Archive for Daredevil

Shutter Island

Shutter1

Shutter #1

Kate Kristopher is the daughter of one of the most famous explorers in the world. Her father discovered wild and bizarre miracles across the planet and worked hard to instill his own sense of enthusiastic curiosity into her. But at the age of 27, Kate is a professional photographer — she gave up the exploration biz years ago, despite her own colossal fame. She really seems to crave normalcy, despite living in a world of almost endless wonders. But when Kate is unexpectedly attacked by ninjas and defended by electro-telekinetic steampunk robots, it seems her life will never be boring.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very fun storytelling and art by Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca. Kate and her father are excellent characters, but the best thing about this comic is just plain checking out all the absolute weirdness going on in the background, whether on the monster-filled streets of New York City or in the framed photos on her father’s wall. I’m hoping this comic is going to be a lot of fun.

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Daredevil #1.50

Number 1.50? Marvel, you’ve really got to quit the stupid numbering stunts.

What we’ve got here is a trio of odd little stories, two set in the future, one in the past. In the first, Matt Murdock has just had his 50th birthday, his son is sighted but has his sensory powers and a bad case of permanent jumpiness, and Foggy Nelson is alive, healthy, and skinny. And then almost everyone in San Francisco suddenly goes blind. Who’s behind it? The daughter of the Owl, who apparently has a weird case of the hots for Matt. Can Matt save San Francisco? Not without a serious sacrifice.

The second story is a text story about Matt’s future wife, and the third comes in the form of a video recorded by Mike Murdock, who was apparently a stunt pulled by Matt years ago in which he pretended to be his own twin brother to keep people from believing he was Daredevil. That’s just weirder’n spit, man.

Verdict: Man, I don’t know. I wasn’t a big fan of the Mike Murdock story or of the text story. The first story was pretty good, but I’m not a big fan of these “Here’s how we’re going to screw with the hero’s life in the coming years” stories. Just surprise us — don’t try to make predictions that we know will eventually be tossed down the memory hole.

ManifestDestiny6

Manifest Destiny #6

The Lewis and Clarke expedition is beseiged by plant-zombies from all possible species. They’re able to use Greek fire to stop some of the monsters, but the zombies take their own toll on the group. And even worse is what Lewis and Clarke themselves encounter — a giant, hyper-intelligent alien flower that wants to digest the explorers alive. Can anyone save them from destruction?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of zombie killin’ and an unexpectedly Lovecraftian end to the first storyarc. The series will continue in a month or two — hope it stays fun, creepy, and faux-historical.

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Give the Girl a Big Hand

MsMarvel2

Ms. Marvel #2

Kamala Khan has just gotten a lungful of the Terrigen Mists, and it appears she had a trace of Inhuman ancestry, because she’s ended up with weird shapeshifting powers. In fact, she spends a decent chunk of the story looking a lot like a blonde white girl, because she’s obsessed with Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel. She manages finally figure out how her powers work, and she even saves a classmate when she falls in the river, but she soon finds superheroism is a mixed bag — she doesn’t like all the attention, she’s not a fan of the skimpy costume she manifests, and the whole thing is a bit overwhelming. She makes her way back home — but learns that she wasn’t actually very sneaky, and her parents are not happy with her for sneaking out.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Loved this one so very much. Kamala’s powers are seriously weird – like Plastic Man with a much more solid and less cartoony body. I’ve heard some folks worry that the art style is going to look weird, but it’s working out really well — seems like she spends a quarter of the issue with an absurdly giant hand, and it’s weird and hilarious and kinda awesome. It’s also a lot of fun to be inside Kamala’s head while she tries to figure out her new powers, and the brief visit we get to make with her family shows that they’re even more awesome that we thought they were last issue. You’re reading this, right? Come on, we’re just two issues in — go pick it up!

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Daredevil #1

Another unnecessary number-one issue, mostly because Marvel is kinda absurd with this stuff. No one wants this crap, Marvel — stop trying to pretend it’s important.

