Daredevil’s secret identity has fallen into the hands of The Kingpin. Rather than a quick and brutal strike, Kingpin elects to take a slow, punishingDaredevil’s secret identity has fallen into the hands of The Kingpin. Rather than a quick and brutal strike, Kingpin elects to take a slow, punishing measure of revenge against a man who has been a thorn in his side for years. Stripping away everything Matt Murdock holds dear, Kingpin leaves Daredevil a shell of his former self. However, a man without hope… is a man without fear.
In the late 1970s, when Daredevil was on the ropes, Frank Miller took over as corner man and willed the Man Without Fear back into the fight. So in 1986, when writer Denny O’Neil was set to leave series, Marvel asked Frank if he’d be interested in returning to the character in which he had achieved tremendous success. Miller agreed but only if long time collaborator, artist David Mazzucchelli, could accompany him as the two would team up to write what many consider the definitive Daredevil story.
When I read this for the first time nearly six years ago, I remember appreciating it but not being blown away by it. However, given the rising popularity of the character due to the recently released Netflix series, I thought it was time to give it another shot.
The first three quarters of the story is nothing short of excellent. With Kingpin in possession of Daredevil’s secret identity, he begins a ruthless and systematic destruction of Matt Murdock’s life. The IRS freeze Matt’s accounts, the bank forecloses on his apartment and he becomes disbarred as a practicing lawyer. When Matt is at his absolute lowest point, Kingpin demolishes Matt’s apartment leaving the shredded remains of the Daredevil costume atop the rubble.
While Miller isn’t credited with first exploring Daredevil’s Catholic roots, he’s definitely one of few to first use it to great effect. In Born Again, Daredevil’s “resurrection” is due in part to help from Sister Maggie, a nun within the catholic church. Throughout Murdock’s rehabilitation, Mazzucchelli produces a few excellent panels showing Matt in a number of Christ-like poses.
As great as the majority of the story was, the last quarter or so involving Captain America and the patriotic villain Nuke felt like overkill. What seemed like a very intimate story involving two enemies in Daredevil and The Kingpin, exploded to include The Avengers, government conspiracies and destruction on a massive scale. It seemed like Miller tried to include too many characters and events, making what’s meant to feel like a big deal, fall flat.
Over the years, Daredevil has become one of my favorite comic book characters and while Born Again is considered the measuring stick, I’d throw Kevin Smith’s Daredevil, Vol. 1: Guardian Devil up against it any day.
US Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke has been dispatched to Wayward Pines, Idaho to investigate the recent disappearance of two fellow agents. Just aftUS Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke has been dispatched to Wayward Pines, Idaho to investigate the recent disappearance of two fellow agents. Just after crossing the city line, Ethan and his partner are t-boned by a transfer truck leaving Ethan rattled and his partner dead. Missing his badge, wallet and gun, Ethan struggles to find his footing in his new surroundings. Unable to reach his wife or his commanding officer, Ethan suspects the town is out to get him. Is Ethan really doomed or has his sanity begun to unravel?
I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Say what you will about this story but Pines is anything but boring. Once Crouch does the heavy lifting in establishing the town, the characters and his protagonist Ethan, he slams his foot down on the gas and speeds ahead. As the mystery of Wayward Pines unfolded, I’d be lying if I said I could have ever guessed where the story ended up going.
I think the less you know about this story, the better. I had read a few reviews before I decided to grab it from Netgalley and luckily, not a lot was spoiled. If you can, I would suggest staying away from the trailer FOX put together for the upcoming TV series as I feel it gives away more than I’d feel comfortable telling you. I will say that it looks like they totally nailed the feel of Wayward Pines and the madness Ethan is subjected to.
I’m interested in checking out the following two books but in all honesty, I think Pines itself is strong enough to stand on its own. Crouch leaves a lot at the end that’s definitely worth exploring, so the curiosity is there but it’s a really strong effort. Hopefully it doesn’t go off the rails.
A nifty little book with invaluable advice but it's not exactly essential. The entirety of the book's contents are available here when it originally aA nifty little book with invaluable advice but it's not exactly essential. The entirety of the book's contents are available here when it originally appeared as an article in the New York Times:
Has Matt Murdock lost his mind by accepting the position of lead prosecutor in a case against the dangerous hate group Sons of Serpent? Many would agrHas Matt Murdock lost his mind by accepting the position of lead prosecutor in a case against the dangerous hate group Sons of Serpent? Many would agree. While Matt seemingly knows what he’s up against, has he picked a fight he can’t possibly win?
This is a strange volume. While there are some memorable scenes showing attorney Matt Murdock at his absolute best, you have some weird stuff involving classic movie monsters being chased by angry villagers. I get what Waid is going for here with regard to racism, but it felt too goofy in my opinion. Comics are serious business!
Matt’s feeble attempts to persuade the public that he isn’t Daredevil haven’t been working (surprise, surprise) and in a bold move, makes a decision that will change his life forever – as both Matt Murdock and Daredevil. Throughout this and the previous six volumes, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have breathed new life into a character who had been treading water for quite some time.
Volume six picks up with Matt being approached by one of his childhood bullies with a request that Matt represent him in court in a case against the vVolume six picks up with Matt being approached by one of his childhood bullies with a request that Matt represent him in court in a case against the violent white supremacist group, The Sons of Serpent. Once Matt gets past his anger and traumatic memories, he agrees to act as an advisor. Is the case legit or is a front put forth by the villainous faction as a way of enacting vengeance against a former member?
This was an interesting read that flips Daredevil’s original story on its head. I liked Waid providing a different account of Matt’s childhood than the character may remember. I usually hate being subjected to superhero origins again and again but this bit of flashback work was fine by me. Samnee’s art is exception and he might be my favourite artist working with Marvel at the moment – next to David Aja.
There’s also a storyline from two issues of Indestructible Hulk inserted in the middle of the book. It didn’t really do anything for me but it showcased some impressive art from Matteo Scalera.
The other standalone story involves Daredevil teaming up with Silver Surfer to track down a notoriously deceptive alien. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything memorable either. As far as I know, it was the first time Daredevil and Silver Surfer shared a story, so there’s that.
It’s a good transitional book that bridges the gap between volume five and the forthcoming volume seven, a book which promises to make several big changes for the characters.