Archive for the ‘Bullseye’ Category

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

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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 #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 #49

September 15, 2014

Daredevil 049Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
September 2003
****

Another round of Daredevil v. Bullseye. Tho’ Bendis plots cleverly & his dialog has a pro’s sheen, it’s hard to tell how ironically he treats violence. The hero scars his opponent’s face w/ a brickbat—is that supposed to be awful or cool? Maleev edges it towards the former, w/ horror-movie angles.

last issue: Daredevil #48
next issue: Daredevil #50

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

Daredevil #48

September 14, 2014

Daredevil 048Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
August 2003
****

Jess Jones & Luke Cage rescue Matt & Milla from Typhoid Mary. Great action scene, but note how the weirdo gets battered & insulted by the pretty folks. BMB’s Mary is a letdown: Typhoid as seductive dom is long gone, replaced by nutty nonsense & ultraviolence. His love for superheroes is a blind spot.

last issue: Daredevil #47
next issue: Daredevil #49

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

Daredevil #28

August 25, 2014

Daredevil 028Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
February 2002
****

This mag’s entry into Marvel’s all-silent month showcases Maleev’s talents. The mob has put a hit out on Matt M, which leads to his alter ego beating on assassins. AM’s photorealism uses panels cannily to show action & movement. BMB, however, relies on knowledge of DD’s backstory for full effect.

last issue: Daredevil #27
next issue: Daredevil #29

also indexed for Feb. ’02
Alias #4
Avengers #49
New X-Men #122

Daredevil #5

August 8, 2014

Daredevil 005Kevin Smith // Joe Quesada
March 1999
*****

Quesada turns out top-notch work, edging pages w/ nouveau-celtic designs & staging a classic DD/Bullseye match. Great script too, as Doc Strange summons the Marvel U’s devil for info on the false infant-messiah. A great issue, marred only by Smith’s “fridging” of longtime cast-member Karen Page.

last issue: Daredevil #4
next issue: Daredevil #6

also indexed for Mar. ’99
Avengers #14
Avengers Forever #4 of 12
Thunderbolts #24

Daredevil #4

August 7, 2014

Daredevil 004Kevin Smith // Joe Quesada
February 1999
****

Murdock, wounded & paranoid, recoups for a few days w/ his absentee mother, a nun. This soft reboot is dangerously close to becoming a pastiche of Born Again rather than a remix. What saves it is #4’s thematic focus on the hero’s dubious (& very Catholic) view of women as either mothers or sinners.

last issue: Daredevil #3
next issue: Daredevil #5

also indexed for Feb. ’99
Avengers #13
Avengers Forever #3 of 12
Thunderbolts #23

Thunderbolts #115

July 28, 2014

Thunderbolts 115Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
August 2007
***

The field op is a failure, although the T-bolts capture their man (a Spidey wannabe). A second exception: during the chaos, Songbird takes the opportunity to strike Bullseye from the team. Ellis works excellently in the moral shadows, but Deodato’s photo-referencing can make the actors seem stiff.

last issue: Thunderbolts #114
next issue: Thunderbolts #116

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

Thunderbolts #112

July 25, 2014

Thunderbolts 112Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
May 2007
****

The team’s a vivid array of luridly damaged psyches. Norman Osborne finally justifies his Clone-era resurrection, but it’s Moonstone & Songbird who stand out (as they had in Busiek’s T-bolts). The women butt heads over the leadership role in a scene out of a military briefing in the Iraqi Green Zone.

last issue: Thunderbolts #111
next issue: Thunderbolts #113

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

Thunderbolts #111

July 24, 2014

Thunderbolts 111Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
April 2007
****

Norm Osborne, on antipsychotics, leads a federal team of superconvicts. Here, they arrest one of Captain America’s protégés with extreme force & revolting machismo. This new take on the T-bolts does what Civil War didn’t: use a superhero idiom to take a timely stand against domestic policing.

