… Snowglobe.


Daredevil #16

Everyone thinks Matt is a bad guy — and even worse, they think all of his associates are crooks, too, thanks to the machinations of the Shroud. So he has to go make a deal with the one person he really, really doesn’t want to make a deal with — Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. Why should the Kingpin help the Daredevil? Matt is offering him the death of Matt Murdock — he’s willing to let the Kingpin stage Murdock’s death, convincing everyone he knows that he’s truly and finally dead, to give him extensive plastic surgery so he’ll look nothing like he used to, to give him a new name — Daredevil will still be operating, but Matt Murdock will be no more. While Kingpin considers the offer, Matt gets a tip that Julia Carpenter, once the second Spider-Woman and the ex-girlfriend of the Shroud, is coming into San Francisco, so he heads for the airport to intercept her. But the Shroud and the Owl’s daughter get there first. And the Kingpin has another plot — and another minion — in reserve.

Verdict: Thumbs up. As always, fantastic art and writing — and cliffhanger after cliffhanger after cliffhanger. A particularly fine moment, by the way, is the moment when we finally get the see the chilling paintings in Fisk’s gallery — artwork which Matt is unable to see…


Howard the Duck #4

Well, Howard managed to get the mysterious necklace for the mysterious Mr. Richards, only to find out that Mr. Richards was actually Talos the Untamed! A Skrull who can’t shapeshift but is still somehow a supervillain! But Howard still wants his money, honey, so he and Tara Tam pay a visit to Dr. Strange to see if he can magically track the necklace. It turns out the necklace contains a gem — not one of the Infinity Gems, but from a set that’s a good deal weaker. Still, if you assemble them all in one place, you could potentially destroy the world with them. So Howard, Strange, and Tara recruit Johnny Storm to help — but can they beat Talos to the prize?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Thoroughly excellent writing, art, and humor. Loved the bits with Strange’s contest against the demon Thog, the details of the (fingerless) Abundant Glove, and Johnny Storm’s utterly noxious pick-up lines.

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Dead to Rights


Ghosted #20

Well, Jackson Winters is finally dead as a doornail. And Markus Schrecken forces Nina Bloodcrow to read from her blasphemous Book of the Dead, which turns her into a demonic monster and summons Death itself, so Markus can finally take the secrets of death for himself. Is there anyone left who can save the world?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Oh, I know, another really short description, ’cause there’s a nice twist early on, and then lots of excellent stuff that I don’t want to spoil. But the series ends absolutely wonderfully. It’s been a very fun story — and we close with a nice note from series creator Josh Williamson.


Daredevil #15.1

We get a pair of stories from Daredevil’s past in this issue. First, we learn how Matt Murdock learned how to reconcile apprehending criminals as Daredevil with defending them in court as an attorney. Essentially, he got assigned to the case by his old law firm when he was just a junior attorney and ordered to knuckle down and act like a real lawyer — figure out how to defend him no matter how you felt about him. In the second story, we learn about a time when Daredevil took on the extremely low-rent villain Diablo — and learned he’d actually figured out a way to make himself a threat, thanks to a street drug that painfully boosted all of his senses.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Two nice stories, excellent writing and art — it’s just an all-around cool comic, and if you’re not reading this series yet, it’s alright as a jumping-on point.


Convergence: The New Teen Titans #2

It’s the classic Teen Titans vs. the Tangent Universe’s Doom Patrol, with Cyborg’s life on the line — not to mention the fate of at least one universe.

The backup story is the first glimpse we get of the new “Robin: Son of Batman” series.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Loved Nicola Scott’s artwork, but I just couldn’t get into the story.

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Masters of the Multiverse


The Multiversity #2

It’s the final battle for the survival of the multiverse! The magical heroes of Earth-13 tear through Vampire Sivana and his minions — and convert the vampire superheroes into coffee addicts. The Western heroes of Earth-18 plug Psycho Sivana. And the rest of the multiverse’s heroes — in their own universes and in the House of Heroes — struggle against the forces of the Gentry. Can anyone survive the incredible power of the corrupted Nix Uotan, the Superjudge? Which hero will survive his decapitation? Can an army of superheroes prevail against the end of all that is?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s not perfect, but it’s Grant Morrison writing about cosmic crises and the concept of superheroism overcoming evil, so it’s still pretty dang good. Ivan Reis does a great job with the artwork. And it’s fantastic to get to see these characters again — the horror heroes of Earth-13 need at least a full miniseries of their own, and I’d deeply missed this version of Captain Carrot (It looks like the Zoo Crew is getting predictably mishandled in the Convergence series), and as always, I look forward to a future version of DC Comics that will bring that series back and finally do it justice.