Obviously, though, the story here isn’t at all bad, because it’s Mark Waid and Chris Samnee working on Daredevil again. Matt Murdock is living in San Francisco now, working closely with the cops as he uses his superhuman senses to track down kidnappers. But his big problem is that San Francisco isn’t New York City — Matt had the Big Apple memorized, but Frisco is mostly new territory for him. He doesn’t know where the best places are for superhero acrobatics, so he has his sorta ex-girlfriend Kirsten McDuffie yelling directions and instructions to him over an earpiece. He’s trying to rescue a kidnapped little girl, while her kidnappers chase him in rocketcars. And then he realizes that the kid is ticking — the kidnappers have implanted a bomb inside her! Why would anyone put a bomb inside a little girl? And can Daredevil save her in time? And where the hell is Foggy Nelson?

Verdict: Thumbs up. If you enjoyed the previous Daredevil series, it’s clear that you’ll enjoy this one, too. It’s weird to see Daredevil outside of New York, but this is obviously going to be a nice new challenge to keep the series fresh. Loved Matt’s sensory investigation, the extended chase sequence, the fantastic suspense when Matt discovers the bomb — and the entirely unexpected cliffhanger, which definitely makes you yearn for the next issue.

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A Farewell to Hell’s Kitchen?

Daredevil36

Daredevil #36

Matt Murdock is being blackmailed, forced to defend a murderer and a member of the racist Sons of the Serpent, because if he won’t, it’ll be revealed to the world, with ample proof, that he’s really Daredevil. So Matt upsets the chessboard — he testifies in open court, reveals his superheroic identity, and tells all the secrets that the Serpents were going to reveal. The Serpents lose their temper and attack the courtroom with a strikeforce of assassins, revealing the full extent of their conspiracy against Daredevil and against the city. But in the aftermath of the attack, what will the revelations about Matt’s secret life — and the way he’s used and abused the law — mean for his ability to remain in New York City?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great drama and action — as well as excellent courtroom drama.

Having said that, I do have some quibbles. How’s Foggy Nelson? Is he even alive? The beginning of this issue seemed to imply he was at death’s door, but I really can’t imagine them killing him off, especially not off-camera.

Second, we know that the series is going to be relaunched soon, with Matt practicing law in San Francisco instead of Hell’s Kitchen. How the heck is that even going to work? I don’t know that I can imagine Daredevil outside of Hell’s Kitchen or New York — partly because his entire history is tied to closely to those locales, and partly because there’s no city like New York for giving superheroes tons of great, tall buildings to jump off of and swing from. Is Daredevil going to have to get a car to get around the City by the Bay?

Still, just quibbles — I’ve loved just about every issue of this series, and I’m looking forward to the continuation over on the Left Coast.

RedSonja7

Red Sonja #7

Sonja has been forced to take a contract by a corrupt quasi-Egyptian ruler. He’s dying, and he wants the very best of everything for his funeral. He wants Sonja to track down his list of the world’s greatest entertainers and craftsmen in one month — if she succeeds, he’ll free every slave in the city; if she fails, he’ll have them all put to death.

Sonja’s first assignment is to find Gribaldi, the world’s greatest chef. As it turns out, he lives in the swamp, and he works for a tribe of savage cannibals. Will Sonja be able to free the loony chef from his far loonier man-eating gourmands?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A wonderfully, bleakly hilarious comic. The bogmen are savage, cannibal nitwits — and perhaps the most sophisticated, enthusiastic foodies ever depicted. Gribaldi’s culinary artistry is praised by everyone who eats his food — except for Sonja, who sees food solely as fuel for the body. And what’s really funny is how she reacts when she finds out he doesn’t respect good beer…

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Seasonal Poison

LilGotham10

Batman: Li’l Gotham #10

Poison Ivy is completely depressed because autumn is her least favorite season — yes, even more than winter, which she considers peaceful and calm, with less environmental destruction. But in the autumn, all the leaves are dying, and she can’t muster any enthusiasm for anything. Harley and Selina demand the Joker do something to cheer her up — and dangit, the Joker is just not any good at cheering people up! Meanwhile, Damian has noticed Alfred creeping into the east wing of Wayne Manor — carrying a body?! Soon, Damian, Tim, and Katana have decided that Alfred must be a mad genius performing unholy experiments. Can nothing stop the butler’s reign of terror?

