Archive for Daredevil

Dead to Rights

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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”?

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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.

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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

Ghosted16

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.

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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.

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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

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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…

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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.

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

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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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Honor and Adventure!

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Lumberjanes #8

Jo has been turned to stone, and the devious Diane — secretly the goddess Artemis — blackmails the group to discover where she can go to gain ultimate power before she’ll release Jo from the curse. But once Jen solves the clues in the cavern, Diane double-crosses them, leaving them under attack from the demon-possessed boys from the rival camp. Molly’s skills with anagrams let her reveal how to restore Jo — THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP! But only one can wield the power that Artemis and Apollo want — and what happens when that one person is one of the Lumberjanes?

Verdict: Thumbs up. An incredibly fun, exciting story, with fun art and characters and tons of great funny stuff. Who would’ve imagined that a raccoon with a funny hat could be so awesome?

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Loki: Agent of Asgard #8

Loki and the Enchantress have both gone through the Axis flip afflicting Marvel’s heroes and villains. As a result, both of them are now unquestionably heroes, though they’re not very nice or humble heroes. Verity, the mortal who can always tell when someone’s lying, is less than happy with the result, because Loki and Amora are both grade-A jackasses. And Loki is summoned to Las Vegas to corral someone else who’s gone through a flip of the axis — Thor, god of villainy!

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m not sold on all the Axis stuff, but this one has some gloriously funny moments, particularly Oddball, the Man with the Deadly Balls! and Loki turning into an adorable magical unicorn to run through Vegas.

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Daredevil #10

Daredevil’s contact with the emotional powers of the Purple Man’s children has left him with crushing depression — just in time for the Purple Man himself to come swinging at him with a 2×4. He manages to push past his frazzled emotional state to run Killgrave off, but he’s still stuck with the problem of how to find a bunch of kids with mind-control powers. But even once he tracks them down, he’s going to have to deal with their powers and with the Purple Man’s, too.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great art, excellent story. Decent segment discussing depression, and a nice double-ending with Matt and Kirsten McDuffie.

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Over the Cliff

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Daredevil #9

The Purple Man’s empowered children have gotten together and are using their mind-control powers to wreak havoc in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Matt Murdock is excitedly planning on writing his autobiography and looking forward to his $8 million advance. Kirsten and Foggy aren’t sure it’d ever work — Matt doesn’t have the patience to write a whole book, and his life has been, up to the last few years, spectacularly depressing, with most of his girlfriends dying, struggles with poverty, and repeated personal, emotional, and superheroic setbacks. Matt is assuring them he can handle it when he learns about the Purple Kids’ rampage through the city. Their combined emotion control powers, however, are a lot more than he can handle.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story and fantastic art. The Purple Kids have a great combination of menace and pathos, and the idea of Matt revisiting the old rotten and depressing days is something that’s perversely appealing — he’s had it pretty good for quite a while, so it’ll be interesting to see how Mark Waid writes him over the next issue or two.

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Loki: Agent of Asgard #7

Dr. Doom has captured Loki in a field of null-time, trapping him between seconds so he’s unable to come up with any spells or tricks to escape. Verity Willis, a human who can see through any lie, traveled to Latveria with Loki, but she managed to turn invisible with Loki’s amulet of invisibility, but Valeria Richards easily detects that she’s there — but she decides not to reveal her to Doom, who has his own troubles when he finds Latverians fighting amongst themselves — something which Doom has decreed must never happen. But the people refuse to listen to him, and Doom deduces that the Red Skull, now possessing Charles Xavier’s telepathic powers, is causing a worldwide outbreak of hatred and strife. Is there any way to stop the Skull’s hate plague before Latveria destroys itself?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not as much stuff about Loki this time, but a really excellent focus on Verity, Valeria, and Doom himself. It makes for a really entertaining story.

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Trees #6

In the Chinese city of Shu, naive young artist Chenglei is questioning his sexuality and identity after a wild party when he realizes he’s falling in love with Zhen, a trans woman — all of this while the Chinese authorities are taking a new, ominous interest in the city. In Sicily, secret moves are underfoot against the local fascist gangs. And in the Arctic, the Tree-created flowers are a lot more difficult to eradicate than was expected.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The storyline in Shu is just plain outstanding. The scenes between Chenglei and Uncle and especially between Chenglei and Zhen are fantastic, poetic, absolutely beautiful. This is definitely turning out to be another great year for Warren Ellis comics.

Today’s Cool Links: 

  • Here’s a very nice one-minute-long horror movie for you.
  • You scared of Ebola? You scared of ISIS? You watch too much TV. Here are the things worth being afraid of.
  • And Texans, don’t forget, early voting begins today. Get out there and vote. Don’t you vote for that hyper-corrupt hypocritical weasel Greg Abbott. Dude’s so crooked he could hide behind a corkscrew.

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Purple Prose

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Daredevil #8

Matt Murdock meets Kirsten McDuffie’s parents — and they have a business proposition for him. Her dad works in publishing, and he wants Matt to write a tell-all autobiography. It would solve a lot of money problems, but is it really the right thing to do for Daredevil? Meanwhile, the Purple Man — for my money, the absolute rottenest, most vile supervillain in the Marvel Universe — is in San Francisco, collecting the illegitimate children he’s fathered over the years, hoping to turn them into his elite minions — and hoping to finally get the love he craves from them. But it turns out that no one, not even the Purple Man, can resist a bunch of cute little kids…

Verdict: Thumbs up. The Purple Man is an absolutely terrible person, as far as fictional people go. And that makes this issue fun, partly because we get to watch him being absolutely terrible, and partly because we also get to watch absolutely terrible things happen to him.

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Sensation Comics #2

Two very nice stories in this one, both set pre-Reboot for added awesomeness. In the first, Wonder Woman discovers that she’s losing her powers, apparently because the gods have abandoned her. Can she stop even routine muggers with fading powers, much less heavy-hitters like the Cheetah?

The second story focuses on Diana’s childhood, where over the course of several years, she attempts to defeat her mother in battle, by hook or by crook, so she can claim one of the silver bracelets she wears.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Neither one of the stories in this issue is bad. Excellent art, fun storytelling — I sure hope they keep this up, ’cause I’d love the whole series to be readable.

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Manifest Destiny #10

Turns out those monster mosquitos use humans as incubators, which puts the hosts in jeopardy, but doesn’t tend to kill them. And it gives Clark a chance to capture one of the monsters and determine how to kill it. Meanwhile, it’s been discovered that one of the soldiers raped one of the villagers — Mrs. Boniface wants the man killed, but Lewis, surprisingly, argues for letting him live, primarily because in this hostile territory, they need every able-bodied person to be able to contribute to the group’s survival. Can the group combat the gigantic skeeters? Can they defeat the monster keeping the boat stranded? Will the tensions finally boil over?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very nice horror, hitting everything from pure grossness to simple tension to moral quandries, all lit by nice, bright sunlight.

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