Daredevil #15

Plainclothes Matt Murdock and the Owl’s daughter are working to free the Owl from the Shroud’s clutches — but the Shroud has figured out how to use the Owl’s ability to tap into all electronic communications against them. He starts by tracking them through San Francisco through people’s cell phones, then reveals that Foggy Nelson is alive, then starts revealing all of his legal clients’ secrets. Before long, the police are after him, and he’s faced with the question of having to go into hiding permanently — or turn to his most hated foe for help.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great art, great story. Always raising the bar on the pressure going on here, and the cliffhanger is pretty dang sweet.

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Busting the Bat


Gotham Academy #6

Batman finally shows up and takes on Killer Croc — and something happens with Olive Silverlock. It appears she has pyrokinetic powers that she may not even be aware of. She saves Croc, and Croc saves her during the ensuing inferno. After Croc makes his escape, Olive has an angry confrontation with Batman, and the next day, she and her friends resolve to form a group dedicated to searching out the Academy’s mysteries.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a cool story with cool art, and it’s great to finally see a decent appearance from Batman, too.


Daredevil #14

Matt Murdock has definitely embraced having no secret identity — he’s now wearing a fancy red suit — as in jacket, vest, and tie — with a Daredevil belt buckle, no mask, no sunglasses — which he’s wearing for both courtroom duties and crimefighting. He runs into a new supervillain calling herself the Owl — she claims to be the original Owl’s daughter, and she wants to find out where he is. When they finally track down his location, he’s hooked up to a vast number of telecommunication cables. But who’s holding him captive here, and for what purpose?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The whole story is outstanding, but you gotta give it extra credit for Matt’s fantastically bizarre new look.

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Gwen’s Back!


Spider-Gwen #1

Gwen Stacy — the Spider-Woman of an alternate universe where she got bit by the radioactive spider and Peter Parker died after turning himself into the Lizard — is back on her home Earth after the events of the Spider-Verse crossover. The Vulture has made his first appearance and attacked beat cop Ben Grimm. Captain Stacy has been relieved of his position on the Special Crimes Task Force, which has been taken over by Captain Frank Castle. The Mary Janes have a popular song, but they’re not going anywhere when Gwen, their drummer, isn’t in the band. Can Gwen get her life back on track? Can she lure the Vulture out of hiding and take him down to improve her image with the public and the cops?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’ve really been looking forward to this comic. Everyone’s very excited about this version of Gwen Stacy, and it’s interesting to see how her supporting cast is starting to be filled out. My lone quibble: Man, that title is a stinker. What’s wrong with “Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman”?


Gotham Academy #5

Olive learns that Killer Croc is hiding in the north wing of the school — and he’s actually watching out for her, as a favor to her mother, who was a patient in Arkham. She and Maps lose track of Croc, but enlist the aid of several other schoolmates to look for him. Olive also learns the secret of mysterious Tristan — he has the Langstrom Virus, so he sometimes grows bat wings and flies around the campus at night. Eventually, everyone gets together, finds Croc, brings him some food — and then there’s another unwelcome guest with his own set of bat wings.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This issue is nearly 90% crazy and 110% gorgeous. I love the fact that this whole things seems to be set in the animated Batman TV series and not in any comic books — Croc looks just like he did on TV, he uses all his best lines, some of the teachers seem to be from the TV show, and the whole thing is wonderfully free of excess angst, even for a teen romance comic.


Daredevil #13

Things seem to be going well for Matt Murdock and Kirsten McDuffie — but Matt is second-guessing his relationship because he knows how most of his girlfriends end up. Foggy Nelson angrily tells Matt to stop pretending everyone else in the world is just a supporting character in his life (even though — shhh! — they actually are supporting characters. OMG, Inception!) and learn to trust that Kirsten is able to take care of herself. And then Kirsten does get kidnapped. But who is her mysterious abductor? Who helps Daredevil capture him? And who’s the secret mastermind behind it all?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautiful comic, as always, and a nice little boost to Kirsten McDuffie’s badass factor — namely that she has her own rogues gallery.

