Fantastic Four #511

December 20, 2014

Fantastic Four 511Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
May 2004
***

The explorers of heaven are invited to meet their maker, Jack Kirby. Waid lays the schmaltz on thick. It’s odd & a bit phony, since his M.O. on this mag isn’t very Kirby-esque. Waid’s more interested in emotional adversity than anything. Wieringo’s individual style, however, is its own homage to the king.

last issue: Fantastic Four #510
next issue: Fantastic Four #512

also indexed for May ’04
Daredevil #58
New X-Men #154
The Pulse #2
Thanos #7
Thanos #8

Fantastic Four #510

December 19, 2014

Fantastic Four 510Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
April 2004
*****

To save Ben Grimm, Reed launches his team into Heaven itself (imagined beautifully by Wieringo as a psyche-scape of surreal imagery). It’s a surprise to take FF in that cosmic direction—Waid isn’t exactly Dante, or even Alan Moore—but given the centrality of Hell to Marvel & his run, it’s kosher.

last issue: Fantastic Four #509
next issue: Fantastic Four #511

also indexed for Apr. ’04
Daredevil #57
New X-Men #153
The Pulse #1
Secret War #1 of 5

Fantastic Four #509

December 18, 2014

Fantastic Four 509Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
March 2004
****

The mag still has its dark edge, thankfully dulled by Wieringo’s return. The team’s split, Reed’s brooding, & Johnny hallucinates Ben for company. A game of phone tag mobilizes the Fantastic Three for a rescue mission—to heaven! The Kirbytech is vintage: Doom’s flawed machine from college!

last issue: Fantastic Four #508
next issue: Fantastic Four #510

also indexed for Mar. ’04
Daredevil #56
New X-Men #151
New X-Men #152

Fantastic Four #508

December 17, 2014

Fantastic Four 508Mark Waid // Howard Porter
February 2004
**

Doc Doom psychically hops from hero to hero, forcing Mr. Fantastic to blast & kill the Thing. Sadly, in this arc Waid mirrors the ultraviolent sensationalism of ’90s super-comics, which he’d once refuted in Kingdom Come. The melee isn’t even memorable, due to Porter’s erratic, sometimes obscure art.

last issue: Fantastic Four #507
next issue: Fantastic Four #509

also indexed for Feb. ’04
Daredevil #55
New X-Men #150

Fantastic Four #507

December 16, 2014

Fantastic Four 507Mark Waid // Howard Porter
late January 2004
***

Mr F renegotiates his eternal stalemate w/ Dr D by imprisoning them together in a locked dimension. Waid’s given the hero a clenched-jaw gloom that, like the art, is a depressing throwback to ’90s comics; similarly, Doom’s escape (a telepathic takeover of Sue) is extremely, tiresomely violent.

last issue: Fantastic Four #506
next issue: Fantastic Four #508

also indexed for Jan. ’04
Alias #28
Daredevil #54
Fantastic Four #506
New X-Men #149

Fantastic Four #506

December 15, 2014

Fantastic Four 506Mark Waid // Howard Porter
early January 2004
***

A coalition of UN forces are about to invade Latveria to oust Mr F. I’m wary of this characterization of Reed R as manipulative—both politically and emotionally. Also, Waid jettisons his Iraq allegory, which has been one of Marvel’s strongest views on geopolitics since Busiek’s Avengers.

last issue: Fantastic Four #505
next issue: Fantastic Four #507

also indexed for Jan. ’04
Alias #28
Daredevil #54
Fantastic Four #507
New X-Men #149

Fantastic Four #505

December 14, 2014

Fantastic Four 505Mark Waid // Howard Porter
late December 2003
****

The Richards use parental fear-mongering to justify their unilateral adventurism to a dubious Grimm. The latter is H. Porter’s strongest art element, having internalized the lessons of his scratchy school of ’90s superhero comics, w/ bad expressions, static panels, & problematic layouts.

last issue: Fantastic Four #504
next issue: Fantastic Four #506

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
Avengers/JLA #4 of 4
Daredevil #53
Fantastic Four #504
New X-Men #148