last issue: Thunderbolts #110
next issue: Thunderbolts #112

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

Thunderbolts #110

July 23, 2014

Thunderbolts 110Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
March 2007
****

A marquee creative team revamps this mag superbly. In Ellis’ hands, the T-bolts are a variation on Suicide Squad, but w/ a strong satiric take on his übermenschen in The Authority as informed by Homeland Security. Deodato, in the cinematic mode-of-the-monent, has the virtue of being a very good DP.

last issue: Thunderbolts #109
next issue: Thunderbolts #111

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

Dark Reign: The List – The Avengers #1 of 1

July 2, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Marko Djurdjevic
November 2009
****

Bendis has written variations on the nerd question, “Why doesn’t Batman kill the Joker?” but he’s usually fumbled the ball. He finally gets it right in this cash-grab, staging the Avengers’ debate on the ethics of assassination & the death penalty. Then Hawkeye goes rogue to kill Norman Osborn.

also indexed for Nov. ’09
The Fantastic Four #571

Daredevil #191

July 6, 2010

Frank Miller
February 1983
*****

The code to Miller’s groundbreaking work on Daredevil is also an ambiguous musing on the concept of vigilantism & a farewell to comics as kiddie fun. Brooding DD plays an impotent game of Russian roulette w/ paralyzed arch-foe Bullseye while relating his failure to save a kid’s psyche.

last issue: Daredevil #190
next issue: Daredevil #192

also indexed for Feb. ’83
The Fantastic Four #251

Daredevil #181

June 25, 2010

Frank Miller with Klaus Janson
April 1982
*****

A double-sized issue allows Miller the space to deliver a milestone climax. It’s rich, pulpy comic-book tragedy, peppered w/ thrilling sequences, starting w/ Bullseye’s prison breakout. He’s the ish’s POV, opening a dramatic irony: we know more than he does about DD/Murdock & Elektra—tho’ he almost cracks their secrets. And astonishingly, brutally, Bulls murders Elek, then loses to DD.

last issue: Daredevil #180
next issue: Daredevil #182

also indexed for Apr. ’82
The Fantastic Four #241

Daredevil #172

June 15, 2010

Frank Miller
July 1981
*****

Genius of the 1st degree: a pulpy ode to NYC with a ’30s Warner Bros. tone of seedy urban roughness. Fisk rises from the sewers to the penthouse, toppling the city’s crime bosses w/ a few deft strokes. DD plays second fiddle (a la the Spirit) to the Kingpin’s arc, till even he gets outmaneuvered.

last issue: Daredevil #171
next issue: Daredevil #173

also indexed for Jul. ’81
The Fantastic Four #232

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 #170

June 12, 2010

Frank Miller
May 1981
*****

#170 suffers a bit from being a prologue but it promises much. The arc rehabs the Kingpin, a minor Spidey baddie that Miller turns into a diabolical powerhouse. Fisk, retired in Japan, cuts a deal to betray NY’s organized crime. Murdock gets sucked into the feud when Fisk’s wife retains him as counsel.

last issue: Daredevil #169
next issue: Daredevil #171

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 #161

June 4, 2010

Roger McKenzie // Frank Miller
November 1979
****

With this ish, McKenzie is just hired help; the book belongs to Miller. A breathtaking title bout in nighttime Coney Island—Daredevil v. Bullseye—w/ Astroland less a ring than a playground. Black Widow shows the boys how to slip out of a jam, but bluffed-out Bullseye’s breakdown is anticlimactic.

last issue: Daredevil #160
next issue: Daredevil #162

also indexed for Nov. ’79
The Defenders #77

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 #159

June 2, 2010

Roger McKenzie // Frank Miller
July 1979
****

Miller may be a rookie but he’s the best artist this mag has had—better even than Colan! He gives Mac’s script the hard-boiled tone it needs (it’s pretty much one big fight w/ a crew of hit-men on a Hudson River pier). And the pay-off: studying our man’s moves is Bullseye, assassin extraordinaire.

last issue: Daredevil #158
next issue: Daredevil #160