Archive for the ‘Becky Blake’ Category

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

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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

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

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

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
Nova #4

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
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

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

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 #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 #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 #8

August 11, 2014

Daredevil 008Kevin Smith // Joe Quesada
June 1999
*****

Having revitalized DD by resetting it to the Born Again era, Smith writes a lovely denouement. His arc’s main defect has been its high body count; he counters the ’90s machismo w/ honest emotion. There’s a lovely confession/absolution from Spidey, & Black Widow calls Matt out on his misogyny.

last issue: Daredevil #7
next issue: Daredevil #9

also indexed for Jun. ’99
Avengers #17
Avengers Forever #7 of 12
Thunderbolts #27

Daredevil #226

February 27, 2012

Denny O’Neil & Frank Miller // Dave Mazzucchelli
January 1986
*****

Two masters of the Urban Avenger subgenre collaborate on a grim little psychodrama. A mortal thought kindles Murdock’s violent impulses; the mentally unstable Gladiator gets roped into criminal activity. The men are mirror images, & the ish’s irony is that only the villain steps back from the brink.

last issue: Daredevil #225
next issue: Daredevil #227

also indexed for Jan. ’86
Balder the Brave #2 of 4
The Fantastic Four #286
The Mighty Thor #363
The Punisher #1 of 5
Secret Wars II #7 of 9

Daredevil #188

July 2, 2010

Frank Miller
November 1982
****

A pedestrian ish (for Miller & co., at least): regular panels, not much plot movement. The Black Widow is disintegrating like an evil ninja, so she seeks Matt across his subplots. But he’s in isolation, training his hypersenses w/ his sensei, who leads a team of white ninjas against the red ones.

last issue: Daredevil #187
next issue: Daredevil #189

also indexed for Nov. ’82
The Fantastic Four #248

Daredevil #186

June 30, 2010

Frank Miller // Klaus Janson
September 1982
*****

Check out FM & KJ’s use of words as art elements! A fun A-plot has Turk (a regular goon) swipe Stilt Man’s armor. The longer arc has more substance, incl. an A+ bit of subtext: Matt’s built a case against a firm run by his innocent CEO g’friend—but is he wrecking her life just so she’ll marry him?

last issue: Daredevil #185
next issue: Daredevil #187

also indexed for Sept. ’82
The Fantastic Four #246

Daredevil #184

June 28, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
July 1982
****

The Punisher fades somewhat in issue #2 of this PCP plot. But Miller gracefully salvages the arc by adding tension, twists, & his (by-now expected) superb panel work & grungy NYC atmo. There’s a new plot simmering w/ Matt’s longtime squeeze, but admit it: the book’s lacked zip since Elektra died.

last issue: Daredevil #183
next issue: Daredevil #185

also indexed for Jul. ’82
The Fantastic Four #244

Daredevil #182

June 26, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
May 1982
****

When hard-boiled writers like Miller explore feelings, they get emo, lurid & a little embarrassing. In a coda to the Elektra Saga, Matt refuses to accept the ninja’s death, in denial (blind?) till he exhumes the corpse! A left-field subplot focuses on the rarely-espied Punisher & an LI drug deal.

last issue: Daredevil #181
next issue: Daredevil #183

also indexed for May ’82
The Fantastic Four #242

Daredevil #180

June 24, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
March 1982
*****

To spoil the election of a corrupt mayor, DD unearths Kingpin’s amnesiac wife from NYC’s bowels. Miller’s drawing heavily on Jos Campbell: his hero challenges the underworld’s king, despite his broken leg (= castration, an effect of #179‘s showdown w/ Elektra). Oh & he wrestles a gator!

last issue: Daredevil #179
last issue: Daredevil #181

also indexed for Mar. ’82
The Fantastic Four #240

Daredevil #178

June 22, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
January 1982
*****

This breezy ish guests Power Man & Iron Fist, whose low-rent heroics make DD into a perfect chop-socky noir (PS: the match btw. IF & DD is superb). It’s also a throwback to the Colan era of Matt Murdock, swashbuckling lawyer. He’s after blackmail evidence that connects a corrupt pol to Kingpin.

last issue: Daredevil #177
next issue: Daredevil #179

also indexed for Jan. ’82
The Fantastic Four #238

Daredevil #177

June 21, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
December 1981
*****