Verdict: Thumbs up. As always, beautiful artwork and charming stories, all set in the pre-Reboot DCU. It’s good all-ages fun, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Daredevil35

Daredevil #35

The racist Sons of the Serpent think they have Matt Murdock over the barrell. They know every one of his secrets, and they’re prepared to release them all to the press and to his enemies — but they’ll keep it all secret if he’ll defend the son of one of their leaders who’s been accused of murder. They know he’s innocent but they can’t say that in court without giving up their secrets, so they want Murdock to figure out a way to get him free. He meets up with Elektra and they beat up Constrictor and Mamba of the Serpent Society (which doesn’t have any real connection to the Sons of the Serpent, despite the name similarity) while Matt tries to figure out what to do. Does he take the case and defend the evil Sons of the Serpent? Or does he stick to his principles and ruin his life and the lives of his friends? Or does he seek a third way?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The action is pretty good, but the real focus in this story is on Matt’s cerebral gymnastics. Next to the last issue — at least until Marvel relaunches the title with a brand new #1 in a few months. Doesn’t constant relaunching just to get lots of #1s strike you as just about the silliest thing around? I mean, it’s not as silly as most of the things out of Dan DiDio’s mouth, but it’s definitely the silliest thing Marvel’s been up to lately.

AstroCity8

Astro City #8

An unknown enemy is trying to paint Winged Victory as a secret supervillain — and the ploy seems to be working. She has both the Samaritan and the Confessor on her side (though they have to fight each other first because you just know how superheroes are always fighting each other), and even the authorities woh come to search her compound are giving her the benefit of the doubt. But her confidence is still severely shaken because she’s relying on protection from men — and the idea that women have to rely on men for protection is something that she’s been fighting against her entire career. Is the future hopeless for her?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautifully illustrated, beautifully written. Tons of glorious characterization and a plot that really digs into the heart of Winged Victory’s character. It’s an absolutely fantastic comic book, and we’re only in the middle of the storyarc.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Today, it’s worth remembering that most of the media tends to not understand what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s real impact was. It was a lot more significant than merely marching and making speeches.
  • If you want to make yourself furious, read this article about the how-can-this-be-legal “troubled teen industry.” Why these thugs haven’t been dragged out of their torture camps and strung up, I’ll never know.
  • Booth babes are an offensive relic on any convention floor — but it turns out that they don’t make good business sense either, because they just don’t translate into sales.
  • The high-velocity (and high-larious) Slingshot Channel has devised a condom gun that’ll make you swear off sex forever.

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So Very Many Comics…

I’m still trying to clear space for more holiday gift recommendations, so I’m gonna see if I can clear all my regular comics reviews all at once. Strap on your seat belt, kids — we’re gonna do a review marathon…

FF15

FF #15

The Future Foundation has everything planned out, and they’re ready to take down Doctor Doom. They send in a bunch of robots controlled by the kids to distract Doom and his robots and to wreck up his Latverian castle, while the grownups and their allies infiltrate and sabotage Doom behind the scenes before finally moving in for the final confrontation. But will all their preparation allow them to succeed against Doom the Annihilating Conqueror?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great action, great humor, intrigue, drama — and thanks to co-writer and scripter Lee Allred, the story is jam-packed with in-jokes geared directly to fans of the late, lamented City of Heroes, the best dang superhero MMO ever. I loved it, and I want a lot more of it, so I’m crossing my fingers that the series will continue, despite its predicted demise.

RedSonja6

Red Sonja #6

Sonja was prepared to duel Dark Annisia to the death, but they’ve both been surprised by the re-emergence of the genocidal tyrant Bazrat, who reveals that the plague that afflicted Sonja and the kingdom wasn’t actually a plague at all — it was all poison administered secretly to the populace. Can Sonja and Annisia stop fighting long enough to stop the madman?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent action, drama, and art, and a genuinely smart story, all wrapped up in a nice chainmail bow.

IttyBittyHellboy5

Itty Bitty Hellboy #5

Abe’s little sister Eve is having a birthday, and everyone is invited to the party! Hellboy, Liz, the Rogers, Baba (and her chicken-leg hut), Hecate, Lobster Johnson, Johann Kraus, and many more all show up. Presents are opened, seaweed cake is devoured, hot sauce is splashed on people, and Hellboy gets turned into a chicken. Just like every other day then, right?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very funny, very cute — it’s too bad this is the final issue, because Art Baltazar and Franco did a great job making Hellboy and his supporting cast look so adorable.