Fantastic Four #504

December 13, 2014

Fantastic Four 504Mark Waid // Howard Porter
early December 2003
*****

The mag (double-shipping all winter!) acts as a forum for Mark Waid to air his thoughts on the ’03 invasion of Iraq. The FF opens the torture chambers of Latveria as its citizens protest his regime in Doom masks. The allegory falls apart on a telling issue: Reed uncovers WMDs, tho Bush never did.

last issue: Fantastic Four #503
next issue: Fantastic Four #505

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
Avengers/JLA #4 of 4
Daredevil #53
Fantastic Four #505
New X-Men #148

Fantastic Four #503

December 12, 2014

Fantastic Four 503Mark Waid // Howard Porter
late November 2003
*****

Even Porter can’t hold Waid back this ish. Reed decides the team should assume control of Latveria, now leaderless & threatened by Hungarian annexation! The parallels w/ the invasion of Iraq are striking—tho’ Reed’s already doing better, securing Doom’s invaluable equipment from potential looters.

last issue: Fantastic Four #502
next issue: Fantastic Four #504

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
Daredevil #51
Daredevil #52

Fantastic Four #502
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147

Fantastic Four #502

December 11, 2014

Fantastic Four 502Mark Waid // Casey Jones
early November 2003
***

This arc’s core is a speech by Ben to his nephew: not “your family will keep you safe” but an admission that tragedy may strike from the blue. It’s got a touch of maturity under a pretty treacly delivery. Ringo takes 5 (again); C. Jones presents a similar manga-eyed, cartoon style w/o flair.

last issue: Fantastic Four #501
next issue: Fantastic Four #503

also indexed for No. ’03
Alias #26
Daredevil #51
Daredevil #52
Fantastic Four #503
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147

Fantastic Four #501

December 10, 2014

Fantastic Four 501Mark Waid // Casey Jones
October 2003
****

Franklin has gone catatonic after his trip to hell, while his pop sulks in the dark. It’s a Claremont-like beat, to take an issue or two after a costly victory to deal with scars literal & figurative. Note that Waid tasks Johnny to deal with his bro-in-law’s funk, again nailing the character’s voice.

last issue: Fantastic Four #500
next issue: Fantastic Four #502

also indexed for Oct. ’03
Alias #25
Avengers/JLA #2 of 4
Daredevil #50
New X-Men #145

Fantastic Four #500

December 9, 2014

Fantastic Four 500Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
September 2003
*****

An extra-long ish, given a false sheen by ‘unbooting’ the issue #. Tutored by Dr S, Mr F outwits Dr D by learning humility. He admits magic is beyond him & that he’s outclassed by both men, whereas Doom disrespects his demonic allies & gets dragged to hell! It’s an intense take on Doom that eschews nuance—he muses whose skin to wear on his mystic armor—that plays off the cartoon art.

last issue: Fantastic Four #70
next issue: Fantastic Four #501

also indexed for Sept. ’03
Alias #24
Daredevil #49
JLA/Avengers #1 of 4
New X-Men #144

Fantastic Four #70

December 8, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.70Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
August 2003
****

Waid’s got a very dark take on the quintessential super-villain. His Dr. Doom has no aristo code, he’s an amoral megalomaniac whose Faustian deal gives him victory in his vendetta w/ Mr F. Are his scenes of triumph ill-served by the Disney-like art or does its clash of tones make for starker relief?

last issue: Fantastic Four #69
next issue: Fantastic Four #71

also indexed for Aug. ’03
Alias #23
Daredevil #48
New X-Men #142
New X-Men #143

Fantastic Four #69

December 7, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.69Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
July 2003
****

Indebted to Claremont’s X-style (& much stronger than CC’s recent FF), Waid sends his science-heroes crashing to the ground, outclassed by Doc Doom’s sorcery. Ben argues that magic makes Reed feel inferior—a nice insight in a strong scene. But mostly, #69 give the adventure a real sense of stakes.