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Funeral Cake


Ghosted #16

Wealthy old supernatural bastard Markus Schrecken has taken over-her-head medium Edzia Rusnak to a wedding in Italy — two families that have been feuding for generations are finally going to be united by the marriage of two of their children. Unfortunately, Schrecken has arranged for his own choice as minister to take care of the ceremony — the mad cult leader in Mexico who ran the Brotherhood of the Closed Book. And they’ve decided to create their own ghost town — a village where every single resident is ghost they can manipulate.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not a lot for the heroes to do, and lots of opportunity for Schrecken to show off what a scumbag he is, plus a decent twist on the Romeo and Juliet theme, too.


A Voice in the Dark: Get Your Gun #2

Zoey continues building her friendship with Rio, a fellow serial killer, while also effortlessly making it through a police interview as they try to find out who killed noxious sorority girl Mandy Jenkins and her thuggish boyfriend Brock. And Mandy’s father, obsessed with finding the killer himself, might be even worse than anyone else in the cast.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautiful art by Larime Taylor, and great writing as well. There are lots of scenes of people sitting around and talking, which is just fine with me, because Taylor does dialogue and characterization very well.


Daredevil #12

The new Stunt-Master has faked the death of the old Stunt-Master, George Smith — and Smith has been forced to dress as the new guy, so he and Daredevil can have a motorcycle race up the cables of the Golden Gate Bridge. When Daredevil rescues George, the new guy tries to run — and Matt pursues him driving a car in city traffic while shifting gears with his feet, punching the gas with his cane, and steering with the hook of his baton! But who’s the secret villain pulling the new Stunt-Master’s strings?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Absolutely fantastic action — maybe one of the best car chases I’ve seen in comics — to go along with Mark Waid’s wonderful writing and Chris Samnee’s outstanding art.

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Dare for Danger


Daredevil #11

Matt Murdock talks to a former villain, George Smith, who used to call himself the Stunt-Master. He gave up crime years ago, but is frustrated that there’s a new stuntman running around and calling himself the Stunt-Master. He specializes in impossible stunts — and in fact, he seems to die every time he tries a stunt, before revealing his survival. Anyway, Smith is unhappy that he’s getting no money for the new Stunt-Master’s routine, and he wants Matt to do something about it. Matt isn’t too encouraging — Smith sold the name years ago — but he gets more interested when the new Stunt-Master starts calling himself a daredevil, a man without fear, and just outright calling out Daredevil to face him. And when Smith commits suicide, he decides to take direct action. How does the new Stunt-Master defy death? And why is Daredevil willing to risk his own life for a cheap stunt?

Verdict: Thumbs up. We get the standard outstanding writing and art we’ve come to expect — ain’t nothing wrong with awesomeness month after month after month, is there? I love the way this series puts mysteries together, letting Matt’s superhuman senses show us how the scheme is put together and then letting us watch him figure out the motive and work out a way to put the bad guys away…


Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #3

Y’all hold on, ’cause this is gonna get a little confusing. The regular Avengers — Iron Man, Thor, Captain America (formerly the Falcon), the Scarlet Witch, the Wasp, Medusa, and Luke Cage — have all turned evil. And the Mighty Avengers — Spectrum, She-Hulk, the Blue Marvel, Power Man, White Tiger, and Kaluu — are not evil, but don’t know what the heck is going on. So now there’s gonna be a big ol’ fight. It’s gonna be pretty short, right? The evil Avengers don’t have anyone who can handle the Blue Marvel. But Tony Stark arranges for a global crisis on the opposite end of the planet, knowing the Marvel will fly off to take care of it. So the sides are much more evenly matched now — and the evil Avengers are guaranteed to cheat. Can the Mighty Avengers emerge from this with their skins intact?

Verdict: Thumbs up. These crossovers are often pretty silly, but this is a nice way to get the parts of it that work without having to spend too much money picking up every other issue. And beyond that, the writing’s great, and the art is nice, too.

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Friday Night Fights: Free for All!

Well, my children, it’s the end of another thoroughly gruesome week, and one measly weekend just ain’t really gonna settle things down for us. But it’ll help. So let’s celebrate while we can with everyone’s favorite: FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from February 1983’s Marvel Two-in-One #96 by Tom DeFalco, Ron Wilson, and Mike Esposito. Ben Grimm is stuck in the hospital after a rough battle, and now a whole bunch of supervillains are on the way to finish him off.




But Marvel’s superheroes aren’t gonna let Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew down, are they?


That’s a bunch of Marvel’s greatest superheroes beating up on the Rhino, MODOK, and a bunch of Moloids. Not a bad way to kick off the weekend, is it?

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