YoungAvengers14

Young Avengers #14

Evil has been vanquished, and it’s time for the after party. A wide selection of artists are on hand to help document the first half of the Young Avengers’ last big party, along with most of the other young superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Wiccan and Hulkling reconcile for good, we learn more of Miss America’s origin and about her secret connection to Wiccan, and Kate Bishop decides where she stands with Noh-Varr.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A bunch of excellently crafted stories about relationships — both romantic and familial — all backed up by a bunch of cool artists. I’m gonna miss this series, but it’s nice to see they’re going out pushing the envelope.

VoiceintheDark2

A Voice in the Dark #2

Zoey is worried that her urges to commit murder are going to get the better of her, so she starts up a campus talk-radio show, hoping she’ll be able to quell her homicidal desires by basking in other people’s darkness. And her very first caller is someone who’s contemplating suicide. Can Zoey keep her from killing herself? Can her uncle and his fellow police officers find the girl in time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic art and a great story that does not go where we expect it to go. Is there anything Zoey can do to keep from getting completely washed over in blood? Maybe not — and it’ll be fun seeing how it all turns out for her…

Daredevil34

Daredevil #34

Matt Murdock wants to strike a serious blow against the racist Sons of the Serpent — and he particularly wants to take their ally, the Jester, out of circulation. He’s managed to obtain the Darkhold, an ancient mystical book that the Sons consider their Bible, and he’s also gotten hold of a device that will allow him to broadcast to every TV, radio, and web browser in New York City. He enlists the aid of Kirsten McDuffie and then makes his broadcast, warning New Yorkers about the Sons and threatening to destroy the Darkhold if they don’t turn over the Jester. Can the gamble pay off? Or will the Sons kill McDuffie as revenge?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s an excellent story, with some real shining moments for McDuffie. The action is quite nice, and as always, Javier Rodriguez’s artwork is phenomenally beautiful.

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Revival #16

The authorities are now exterminating the local livestock, which has gotten a serious dose of whatever is causing the revivals, and Ramin and Sheriff Cypress are the targets of a low-level terrorist attack. Dana Cypress enlists her ex-husband Derrick and her sister Em — a secret Reviver — to help investigate whoever murdered Em. And Derrick runs into a mysteriously deformed arsonist. What the heck’s going on?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The series is definitely trending away from horror right now and back toward noir. Not a bad thing at all — great characterization and art, and I’m still loving the story.

PrettyDeadly3

Pretty Deadly #3

Ya know, I’m not sure I could tell you the plot in a way that’ll really make sense. But we learn more about Ginny and Fox and Death, how they got the way they are, and what may be coming up for them eventually.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I liked this issue a lot more. It made a lot more sense, I could keep track of who the characters were, and there were multiple really good, really powerful scenes. I hope they can keep the quality high on this one.

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Under Wraps

Daredevil33

Daredevil #33

Matt Murdock went and got himself shot by the Sons of the Serpent, but luckily, he’s got some new friends who are going to keep him alive — the Legion of Monsters — Werewolf by Night, N’Kntu the Living Mummy, Satana, the Monster of Frankenstein, and the Zombie Simon Garth! They do manage to get Daredevil stitched back up, and he manages — barely — to convince them to tell him what the Darkhold is. Turns out it’s a spellbook of fabled power, held by an occultist named Lucien Sinclair. He can use it to destroy the creatures of the night, so the Legion of Monsters want to get it away from him. Daredevil volunteers to steal it away, but he’ll have to withstand horrifying hallucinations that could drive him mad. Can the Man without Fear survive the terrors of the damned?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic storytelling, wonderful characters, great dialogue, and absolutely glorious artwork. The splash page of Daredevil standing in the room of flames needs to go into Chris Samnee’s portfolio, if he even needs one anymore.

RedSonja5

Red Sonja #5

Sonja and her fledgling bodyguards begin their campaign against Dark Annisia’s forces. She learns that the king has been buried in an anonymous grave, mostly to keep his body safe from Annisia’s raiders, and the king’s scientific son figures out a way to cure her of the plague. Finally, Sonja meets Annisia in battle — but a much more terrible foe has been manipulating both of them…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of adventure, action, and humor, along with outstanding art. It’s really nice to be able to read Gail Simone stories without having them tainted by DC, isn’t it?

