Archive for October, 2014

Daredevil #95

October 31, 2014

Daredevil 095Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
May 2007
****

DD stops a spree by suicidal hoods, while his alter ego takes a case defending the Gladiator from a hinky homicide charge. DD may be Marvel’s strongest ongoing magazine right now—Lark trumps Epting’s Cap, altho’ Brubaker innovates there & steers this mag conservatively, back to its baseline.

last issue: Daredevil #94
next issue: Daredevil #96

also indexed for May ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2
Astonishing X-Men #21
Thunderbolts #112

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Daredevil #94

October 30, 2014

Daredevil 094Ed Brubaker // Lee Weeks
April 2007
***

Milla Donovan, AKA Mrs. Murdock, finally gets an issue to tell her perspective. But Brubaker doesn’t go deep, recapping her arc in a moody voiceover. The weakest issue in years! Gaudiano’s inks smooth the transition btw Lark & Weeks, a pedestrian urban realist. But oh, what a cover by Romita Sr.!

last issue: Daredevil #93
next issue: Daredevil #95

also indexed for Apr. ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2
The Immortal Iron Fist #4
Thunderbolts #111

Daredevil #93

October 29, 2014

Daredevil 093Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
March 2007
****

Bru & Lark’s thrilling 1st year on DD ends w/ a disappointing return to status quo ante. The only loser’s the Kingpin, whose wife engineered the plot before her death. Note that the dramatic reunion isn’t btw Matt & his wife, it’s btw him & his best pal Foggy—generous, but also nostalgic.

last issue: Daredevil #92
next issue: Daredevil #94

also indexed for Mar. ’07
Annihilation #6 of 6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #12
Thunderbolts #110

Daredevil #92

October 28, 2014

Daredevil 092Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
February 2007
****

EB & ML’s first arc hits its climax, as their hero confronts the mastermind who’d killed his pal. It’s Vanessa Fisk, an avenging fury, cursing Murdock with her blessing. Her motives fit her character poorly & require much finessing, but on their own they’re great: evil & equivocal in Sopranos style.

last issue: Daredevil #91
next issue: Daredevil #93

also indexed for Feb. ’07
Annihilation #5 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #20
The Immortal Iron Fist #3
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #11

Daredevil #91

October 27, 2014

Daredevil 091Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
January 2007
*****

The hero dumps a cement-skinned goon into the Siene & then resists the super-perfume that drives other men mad! Artist Lark throws lines across his 4-tiered layouts, stages kinetic fight scenes, & supplies the rich atmosphere of the City of Light, turf of Fantomas, an early masked man of mystery.

last issue: Daredevil #90
next issue: Daredevil #92

also indexed for Jan. ’07
Annihilation #4 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #19
Civil War #7 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #10

Daredevil #90

October 26, 2014

Daredevil 090Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
December 2006
****

Shifting the scene to Paris, this mag’s hero breaks fingers to find an albino superthug. Has DD‘s debt to Batman ever been stronger or better? Moddishly violent about their urban vigilantism, the creative team deploy that classic, sexist noir trope: the victim who’s actually a femme fatale & schemer!

last issue: Daredevil #89
next issue: Daredevil #91

also indexed for Dec. ’06
Annihilation #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #18
Civil War #6 of 7
The Immortal Iron Fist #2
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #9

Daredevil #89

October 25, 2014

Daredevil 089Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
November 2006
*****

On the lam, Murdock turns into an International Man of Intrigue. In Monaco he tumbles into a gangland war, swearing to rescue the mafioso’s daughter from … who? A mystery! Lark stages Brubaker’s pulpy adventure in 4-tiered grids: phenomenal action sequences, like a (new) masked matador vs lions!

last issue: Daredevil #88
next issue: Daredevil #90

also indexed for Nov. ’06
Annihilation #2 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #17
Civil War #5 of 7
The Immortal Iron Fist #1
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #8