Like a chessmaster, Miller moves every plot forward in this pleasurable ish, from Foggy reviving the firm to Kingpin buying a councilman. But at heart it’s a spiritual journey that doubles as an origin recap: a Zen hallucination that sees Murdock face his past & literally fight his demons.

last issue: Daredevil #176
next issue: Daredevil #178

also indexed for Dec. ’81
The Fantastic Four #237

Daredevil #175

June 18, 2010

Frank Miller
October 1981
*****

DD once again plays a supporting role, protecting Foggy & providing back-up for Elektra as she storms the HQ of those gothic ninjas. In fact, it’s she who fights & kills their heavy, a near-immortal bruiser. And Foggy not only provides comic relief, he rescues the firm’s court case from collapse.

last issue: Daredevil #174
next issue: Daredevil #176

also indexed for Oct. ’81
The Fantastic Four #235

Daredevil #173

June 16, 2010

Frank Miller
August 1981
****

A breather—okay, a deflation—after the Kingpin arc, but this one-off is still smart & tight. Murdock’s taken an old foe, Gladiator, on pro bono after #166, & learns the bruiser has an evil twin in a gimp mask. Plus a morality drama: MM’s asst. finds the courage to press charges against the double.

last issue: Daredevil #172
next issue: Daredevil #174

also indexed for Aug. ’81
The Fantastic Four #233

Daredevil #171

June 14, 2010

Frank Miller
June 1981
*****

His pacing’s vigorous & his plotting’s smart… in only 2 years, Miller’s turned DD into a monthly must-read. His Kingpin has the body of a Kirby brute but an altogether unique cunning. The Pin gets suckered into a gangland vendetta, loses his wife, & dumps the Devil in a deathtrap cliffhanger!

last issue: Daredevil #170
next issue: Daredevil #172

Daredevil #169

June 11, 2010

Frank Miller
March 1981
*****

Frank’s on fire! This tale starts out surreal, w/ escapee Bullseye murdering Times Square X-mas shoppers that (thanks to a tumor) he sees as DD. It’s topped by a hat-tip to Miller’s influences, w/ a 42nd St. kino playing The Maltese Falcon, DD’s hammy speech on the Law, & a teaser for more Elektra.

last issue: Daredevil #168
next issue: Daredevil #170

also indexed for Mar. ’81
Captain America #255

Daredevil #167

June 9, 2010

Frank Miller/David Michelinie
November 1980
A-story: **** // B-story: ****

A brisk, Eisner-like ditty from Miller & guest: DD gets btw. an obnoxious weapons contractor & his disgruntled ex-accountant (in stolen battle armor). The piece has a nice twist & poignant ending, acrobatic action & (un-DD-like) anti-govt. sentiment. Bonus: an overview for the mag’s new readers!

last issue: Daredevil #166
next issue: Daredevil #168

also indexed for Nov. ’80
Captain America #251

Daredevil #165

June 7, 2010

Frank Miller/Roger McKenzie
July 1980
****

A year on the bi-monthly title & Miller shares a plot credit. His fingers are all over this ish, starting w/ its dirty thugs & dirtier businessmen. At the corruption’s heart is Doc Ock, who’s stolen an adamantium shipment to forge new arms. Miller applies all his tricks to stage his best fight yet.

last issue: Daredevil #164
next issue: Daredevil #166

also indexed for Jul. ’80
Captain America #247

Daredevil #160

June 3, 2010

September 1979
Roger McKenzie // Frank Miller
***

Much plot: Murdock gets dumped in another rainy cemetery; Bugle newsman Ben Urich suspects DD’s secret ID; psychokiller Bullseye roughs up & kidnaps Black Widow (a ho-hum girl-in-peril twist). Oh, & for more action, Daredevil tosses a dive bar. The artsy murk adds to the bone-jarring violence.

last issue: Daredevil #159
next issue: Daredevil #161

Daredevil #158

June 1, 2010

Roger McKenzie // Frank Miller
May 1979
***

The arc climaxes okay: DD duels that shadowy chrono-baddy w/ killer gloves in a graveyard. But the mag gets jazzed up w/ the debut of 22-year-old Frank Miller. Wow! The play of light, shadow & silhouette, the weight of bodies, the angles of panels, & the NY noir display an already mature talent!

last issue: Daredevil #157
next issue: Daredevil #159