Today’s Cool Links:

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Monster Mash

Daredevil32

Daredevil #32

The Jester has lured Matt Murdock into a trap, but he’s frustrated when he doesn’t react the way he expected. The Jester assumes that Daredevil is a sighted superhero pretending to be blind, but since Matt really is blind, his radar sense can’t tell that the hanged dummy is supposed to look like Foggy Nelson, and he can smell the cyanide on the supposed suicide note. Frustrated, the Jester sends in a couple crooked cops to kill him — and of course, they get their butts whupped. Later, Matt’s research with the real Foggy reveals that the Sons of the Serpent might have had quasi-mystic origins, and that sends Daredevil on a visit to Dr. Strange.

Doc Strange tells Matt to visit a small town in Kentucky. Turns out, it’s a hotbed of activity for the Sons of the Serpent, and while trying to stop them from lynching someone, he also runs afoul of…the Legion of Monsters! Can Daredevil make friends with the Werewolf by Night, N’Kntu the Living Mummy, Satana, the Monster of Frankenstein, and the Zombie Simon Garth? Or is he about to join them in undeath?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Even aside from the great story by Mark Waid and the great art by Chris Samnee, there’s just nothing I love more than classic comic book monsters. Especially when we’re getting this close to Halloween.

FF13

FF #13

Scott Lang has saved all of the Future Foundation from the machinations of Doctor Doom, Alex Power, and Maximus the Mad by teleporting everyone to a place where Doom can’t track them. Doom is infuriated, of course, and takes his wrath out on Kid Immortus and Ravona. So where is the Future Foundation? They’re hiding in the Impossible Man’s pants. He teleports them all to the Blue Area of the Moon, where Scott gets Uatu himself (and his girlfriend Ulana) to surrender by threatening him with the Ultimate Nullifier. And then a bunch of alternate-timeline versions of Red Ghost and the Super-Apes appear — the kids make friends with all the apes by offering them bananas, and then kick the tar out of all the Red Ghosts. Well, this is all great, but how does Scott plan to stop Doctor Doom?

Verdict: Thumbs up. So many funny moments in this one — She-Hulk’s horror at discovering where they’re all hiding; Bentley-23′s realization that Uatu’s name makes its own pun; the kids’ reactions to word that Uatu has a girlfriend; Uatu needing to visit the bathroom; the entire sequence with Red Ghost; and much, much more besides. Tons of great lines and wonderful art. It’s a grand story and a great lesson on how much fun comics can be when they embrace their inherent sense of humor.

YoungAvengers11

Young Avengers #11

Kid Loki discovers that Leah has allied with Mother and captured Hulkling, and Mother plans to unleash the evil alternates of our heroes on the Earth to wreak mass destruction. In an attempt to build up enough mystical power to break Mother’s spells, Wiccan magically turns turns Kid Loki into Teen Loki — but he’s still not powerful enough. So the new plan is to invade Mother’s home dimension, age Wiccan into the Demiurge, and recruit other teenaged superheroes on Earth to stop the invasion of the Evil Young Avengers. That’s a lot of stuff that can go wrong, ain’t it?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great art, great writing, fun dialogue, desperate situations, awesome characters. I just enjoy every issue of this comic so much.

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The Devil’s Head

Daredevil31

Daredevil #31

After Foggy Nelson hands out some Daredevil T-shirts to some of his fellow cancer patients in a lesson about spreading courage to others who need it, he accidentally reveals to Matt Murdock that he basically hired Kirsten to take his place at the law firm, which frustrates Matt, since she dumped him not that long ago.