Daredevil #88

October 24, 2014

Daredevil 088Ed Brubaker // David Aja
October 2006
****

Supporting actor Foggy Nelson, revealed alive in #87, gets the spotlight as he assumes a new (secret) ID. The creative team starts Iron Fist next month, but Aja’s style is nearly unrecognizable. There, he’ll build on Lark’s deft approach; here, he’s fuller, more atmospheric, like a Bronze Age b&w.

last issue: Daredevil #87
next issue: Daredevil #89

also indexed for Oct. ’06
Annihilation #1 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #16
Civil War #4 of 7

Daredevil #87

October 23, 2014

Daredevil 087Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
September 2006
*****

A prison break (as the Punisher’s “hostage”) allows Murdock to track down (a) the man impersonating him and (b) the man who killed Foggy Nelson. Two well-played twists: the first case is fellow martial artist/vigilante Iron Fist; the second is that Nelson’s alive and in FBI Witness Protection!

last issue: Daredevil #86
next issue: Daredevil #88

also indexed for Sept. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #4 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #4 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #4 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #4 of 4
Civil War #3 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #7

Daredevil #86

October 22, 2014

Daredevil 086Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
August 2006
*****

To quell a riot on Rikers Isle, Murdock works w/ Kingpin till Bullseye’s added to the alliance, then invites the Punisher to a breakout! From a convo w/ Milla Murdock (who reminds Matt why he fights), Ed B establishes a hard, driving rhythm & never lets up, w/ each scene adding momentum.

last issue: Daredevil #85
next issue: Daredevil #87

also indexed for Aug. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #3 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #3 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #3 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #3 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #15
Civil War #2 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6
Young Avengers #12

Daredevil #85

October 21, 2014

Daredevil 085Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
July 2006
****

Will prison break Murdock? Of course not, but watching the Kingpin & the Punisher (also incarcerated) test his convictions is great fun! EB’s work competes w/ his concurrent Cap, while his partner ML exceeds Epting. In fact, Lark’s lines & layouts may outdo his cohort in the realistic ’00s mode.

last issue: Daredevil #84
next issue: Daredevil #86

also indexed for Jul. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #2 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #2 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #2 of 4
Civil War #1 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #5

Daredevil #84

October 20, 2014

Daredevil 084Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
June 2006
****

DD & his enemies are on Rikers Isle, building the pressure & sending the prison out of control. One great strength of this arc is its Fritz Lang-like development of complex systems of organization: city, prison, newspaper. Lark’s staging adds the physicality of violence & shadows out of film noir.

last issue: Daredevil #83
next issue: Daredevil #85

also indexed for Jun. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #14
Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #4

Daredevil #83

October 19, 2014

Daredevil 083Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
May 2006
****

After Foggy’s funeral (note: no one saw a corpse), a court puts Murdock into the prison gen-pop—a case of the Watchmen line, “I’m not in here w/ you….” Brubaker’s style instantly contrasts w/ Bendis’, his violent action supplanting the dialogue-driven approach, & propelling the mag’s momentum.

last issue: Daredevil #82
next issue: Daredevil #84

also indexed for May ’06
Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
Iron Man #6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14
Young Avengers #11

Daredevil #82

October 18, 2014

Daredevil 082Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
April 2006
*****

Two former creators of the noir-ish Gotham Central build upon the superlative climax of Bendis’ DD run, with pulpy Miller-like narration & scratchy Mazzucchelli-influenced art, and a pair of great hooks. Someone’s impersonating DD in Hell’s K, while on Rikers I, Matt can’t protect Foggy from a hit!

last issue: Daredevil #81
next issue: Daredevil #83

also indexed for Apr. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #13
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #2

Daredevil #81

October 17, 2014

Daredevil 081Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
March 2006
*****

This brilliant run’s end—Murdock remanded w/o bail to Rikers, pending trial—subverts the genre’s expectation of illusory change, which would demand his acquital. The radical penalty undermines the naïve virtue at the core of pulp vigilantes & leaves the next creative team w/ plenty of material!

last issue: Daredevil #80
next issue: Daredevil #82

also indexed for Mar. ’06
Iron Man #5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #1
The Pulse #13
Young Avengers #10