last issue: Fantastic Four #68
next issue: Fantastic Four #70

also indexed for Jul. ’03
Alias #22
Daredevil #47
New X-Men #141

Fantastic Four #68

December 6, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.68Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
June 2003
****

Valeria says her first word: “Doom”! The Doc attacks the family thru the baby, having bound her to himself w/ arcane spells at her birth. I’m not sold yet on Waid’s focus on magic for the arch-villain, although the trait is well-established. Or maybe I preferred the earlier issues’ lighter tone.

last issue: Fantastic Four #67
next issue: Fantastic Four #69

also indexed for Jun. ’03
Alias #21
Daredevil #46
New X-Men #139
New X-Men #140

Fantastic Four #67

December 5, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.67Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
May 2003
****

Dr. Doom hunts for his onetime GF, a gypsy who cut contact when he chose science (& a Western education) over the occult. Now he corrects that choice by sacrificing her to demons to gain mojo! Wieringo’s ebullient style shows its limits here, bringing little horror to a tale of Faustian villainy.

last issue: Fantastic Four #66
next issue: Fantastic Four #68

also indexed for May ’03
Alias #20
Daredevil #45
New X-Men #138

Fantastic Four #66

December 4, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.66Mark Waid // Mark Buckingham
April 2003
*****

In this light, spritely two-parter, the Storm sibs stop a mad-science chain reaction. Waid nails Johnny’s char, a difficult feat, by casting him as a corporate douche who’s quick on his toes. Buckingham has near-perfect comic delivery, only missing the slapstick potential of a supersized Thing.

last issue: Fantastic Four #65
next issue: Fantastic Four #67

also indexed for Apr. ’03
Alias #19
Daredevil #43
Daredevil #44
New X-Men #137

Fantastic Four #65

December 3, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.65Mark Waid // Mark Buckingham
March 2003
*****

Baxter Building shenanigans as a midget-sized Thing hunts extra-dimensional roaches in the airducts. Even better is Torch on the corporate end, out-sharking a corrupt clothier & FF Inc. VPs on a fabric deal for unstable molecules. Buckingham proves an animated sub for Wieringo, w/ a mod simplicity.

last issue: Fantastic Four #64
next issue: Fantastic Four #66

also indexed for Mar. ’03
Alias #18
Daredevil #41
Daredevil #42
New X-Men #136

Fantastic Four #64

December 2, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.64Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
February 2003
****

Mr. Fantastic is often central to a great FF run, esp. on the artist’s side. Wieringo’s Stretcho is a marvel (no surprise, given his talent for body language), w/ a balloon-like body. Waid has the super-inventor face a data-based doppelgänger who wants to kill the family, esp. neglected son Franklin.

last issue: Fantastic Four #63
next issue: Fantastic Four #65

also indexed for Feb. ’03
Alias #17
Daredevil #40
New X-Men #135

Fantastic Four #63

December 1, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.63Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
January 2003
****

Reed’s latest gadget—a tablet (in ’03, a “PDA”) w/ infinite memory—lets loose a being of sentient data. A formulaic FF plot, but Waid nails each hero’s voice. And MW’s art is enchanting! The flat cartooning style is as close to Disney comics or Archie as it is to the superhero tradition or to manga.

last issue: Fantastic Four #62
next issue: Fantastic Four #64

also indexed for Jan. ’03
Alias #16
Daredevil #39
New X-Men #134

Fantastic Four #62

November 30, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.62Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
December 2002
****

Unlike the conventional widescreen comics of this era,  FF actually reflects ’00s NYC: a playground for the tech-happy wealthy. Reed computes in Times Square, Johnny wears couture suits to FF Inc., and Sue & Ben get attacked by a data-being make of SFX: T2‘s liquid form in The Matrix‘s flowing glow-font.

last issue: Fantastic Four #61
next issue: Fantastic Four #63

also indexed for Dec. ’02
Alias #15
Daredevil #38
New X-Men #133

Fantastic Four #61

November 29, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.61Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
November 2002
*****

