Archive for the ‘Foggy Nelson’ 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 #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 #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 #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 #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
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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #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

Daredevil #62

September 28, 2014

Daredevil 062Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
September 2004
****

A Punisher foe (a goon w/ an ugly mug) wants to give the new kingpin his cut—but Matt refuses, natch. Bendis really uses the law office well! Meanwhile, Maleev does incred work, w/ abstract shapes turning into facial expressions. Props too to colorist Hollingsworth, working in black, white, & red.

last issue: Daredevil #61
next issue: Daredevil #63

also indexed for Sept. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #3
The Pulse #4
Thanos #12

Daredevil #61

September 27, 2014

Daredevil 061Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
August 2004
*****

Black Widow, hunted by the State Dept (who wants her as currency in internat’l politics), makes headlines w/ DD rather than lying low. Far more interesting than a mere femme fatale, BW delivers a jolt to an already robust mag! Maleev, for one, seems looser, deepening his focus in fascinating ways.

last issue: Daredevil #60
next issue: Daredevil #62

also indexed for Aug. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #2
Thanos #11

Daredevil #59

September 25, 2014

Daredevil 059Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
June 2004
*****

The G-man gets taken out by Yakuza right on Center Street! Meanwhile, Ben Urich joins the growing chorus who say that Karen Page’s death has driven DD to self-destructive behavior. Breaking a character’s psyche = a brilliant take on the difficulty of superhero writers to alter a mag’s status quo.

last issue: Daredevil #58
next issue: Daredevil #60

also indexed for Jun. ’04
Thanos #9

Daredevil #58

September 24, 2014

Daredevil 058Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
May 2004
****

Bendis springs a big twist: in the gap btw #50 & #56, Matt secretly married Milla D! But his real talent is for writing B. Urich, a man of integrity. He uses the char’s ability to trudge into the urban depths to add breadth and angles of approach (like a nurse to vigilantes) to his tale.

last issue: Daredevil #57
next issue: Daredevil #59

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

Daredevil #56

September 22, 2014

Daredevil 056Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
March 2004
*****

Interlude over; a year has passed. DD has cleaned Hell’s Kitchen & NYC of crime—at the expense of other boroughs, notes Luke Cage in a cunning dialectic on the run’s theme of urban vigilantism. It also echoes the city’s real disputes over gentrification & crime rates during Bloomberg’s mayorality.

last issue: Daredevil #55
next issue: Daredevil #57

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

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 #46

September 12, 2014

Daredevil 046Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
June 2003
****

BMB gets meta with his televisual style, opening #46 with a woman acting in a soap opera. It’s Typhoid Mary, sexy schizo assassin of Nocenti’s run, whose worst qualities were inflated by ’90s kewl. Here TM reflects DD’s multiple IDs, a facet that his new g’friend is simult attracted by & wary of.

last issue: Daredevil #45
next issue: Daredevil #47

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

Daredevil #45

September 11, 2014

Daredevil 045Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
May 2003
****

Readers jonesing for a slugfest get their fix this ish, as DD helps the Feds snag the Owl, heir apparent to the Kingpin’s criminal empire. It offers Maleev the chance to break from his standard grid & indulge in almost Sienkowicz-level expressionism, staging the combat as a brutal, bloody beatdown.

last issue: Daredevil #44
next issue: Daredevil #46

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

Daredevil #44

September 10, 2014

Daredevil 044Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
late April 2003
****

Unlike many decompressed ’00s comics, Bendis’ influential DD only sporadically sags due to pacing. But this issue doesn’t move its plot forward (tho’ it nudges the romantic subplot btw Matt & a blind woman). It also returns to the TV setting of a police interrogation room w/o much effect.

last issue: Daredevil #43
next issue: Daredevil #45

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

Daredevil #43

September 9, 2014

Daredevil 043Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
early April 2003
*****

At its strongest, this run offers a 21C take on pop-comics’ core concept of the urban vigilante; #43 centers on a debate over its scope & validity. Luke Cage, orig. a ’70s super-riff on blaxploitation, propounds localism. DD can’t accept that limit, since he knows how corrupt the whole system is.

last issue: Daredevil #42
next issue: Daredevil #44

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

Daredevil #41

September 7, 2014

Daredevil 041Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
early March 2003
*****

Back to the regular creative team. The power vacuum left by the K’pin’s near-murder is filled by the Owl, a Silver-Age mutant that BMB portrays as a psycho. But the ish’s extra touch of genius is Stilt-Man, now retired, who notes that DD/MM is the true kingpin—the malev force driving all NYC crime.

last issue: Daredevil #40
next issue: Daredevil #42

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

Daredevil #40

September 6, 2014

Daredevil 040Brian Michael Bendis // Terry Dodson
February 2003
**

The White Tiger arc feels appendictal to Bendis’ run, but it’s actually a key to his Ditko-esque view of superheroism. A D-list vigilante gets found guilty; his confused death is a scapegoat sacrifice by the press & legal system—those “democratic” structures that hold the gifted individual back!

last issue: Daredevil #39
next issue: Daredevil #41

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