Daredevil #80

October 16, 2014

Daredevil 080Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
February 2006
****

Part 2 of the big action finale, #80 features a streetfight btw ninjas & Feds! Maleev’s work on DD has possessed great physicality & expressive bodies. Mostly that’s added levels to his writer’s dialogue, but it’s also helped him to stage great scenes of hand-to-hand combat. Then… Matt surrenders!

last issue: Daredevil #79
next issue: Daredevil #81

also indexed for Feb. ’06
Drax the Destroyer #4 of 4

Daredevil #79

October 15, 2014

Daredevil 079Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
January 2006
*****

To catch DD, a zealous FBI chief bargains w/ Fisk & ignores the mortal cost to bystanders (& Bullseye, creamed by a bus). It’s a new wrinkle on legal vigilantism. But the sight of the Kingpin—imprisoned, unindicted & unlawyered—owes more to Hannibal Lector than to the reality of W’s War on Terror.

last issue: Daredevil #78
next issue: Daredevil #80

also indexed for Jan. ’06
The Pulse #12
Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4

Daredevil #78

October 14, 2014

Daredevil 078Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
December 2005
*****

This mag’s innate contradiction—a lawyer with an extra-legal identity—gets put to the test. W/ the feds about to acquire proof of his double-life, the protag must choose to fight as Murdock or Daredevil. It’s thrilling & dangerous: mishandling the denouement could break the character irrevocably.

last issue: Daredevil #77
next issue: Daredevil #79

also indexed for Dec. ’05
Drax the Destroyer #2 of 4
Secret War #5 of 5
Young Avengers #9

Daredevil #77

October 13, 2014

Daredevil 077Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
November 2005
****

As Matt reconnects w/ his ex-wife, his ex-Gfs & his protégé learn that his secret ID has been compromised. #77 may not pass the Bechdel Test, but it does have a woman in every scene & more women than men in its cast. Bendis deserves a note for that in a genre devoted to machismo.

last issue: Daredevil #76
next issue: Daredevil #78

also indexed for Nov. ’05
Drax the Destroyer #1 of 4
The Pulse #11
Young Avengers #8

Daredevil #76

October 12, 2014

Daredevil 076Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
October 2005
****

In its final arc, the Bendis/Maleev run comes full circle: w/ DD’s alter ego in the headlines. This time, the Kingpin’s identified him, part of a bargain with the feds. It dramatizes last ish’s view that systems (of law & crime) don’t want to change, despite the work of community-supported individuals.

last issue: Daredevil #75
next issue: Daredevil #77

also indexed for Oct. ’05
Iron Man #4
Young Avengers #7

Daredevil #75

October 11, 2014

Daredevil 075Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
September 2005
*****

In a twist, this arc digs at the title char’s mystic-ninja roots, as he hunts a Japanese demon & its ex-ninja master. It’d seem like a digression, except that #75 lays out the core of this run. Matt confesses to a “DD-incident support group” that he’s replaced Kingpin—to effect true civic change.

last issue: Daredevil #74
next issue: Daredevil #76

also indexed for Sept. ’05
The Pulse #10
Young Avengers #6

Daredevil #74

October 10, 2014

Daredevil 074Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
August 2005
****

One great facet of this innovative DD run is its non-linear plotting. BMB flashes back to the “skipped year” pre-#56, finally showing Matt’s wedding to Milla. The maid-of-honor, coincidentally, is a bereaved mom whose kid killed herself after a Daredevil incident. Great ish, but too many splashes.

last issue: Daredevil #73
next issue: Daredevil #75

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #12
Young Avengers #5

Daredevil #73

October 9, 2014

Daredevil 073Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
July 2005
****

This arc—set amongst a church basement support group—turns unexpectedly from pulp crime to weird tales. The wife of a serial rapist/murderer captured by DD is met w/ rage & disbelief when she claims she saw a demon homunculus perched on his sholder. The weirdest tale of Bendis’ run, by far.

last issue: Daredevil #72
next issue: Daredevil #74

also indexed for Jul. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #11
The Pulse #9
Young Avengers #4