No matter how hard a writer works to mature Johnny Storm, the next one will regress him. For Waid, that means Sue appointing her bro CFO of their fortune—a super-corporate setting! An odd take but potentially profitable. Wieringo enhances Waid’s light tone w/ his expressive, comedic cartooning.

last issue: Fantastic Four #60
next issue: Fantastic Four #62

also indexed for Nov. ’02
Alias #14
Daredevil #37
New X-Men #132

Fantastic Four #60

November 28, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.60Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
late October 2002
*****

Enchanting & light-hearted, good for all ages! #60 is a one-off, a meta-SoP for MW & MW, as an exec is tasked w/ rebranding the family after dips in popularity. His outside perspec takes in their body weirdness, the Kirby monsters that Reed makes palatable to the public under a veneer of celebrity.

last issue: Fantastic Four #59
next issue: Fantastic Four #61

also indexed for Oct. ’02
Alias #13
Daredevil #36
New X-Men #130
New X-Men #131

Daredevil #500

November 27, 2014

Daredevil 500A-story: Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark with Klaus Jansen, Chris Samnee, & Paul Azaceta
B-story: Ann Nocenti // David Aja
October 2009
A-story: *****
B-story: *****

Like Bendis, Brubaker leaves his successor with a cliffhanger. Both Kingpin & Lady Bullseye aim to lead the mag’s ninja clan, but DD usurps them by taking the gig himself! A stellar twist, simultaneously unxpected & perfectly right. Focus also on the new mentor, Master Izo, who’d once trained Matt’s sensei. Yet Nocenti & Aja’s back-up steals the big ish: an homage to #161 & instant classic.

last issue: Daredevil #119
next issue: Daredevil #501

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
Nova #28
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

Daredevil #119

November 26, 2014

Daredevil 119Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
August 2009
****

Brubaker sets up his endgame in his run’s penultimate ish. Too bad, since the ninja-centric material has inspired his creativity. He’s got the Kingpin parlaying w/ the ninjas, Foggy targeted for death, & DD’s latest lover captured (disappointingly; she’s been neutered since she slept w/ him).

last issue: Daredevil #118
next issue: Daredevil #500

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

Daredevil #118

November 25, 2014

Daredevil 118Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
June 2009
****

A snowstorm adds atmo to this ish, as DD’s life goes to hell. He conspires w/ the Kingpin against the Hand, stalks women, stabs ninjas: the vigilante hasn’t been this dark since the bad days of Chichester’s run. In fact, it’s dangerously close to breaking the character like a plastic toy.

last issue: Daredevil #117
next issue: Daredevil #119

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #13
Nova #24
War of Kings #2 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

Daredevil #117

November 24, 2014

Daredevil 117Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
May 2009
*****

As the creators reach their final arc, they’ve set up a tight endgame. Kingpin returns to NYC, & proposes an alliance w/ Daredevil against the resurgent Hand. This iteration of the hero is dark & violent, more antihero than ever, as he loses his new gal & beats up the PI who exposed their affair.

last issue: Daredevil #116
next issue: Daredevil #118

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Guardians of the Galaxy #12
Nova #23
War of Kings #1 of 6
War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2

Daredevil #116

November 23, 2014

Daredevil 116Ed Brubaker // David Aja
April 2009
*****

Tho’ atypical, this may be the best issue of Ed B’s DD run. Aja subs for Lark, less cinematic & more comic in his layouts. He elevate the best-of-run script: a one-off on ninjas v. Kingpin, whose rage is as the ocean. Bru writes the villain’s voice far better than he does the mag’s mopey protag.

last issue: Daredevil #115
next issue: Daredevil #117

also indexed for Apr. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #10
Nova #22
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

Daredevil #115

November 22, 2014

Daredevil 115Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark & Tonci Zonjic
March 2009
*****

Easily this mag’s best arc since Murdock in Paris. Not every writer can handle the Hand, but Brubaker comes up w/ a new twist: they want Daredevil to lead them! S. Gaudiano inks w/ such vigor, he erases the difference btw lead pen & a back-up. In this, he’s as key to Lark as Janson was to Miller.