But the bulk of our story happens in the aftermath of a sensational trial elsewhere in NYC. A socialite was charged in the murder of a black teenager in her building, and tensions are high after the jury acquits her. Soon afterwards, the district attorney gives a statement on the courthouse steps and denounces the jury, revealing their names and addresses and encouraging people to murder them. But Matt’s superhuman senses can tell the broadcast was tampered with — the attorney has been framed, and the city primed to explode with violence. Matt suspects the Sons of the Serpent are behind the attack, and he has to try to defuse the riots and protect the jurors and the prosecutor. Though Hank Pym is able to assist with some super-scientific wizardry, it falls to Daredevil to track down the villain responsible for doctoring the broadcast.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I think we can just accept at this point that the art is beautiful and the writing is excellent, right? It’s a nicely “ripped from the headlines” story with plenty of action and tension, a nice guest-starring slot for Hank Pym, a fine resolution, and an intriguing cliffhanger. Definitely worth reading.

ManhattanProjects14

The Manhattan Projects #14

President Kennedy has decided to take the Manhattan Projects down once and for all, and he enlists the sadistic and ruthlessly efficient General Westmoreland to do the job. Soon enough, Feynman and Einstein are drugged, General Grove’s battlesuit has been remote controlled, Minister Ustinov loses his robot body, and von Braun and Gagarin are captured while they’re unable to access their equipment and robotics. Even worse, Laika is lost in space somewhere, and Oppenheimer is making his ultimate plans, while his multiple personalities get more and more chaotic. Is there any hope for the bad scientists?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This series probably needed a good shake-up — the scientists had gotten just about everything they wanted, and they needed something new to struggle against. And Westmoreland definitely looks like he’ll be a good antagonist, at least until someone blows his head off.

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Wonder Woman #23.1

I wasn’t expecting to get any of DC’s Villains Month comics, but the local shop saved this one for me, since Wonder Woman is still on my pull list. They even got me the fancy 3-D cover, which is very shiny and lenticular.

The Cheetah has been broken out of Belle Reve Prison and is killing off her family. A U.S. Marshal named Mark Shaw (referred to more than once as a “manhunter“) is in pursuit and tries to warn her aunt, Lyta Minerva, who runs a cult dedicated to the Amazon ideal of the Goddess of the Hunt. She soon turns on Shaw so she can hunt him across their compound and reveals how Barbara Minerva became the Cheetah.

Verdict: Ehh, I dunno. The story by John Ostrander and the art by Victor Ibanez are just fine, but it’s ultimately another dumb crossover and yet another of the all-villains month events that DC does every few years. The comic is a good read, and it’s interesting, but is it something that has a lot of re-read value? Not really.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Can you stand another article on the ongoing trainwreck at DC Comics? Go read this.
  • Fangoria offers their picks for the top evil clowns.
  • This article on the rotten conditions being inflicted on university adjunct instructors is incredibly depressing, but you should read it anyway.
  • This probably won’t kill off Whole Foods — but it will at least kill off people using the word “Namaste.”
  • Ever wanted to see the point of view of an eagle in flight? Watch this video.

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Red and Silver

Daredevil30

Daredevil #30

It’s a moderately normal day in Matt Murdock’s legal office when he suddenly comes face to face with an alien. He introduces himself as Ru’ach, and he’s seeking asylum on Earth, and assistance from the Avengers. And he needs it in a hurry, because someone powerful is pursuing him. And of course, that someone is none other than the Silver Surfer. As it turns out, Ru’ach comes from a species of near-perfect liars, and he’s trying to get in touch with the Avengers and Earth’s leaders so he can cripple the planet’s defenses. Can Daredevil and the Surfer work together and figure out a way to stop Ru’ach before it’s too late?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great art, great story, wonderful dialogue, wonderful action. An interesting and emotional twist at the end, too. Nice to see these two incredibly different characters work so well together.

WonderWoman23

Wonder Woman #23

It’s the final battle against the monstrously powerful First Born, with Orion, War, Hera, and Zora helping out where they can. War brings every soldier who ever lived, Orion does what he can to beat up the demigod, Wonder Woman makes herself even more powerful than ever — and none of it is making much of a difference in the fight. And then the First Born decides that his fastest way to take over Olympus will be to become the new God of War. Can anyone stop him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent action, story, drama, and art. Ya know, I wish this comic were considered in-continuity for the DC Universe instead of whatever crap they’re pumping out in the Justice League comics. I doubt any other comics will ever acknowledge Diana’s new position in the Greek pantheon.

Today’s Cool Links:

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The Disappointments

I had high hopes for every single comic I got this week, and every single one of them let me down. Here’s the damage.