Daredevil #72

October 8, 2014

Daredevil 072Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
June 2005
*****

Hell’s Kitchen, often mere scenery, is especially vivid in this arc. In a church basement, a support group meets for folks rescued by the local hero. It’s an ingenious frame for done-in-one crime plots—like that of an arsonist’s son (& new father himself) who’s asked to set a bomb.

last issue: Daredevil #71
next issue: Daredevil #73

also indexed for Jun. ’05
Young Avengers #3

Daredevil #71

October 7, 2014

Daredevil 071Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
May 2005
*****

This five-issue arc features eye-grabbing covers: DD silhouettes & telegraph-ready versions of the Ten Commandments—or five, anyway. The art in #71 is also exceptional, even by Maleev’s standards: slightly scratchier & unfocused to imply a flashback related during a super-victim church support group.

last issue: Daredevil #70
next issue: Daredevil #72

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
The Pulse #8
Secret War #4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

Daredevil #70

October 6, 2014

Daredevil 070Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
April 2005
****

Two fight sequences anchor the finale to this arc (one of the few in this entire run of decompression to feel overlong—at 5 issues!). A G-woman spars w/ DD atop a rooftop then saves his ass from a bloodthirsty nonagenarian hopped up on super-pills.

last issue: Daredevil #69
next issue: Daredevil #71

also indexed for Apr. ’05
Young Avengers #1

Daredevil #69

October 5, 2014

Daredevil 069Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
March 2005
****

In parallel w/ DD’s early-career takedown of a cape-killing mafioso, this arc tells an origin story: a new White Tiger, niece to the late original. A flashback to the chop-socky era ties into the run’s meta-analysis of the super-vigilante genre, but isn’t a love of legacy more DC than Marvel?

last issue: Daredevil #68
next issue: Daredevil #70

also indexed for Mar. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #9
Iron Man #3
The Pulse #7

Daredevil #68

October 4, 2014

Daredevil 068Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
February 2005
****

This arc shifts focus from the frame (a paroled crime-boss has the Gladiator torture Matt) to the plot’s substance, as DD trains a new superhero (rarity: a Latina!). His Silver-Age confidence contrasts w/ her modern self-doubt—a device, like the conscious use of retro art, from A. Moore’s playbook.

last issue: Daredevil #67
next issue: Daredevil #69

also indexed for Feb. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #8
Iron Man #2

Daredevil #67

October 3, 2014

Daredevil 067Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
January 2005
****

Bendis braids 3 timelines: the WW2-era rise of a crime boss, his New Frontier fall, & current vengeance. It doesn’t fit Marvel’s sliding timeline, but it offers a long perspec on the genre’s relationship to law & violence. The dialog & art retain creative individuality while capturing each period.

last issue: Daredevil #66
next issue: Daredevil #68

also indexed for Jan. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #7
Iron Man #1
The Pulse #6

Daredevil #66

October 2, 2014

Daredevil 066Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
December 2004
*****

This arc retcons a new crimeboss into old NYC. He’s inserted into Marvel’s Golden Age ’40s, when he took over Lucky Luciano’s territory financed by Nazi diamonds. Then he got jailed by DD, back in the Orlando era of this mag. Maleev plays w/ texture, using b/w for the ’40s & benday dots for the ’60s.

last issue: Daredevil #65
next issue: Daredevil #67

also indexed for Dec. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #6

Daredevil #65

October 1, 2014

Daredevil 065Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Golden, Greg Horn, P. Craig Russell, Phil Hester, Chris Bachalo, and Alex Maleev
late November 2004
**

It’s meant to celebrate the titular hero’s 40th anniversary (& the creative team’s 3-year mark), but #65 reads like a fill-in. For one thing, Maleev’s only contribution is the final episode, a **** scene that sets up the K’pin’s predecessor, now free from Rikers. For another, the rest of the ish adds & revises prior scenes in this run w/o adding to them, & tosses in a few context-free pin-ups.

last issue: Daredevil #64
next issue: Daredevil #66

also indexed for Nov. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #5
Daredevil #64
The Pulse #5