Written by: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor
Every week, there are a multitude of books being released from multiple different publishers. And while we here at CC2K like to provide as many reviews as our limited numbers can provide, there is always one book that is the cream of the crop. Comics are expensive, and so is the gas to get to the shop. So that's why we've started giving you the one, absolutely unmissable book every week.
Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark, thanks to these talented teams, the comic book character Daredevil has gone through some intense transformations. Bendis and Maleev changed the Daredevil series by revealing DD’s secret identity. Every newspaper, tabloid, and website had pictures of Matt Murdock and Daredevil, claiming they were both one and the same. Daredevil’s leaked identity put his family and friends in jeopardy, destroyed his career, and made his life one giant tabloid nightmare as waves of both super criminals and the government all wanted a piece of him. By the end of this legendary run of Bendis and Maleev, they threw Matt Murdock in jail; enter Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark. Brubaker and Lark had Matt Murdock battle his way through prison while thinking that his best friend, Foggy Nelson was murdered. They made Murdock’s (also blind) wife get assaulted, kidnapped, and eventually drugged. All this abuse thanks to Daredevil’s rouges gallery made her snap so badly that she accidentally pushed an innocent girl onto the tracks of an oncoming subway train. She eventually landed herself into a mental ward; Matt Murdock could only watch as his wife was taking away from him. Brubaker and Larked ended their run by having Matt Murdock throw his life away by taking over the organization of assassins and ninjas known as the Hand. For Daredevil fans, these past couple of years have been intense, dare I say even better then the Frank Miller years. Now, taking over Daredevil is Andy Diggle and Robert De La Torre. Starting with last month’s “Dark Reign: The List: Daredevil” and now “Daredevil #501,” Diggle and De La Torre have made one thing clear: there is no going back for Matt Murdock. Superhero or not, he is the leader of an evil organization and you cannot play both sides.
Andy Diggle and Marvel are actually running with it! No fake-outs, no “actually, I don’t want to run the Hand,” Daredevil fans are getting what is promised and by the end of this issue we have a new name for Matt Murdock: “LORD DAREDEVIL.” In this issue: we have Foggy and Dakota sleuthing around trying to figure out what happened to Matt and why. Kingpin and his new sidekick Lady Bullseye are planning their future endeavors against the new leader of the Hand. All while Daredevil hides above a church waiting on his sensei, Izo, to arrive. Izo knows Matt has it rough, but he doesn’t pity him, he just wants Matt to do the right thing and destroy the Hand. Though, with the Marvel universe being controlled by evil, the Hand might just be that one weapon that can level the playing field. “What if one sacrifice could make it right? One life to save many.” Daredevil says to Izo. Izo replies “Throw yourself off the roof if you want. But it won’t bring Bullseye’s victims back.” Daredevil hunches over “it’s not my life I’m talking about, it’s yours.” When I read that line, I knew Andy Diggle is going to take an already outstanding comic book and take it to a level better suited for legends. The Hand demanded that Daredevil sacrifice an innocent person in order for them to trust Matt Murdock as their new lord. DD sacrifices his sensei and friend. This scene didn’t come out of nowhere thanks to Diggle’s writing ability, DD actions and voice weren’t forced and Diggle kept the same tone that Bendis and Brubaker’s used for their magnificent runs.
Andy Diggle’s narrative and style is perfect for Daredevil. No escape, no hints to the reader, no schemes, just point blank description, plot, and action that are left for the reader to interpret. He makes a smooth transition coming off of Brubaker’s run, so that any reader can pick this up while the Daredevil aficionados stay intrigued. This particular issue keeps the same tone as the past runs of Brubaker and Bendis, while ending on something all of it own.
The art direction also shares the same respect towards past runs. De La Torre’s artwork is awe inspiring, especially for a DD comic. He plays with textures a lot and uses lots of shadow and that’s perfect for a crime fighter who wears a devil’s costume. From the quite moments of DD hanging off a church to the not stop actions scenes of hundreds of ninja’s tackling Master Izo, De La Torre has a found a very fitting home with this comic.
Marvel knows that Daredevil is a very special title. It’s reserved for true comic book enthusiasts. Marvel shows a real respect for that by hiring Andy Diggle and Robert De La Torre. Marvel could have hired Jeph Loeb or Mark Millar and though they might have written an excellent arc, it would have taken away from the years Bendis and Brubaker have put into this title. Daredevil contains something special that no other comic book series carries and only the true DD reader knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Gary is a husband, father, fireman, comic reader, gamer, body builder, and rocker. He also is a co-owner of a bakery in upstate NY. He likes to tell everyone his favorite band is the Beatles, when his actual favorite band is the Alkaline Trio.