Archive for the ‘Daredevil’ Category

Winter Soldier #13

December 16, 2015

Winter Soldier 13Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
February 2013
***

Ed B nods to his other major Marvel run, pitting brainwashed Bucky against his kidnapped GF’s ex, Daredevil. It’s no character piece, nor is it particularly well-staged; just a rainy nighttime NYC fight with Wolverine, Hawkeye, & Cap jumping in. At least they all chew Bucky out for his stupidity.

last issue: Winter Soldier #12
next issue: Winter Soldier #14

also indexed for Feb. ’13

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Winter Soldier #12

December 15, 2015

Winter Soldier 12Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
January 2013
***

Bucky agrees to revert to his Soviet self and execute a mission for the superspy who’s kidnapped his GF. Our hero’s taken impulsive actions before, so at least it’s in character—but it’s astonishingly stupid. Brubaker has one foot out the door, and Guice, no longer inking himself, is looking ragged.

last issue: Winter Soldier #11
next issue: Winter Soldier #13

also indexed for Jan. ’13

X-Statix #26

April 17, 2015

X-Statix 26Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
October 2004
***

A fairly blatant ripoff of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, as the team gets KIA with Mr. S & Tike A. gunned down in a suicide charge. It would’ve worked better if they hadn’t held each other at arm’s length since the retitling. Or if the run’s last two years had been compressed into one. Ah well.

last issue: X-Statix #25
continued in X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 of 5

also indexed for Oct. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #4
Daredevil #63
Fantastic Four #517
Secret War #3 of 5

The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1

March 6, 2015

Sentry-Void 1 of 1Paul Jenkins // Jae Lee
February 2001
****

No surprise that the Void is the Sentry’s negative aspect, since it’s been a metaphor for depression all along. But his hook—erasure from continuity—is a fruitful & unique experiment for Marvel, albeit one better off left to stand alone (one more fault in Bendis’ awful, epic Avengers run).

continued from The Sentry #5 of 5
continued from The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
continued from The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
continued from The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
continued from The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

also indexed for Feb. ’01
Avengers #37
The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

X-Universe #2 of 2

February 17, 2015

X-Universe 2 of 2Terry Kavanagh // Carlos Pacheco & Terry Dodson
June 1995
*

In a parallel timeline, Marvel’s heroes hijack a space ark, airlift refugees from London, and head for the stars. Lobdell (architect of the AoA X-over) hands his plot to Kavanagh, who seriously obscures it with ’90s clichés. Kav’s only able to write in high dudgeon, and lacks a basic grasp of storytelling. The two capable artists work hard to draw the tale, but they’re defeated by the confusion.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: X-Universe #1 of 2

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #2 of 2

X-Universe #1 of 2

February 16, 2015

X-Universe 1 of 2Terry Kavanagh // Carlos Pacheco
May 1995
*

An alternate reality co-opts the X-mags for a quarter, creating an impressive implied backstory. Naturally, readers wonder what’s happened to the rest of the company’s heroes; here’s the answer. Surviving Avengers & FF provide humanitarian aid & defense. And replacing Peter Parker, KIA, is Gwen Stacy! Pacheco has a nice eye for detail & drama, but he can’t clarify a confusing script’s vague stakes.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: X-Universe #2 of 2

also indexed for May ’95
The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4
Factor X #3 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4
Generation Next #3 of 4
Weapon X #3 of 4
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Man #3

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 #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

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

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

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

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 #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
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
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

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 #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 #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
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 #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 #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