BatmanInc13

Batman Inc. #13

The final issue of Grant Morrison’s multi-year Batman epic, this one splits its story between Bruce Wayne, beat like a rented mule and arrested for various crimes, being interrogated by Commissioner Gordon, and Batman’s final duel against Talia, leader of Leviathan. Wayne tells Gordon how the murder of his parents left a hole in his heart and how he filled the hole with… something else. And Talia poisons Batman to get a device that will let her destroy cities with a new kind of energy — only to be betrayed by Jason Todd and killed by… someone else. Can Batman continue on, or is his time over?

Verdict: Thumbs down. This one got a lot of hype, and a lot of people who just knee-jerk loved it. I didn’t think it lived up to the hype. The art’s gorgeous, yes. I was pretty satisfied with Wayne’s talk with Jim Gordon. But the rest of it was predictable and pedestrian. Sorry, I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t do it.

FF10

FF #10

Dr. Doom wants the aged, time-traveled Johnny Storm dead, and he’s ordered the blackmailed Alex Power to commit the crime. So he asks Ahura, Tong, Onome, and Bentley-23 is they know anyone who’s ever killed someone. Sure, says Ahura, let’s go talk to my uncle Maximus. And Maximus plays a game of 20 Questions with them to get them to set him free. Meanwhile, Ant-Man, Medusa, She-Hulk, and Darla Deering, along with Leech and Artie, take Tom Brevoort, Matt Fraction, and Michael Allred on a tour in the microverse that ends with everyone getting stalked by a miniaturized giant tiger.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Comic creators showing up as guest stars in Fantastic Four comics are a long-running tradition — Stan and Jack used to meet the original FF all the time. But this time is just plain uninspired — the creators were completely unneeded. And the bit with the genius kids getting completely played by Maximus was really just not very interesting. Sorry, I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t do it.

CaptainMarvel14

Captain Marvel #14

Again, it’s a crossover with “Avengers Assemble,” so we miss about half the story — but I can’t actually tell the difference this time. Anyway, an old Kree supervillain named Yon-Rogg has it in for Carol Danvers and has a whole bunch of robotic Kree sentries converging on NYC. He’s somehow using the robots and his close proximity to Captain Marvel — and a piece of himself that he’s somehow implanted into her brain, which is what’s been causing all her medical difficulties — to materialize an ancient Kree city, which he’s going to use to crush the Big Apple. So she flies into space and dies to shut down the power source and save the city.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Man, it just made so little sense. And she’s not even going to stay dead a whole issue, ’cause we already know she’ll be back in a month, doing some kind of transformation into her old Binary identity. Sorry, I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t do it.

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Daredevil #29

Nate Hackett, former childhood bully of Matt Murdock, on trial for crimes supposedly committed as a member of the Sons of the Serpent, has just been shot… by the trial judge. He’s a member of the Sons, too, as is the bailiff, the prosecuting attorney, several cops — half the folks in the courthouse are members of the Sons of the Serpent. Can Daredevil save Nate, save the innocent paramedic who’s been picked as the fall guy, save everyone else in the courthouse?

Verdict: Thumbs down. I got closest to liking this one, but it just went past my ability to take seriously. If so many cops, judges, and civil servants were secret members of a racist supervillain conspiracy, Nate and Matt and half the superheroes in New York would’ve been taken out by snipers ages ago. Sorry, I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t do it.

XMen3

X-Men #3

While most of the team travels to Budapest pursuing Arkea (in the body of Karima Shapandar), Kitty Pryde stays home to deal with an attack on the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning by Arkea’s drones. Bling ends up doing most of the work — and seems vaguely ominous while doing it, though we have no real idea why. Meanwhile, the team pursuing Arkea tracks her to a hospital, where they’re attacked by a bunch of cyber-enhanced patients who’ve been possessed by Arkea. They somehow bluff their way into a victory and even get Karima back alive and more-or-less intact mentally.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I loved the art, but the rest of it? It was all just too abrupt. Fighting against an enemy who scared the crap out of Sublime, who planned to kill every living creature on the planet, and they run her off so quickly, with such a small team? It was too anticlimactic. Sorry, I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t do it.

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