last issue: Daredevil #114
next issue: Daredevil #116

also indexed for Mar. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #9
Nova #21
Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1

Daredevil #114

November 21, 2014

Daredevil 114Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
February 2009
****

Suddenly, melodrama! As part of Lady B’s vendetta against Murdock, she exposes his affair to his wife’s parents, who sue for divorce! In the stronger parts of #114, Iron Fist listens to the mag’s new Zen master, a legendary bad-ass who’s forgotten his own home and who mentored Murdock’s own guru.

last issue: Daredevil #113
next issue: Daredevil #115

also indexed for Feb. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #8
Nova #20
Secret Invasion: Dark Reign #1 of 1

Daredevil #113

November 20, 2014

Daredevil 113Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
January 2009
****

Brubaker seems more jazzed than ever as he adds to his chop-socky cast. But they’re in danger of remaining colorful types (not to say stereotypes): female psycho assassin &, in #113, a centuries-old, gnomic, alcoholic Zen monk. Lark stages their combat with DD & ninjas—a draw—in a gloomy rainstorm.

last issue: Daredevil #112
next issue: Daredevil #114

also indexed for Jan.’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #7
Nova #19
Secret Invasion #8 of 8

Daredevil #112

November 19, 2014

Daredevil 112Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
December 2008
*****

A rare intrusion of other books’ plotlines into DD. The first pivots off an Avengers reveal of an alien impostor among this mag’s evil ninja clan. The second has the writer bring back his mellow Iron Fist, as a target of the arc’s new character: Lady Bullseye, another crazy ninja w/ a rep to make.

last issue: Daredevil #111
next issue: Daredevil #113

also indexed for Dec. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #6
Nova #18
Secret Invasion #7 of 8

Daredevil #111

November 18, 2014

Daredevil 111Ed Brubaker // Clay Mann
November 2008
***

Some v.g. runs of serial storytelling (like this one) merely consolidate. Bru adds to his lurid noir vibe w/ PG-13 sex btw the married hero & the gal-shamus. There’s also time to give a lady ninja assassin a crazy-hooker backstory. Note that Mann fills in for Lark, cuz you’ll forget while reading.

last issue: Daredevil #110
next issue: Daredevil #113

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #5
Nova #17
Secret Invasion #6 of 8

Daredevil #110

November 17, 2014

Daredevil 110Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka // Michael Lark
October 2008
****

Murdock & his team keep an innocent man from frying, tho’ they also uncover an alliance btw organized crime & a Homeland Security taskforce. The writers artfully keep their hero & his small network above the moral compromise, & make a cynical observation about the post-9/11 security apparatus.

last issue: Daredevil #109
next issue: Daredevil #111

also indexed for Oct. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #4
Nova #16
Secret Invasion #5 of 8

Daredevil #109

November 16, 2014

Daredevil 109Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka // Michael Lark
September 2008
*****

A touch of the espionage that makes Brubaker’s Cap (& Rucka’s Queen & Co) so tight & fun. A death-row super-goon is taking a fall to cover up a conspiracy among eavesdropping spooks & dockland’s ‘legit businessmen’. All in Lark’s excellent linework—his faces have remarkable expressions!

last issue: Daredevil #108
next issue: Daredevil #110

also indexed for Sept. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #3
Nova #15
Secret Invasion #4 of 8

Daredevil #108

November 15, 2014

Daredevil 108Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka // Michael Lark
August 2008
*****

W/ Rucka adding a fresh perspec, Brubaker finally adds to this mag (having rolled back Bendis’ innovations). Model-turned-PI Dakota North has a history w/ the Heroes for Hire, & steals the focus this arc from the title char. It’s a hard-boiled procedural edging toward a neo-noir conspiracy.

last issue: Daredevil #107
next issue: Daredevil #109

also indexed for Aug. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
The Immortal Iron Fist #16
Nova #14
Secret Invasion #3 of 8
Thunderbolts #121

Daredevil #107

November 14, 2014

Daredevil 107Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka // Michael Lark
July 2008
****

The third member of Gotham Central rejoins the squad. Rucka has a line in tough gals, so his presence adds heft to this arc. The focus is PI Dakota North, enlisted by Luke Cage to clear an innocent man from death row & potentially bring Murdock out of his emotional tailspin.

continued from Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula #1 of 1
last issue: Daredevil #106
next issue: Daredevil #108

also indexed for Jul. ’08
Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #15
Nova #13
Secret Invasion #2 of 8
Thunderbolts #120

Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula #1 of 1

November 13, 2014

Daredevil Blood of the TarantulaEd Brubaker & Ande Parks // Chris Samnee
June 2008
****

The recent annual added a onetime super-drug dealer to DD’s cast. Now the Black Trantula (a big bruiser, impossible to kill) faces an emissary from his Argentine family of drug lords. Dark & violent, the one-shot enjoys a lurid sadism that’s pure Brubaker. His partners strongly echo the Miller/Mazz duo, tho’ Samnee already shows the dynamic skills that’ll earn him plaudits on DD in five years.

continued from Daredevil #106
continued in Daredevil #107

also indexed for Jun. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #14
Nova #12
Secret Invasion #1 of 8

Daredevil #106

November 12, 2014

Daredevil 106Ed Brubaker // Paul Azaceta
May 2008
****

Btw arcs, this montage issue moves time along by adopting the POVs of the supporting cast. Even the new char, tough-gal PI Dakota North, thinks Murdock has gone over the edge. Azaceta, in from the bullpen, does the dark yet cartoony late-’90s style that Lark & others evolved from the batman cartoon.

continued in Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula #1 of 1
last issue: Daredevil #105
next issue: Daredevil #106

also indexed for May ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #13
Nova #11
Thunderbolts #119

Daredevil #105

November 11, 2014

Daredevil 105Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark with Paul Azaceta
April 2008
****

About as grim as a comic can get—cynical, almost nihilistic. While the villain gloats from a position of power in jail, the hero has lost another woman to his violently insane life. Superb art by Lark (supported by invisible Paul Azaceta), w/ cloaked silhouettes & miasmic mists adding a Shadow vibe.

last issue: Daredevil #104
next issue: Daredevil #106

also indexed for Apr. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1
Nova Annual #1

Daredevil #104

November 10, 2014

Daredevil 104Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark with Paul Azaceta
March 2008
***

The femme fatale of Bru’s run, given a super-sensual scent by the arc’s chemistry villain, schemes to drive the hero’s wife psychotic using her pheromones. As violent as a ’50s crime comic, w/ a grisly murder & a scene of the hero torturing a hostage, “justified” by a ticking clock scenario.

last issue: Daredevil #103
next issue: Daredevil #105

also indexed for Mar. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #24
Nova #10

Daredevil #103

November 9, 2014

Daredevil 103Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
February 2008
***

The first issue of this run to feel redundant, as the hero hunts a Scarecrow wannabe while his quarry engages in a street war with a criminal outfit from the Avengers mags. This zine is taking an increasingly dark tone, with some remarkably violent scenes & a suicidal love interest.

last issue: Daredevil #102
next issue: Daredevil #104

also indexed for Feb. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #12
Nova #9
Thunderbolts #118

Daredevil Annual #1

November 8, 2014

Daredevil Annual 1Ed Brubaker & Ande Parks // Leandro Fernandez
December 2007
***

Brubaker steps away from his year-long arcs to plot a punchy annual, helped by a late-’90s chiaroscuro style. A super-parolee helps Murdock uncover a rentier’s gentrification-driven murder. The racial politics are dodgy—the Hispanic protag does what DD won’t (= murder) to save the barrio from gangbangers. It ain’t The Wire, but hey, it’s nice to see any non-white in a mainstream Marvel mag!

last issue: Daredevil/Deadpool ’97
next issue: Daredevil Annual #1 (2013)

continued from Daredevil #102
continued in Daredevil #103

also indexed for Dec. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4
Daredevil #102
The Immortal Iron Fist #10
Nova #7
Thunderbolts #117

Daredevil #102

November 7, 2014

Daredevil 102Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
December 2007
****

DD had been nicely partitioned from the rest of Marvel NYC; now the super-gang from Bendis’ ungainly Avengers starts a turf war w/ the dealers of Mr. Fear’s psychosis-inducing super-drug. Some fine background & character for the villain, now officially more developed than the mag’s female lead.

see also Daredevil Annual #1
last issue: Daredevil #101
next issue: Daredevil #103

also indexed for Dec. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith
#4 of 4
Daredevil Annual #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #10
Nova #7
Thunderbolts #117

Daredevil #101

November 6, 2014

Daredevil 101Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
November 2007
****

To find the antidote to a fear-gas that drives the vic homicidally insane, our vigilante does some detective work, but mostly beats on the criminal underworld. The ish is tight, but neither Brubaker (nor Bendis before him) did enough work on Milla D’s character—she’s just a damsel-in-distress.

last issue: Daredevil #100
next issue: Daredevil #102

also indexed for Nov. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #3 of 4
The Immortal Iron Fist #9
The Immortal Iron Fist annual #1
Nova #6

Daredevil #100

November 5, 2014

Daredevil 100Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
with Lee Bermejo, Gene Colan, Marko Djurdjevic, Alex Maleev, John Romita, & Bill Sienkiewicz
October 2007
***

Aside from a few pages of new action, #100 serves as an expressionistic origin recap. The mag marks its 100th ish (since the ’98 reboot) the same way as it did #50: by asking a few prior DD artists to contribute their pencils. A few sequences are lovely—Romita, Sienkiewicz—but the overall effect is a drag on the arc’s momentum. In the framework, the hero’s been dosed by a psychotropic fear gas.

last issue: Daredevil #99
next issue: Daredevil #101

also indexed for Oct. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4
Astonishing X-Men
#22
The Immortal Iron Fist #8
Nova #5
Thunderbolts #116

Daredevil #99

November 4, 2014

Daredevil 099Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
September 2007
****

The mastermind behind this plot arc’s campaign against its title hero is revealed as supervillain Mr. Fear, inventor of the super-scent & a psychotic drug that drives DD’s wife to commit homicide-by-subway! That grisly pulp moment is one w/ Brubaker’s embrace of the violence in urban vigilantism.

last issue: Daredevil #98
next issue: Daredevil #100

also indexed for Sept. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1 of 4
New Avengers: Illuminati #4 of 5
Nova #4

Daredevil #98

November 3, 2014

Daredevil 098Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
August 2007
****

Incredible execution of that fundamental adventure trope, the St. George: the hero saves his wife from a monstrous villain. Specific to the mag, Gladiator has been driven homicidally mad, a victim of another vendetta against Daredevil. Lark’s classical 3×4 layouts stage a brutally violent fight.

last issue: Daredevil #97
next issue: Daredevil #99

also indexed for Aug. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1
The Immortal Iron Fist #7
Nova #3
Thunderbolts #115

Daredevil #97

November 2, 2014

Daredevil 097Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
July 2007
****

Matt Murdock’s problems multiply as the femme fatale w/ a super-seductive scent returns, further unraveling his shaky marriage. This mag, like Whedon’s concurrent X-Men, is excellent but not exceptional, a retrenchment of tropes & earlier approaches, not breaking ground the way Bendis did.

last issue: Daredevil #96
next issue: Daredevil #98

also indexed for Jul. ’07
New Avengers: Illuminati #3 of 5
The Immortal Iron Fist #6
Nova #2
Thunderbolts #114

Daredevil #96

November 1, 2014

Daredevil 096Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
June 2007
****

Beginning to suspect this arc is yet another Born Again-style web of intrigue spun to ensnare the hero. Someone’s driving the Gladiator, a simpleton brute, into a rampage. But, aside from tough-guy internal monologues, there’s nothing generic about the craftsmanship of this creative team.

last issue: Daredevil #95
next issue: Daredevil #97

also indexed for Jun. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #5
Nova #1
Thunderbolts #113


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