Archive for the ‘Gladiator (M. Potter)’ Category

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 #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 #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 #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 #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

The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

June 2, 2014

Thanos Imperative 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
October 2010
***

The fourth (?) space war in recent years gets a strong dose of metaphysics. In the parallel universe ruled by Cthulu gods, Captain Marvel became Life’s avatar rather than dying. Then, to extinguish Death utterly, he sacrificed his opposite, Thanos, in an arcane ritual that unbalanced his cosmos!

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’10
The Fantastic Four #582

Daredevil #231

March 3, 2012

Frank Miller // Dave Mazzucchelli
June 1986
*****

Matt is the guardian devil once more, biffing ‘pin-hired psychos, incl. one in a DD suit. #231 may be a turning point in Miller’s work, just as it’s one in this superb arc. It’s here, as hero Murdock stops a haggard Karen Page from relapsing on heroin, that his melodramatic impulse overtakes him.

last issue: Daredevil #230
next issue: Daredevil #232

also indexed for Jun. ’86
The Fantastic Four #291
The Mighty Thor #368

Daredevil #230

March 2, 2012

Frank Miller // Dave Mazzucchelli
May 1986
*****

Tho’ the title character spends the whole ish in bed w/ a fever, the arc’s several subplots begin to boil. The most harrowing, in art & emo, has reporter Ben Urich cowed by Kingpin’s threats. Incidentally, it looks like Miller pencilled some pages—but his style blends seamlessly w/ Mazzucchelli’s.

last issue: Daredevil #229
next issue: Daredevil #231

also indexed for May ’86
Balder the Brave #4 of 4
The Fantastic Four #290
The Mighty Thor #367
The Punisher #5 of 5

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 #19

December 31, 2011

Stan Lee // John Romita
August 1966
***

Daredevil resembles Spider-Man more & more. And it’s not just Romita’s gymnastic fights, it’s Lee’s quippy dialogue & his tease at villains’ secret IDs. While DD protects his lawyer pal from hoodlums, his foes (the masked mastermind & razored bruiser) butt heads while forming an alliance.

last issue: Daredevil #18
next issue: Daredevil #20

also indexed for Aug. ’66
The Avengers #31
Tales of Suspense #80  (Captain America)

Daredevil #18

December 30, 2011

Stan Lee & Denny O’Neil // John Romita
July 1966
****

Foggy buys a Daredevil suit & hires the costumer to attack him on a date. But the guy’s a psychotic w/ an armored, razored suit of his own! The dockside fight (once DD shows) makes this Romita’s strongest issue so far. And his realistic anatomy mirrors its focus on bodies & super-clothing.

last issue: Daredevil #17
next issue: Daredevil #19

Also indexed for Jul. ’66
The Avengers #30
The Amazing Spider-Man #38
Tales of Suspense #79  (Captain America)

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 #174

June 17, 2010

Frank Miller
September 1981
*****

The mag revs back up as Kingpin pits his rivals—a ninja assassin’s guild (!) who disintegrate at death (!!)—against DD. Also on the scene is Elektra, a former disciple of the ninja clan. Miller’s work is merely exceptional, not superlative; this ish is about moving the plot, not artistic innovation.

last issue: Daredevil #173
next issue: Daredevil #175

also indexed for Sept. ’81
The Fantastic Four #234

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 #166

June 8, 2010

Frank Miller/Roger McKenzie
September 1980
****

Miller’s art on the DD mag improves every issue—this one-shot has an esp. acrobatic brawl at a supervillain museum exhibit w/ the buzz-sawed, numbskulled Gladiator. The creative team offers him a bit of compassion: he’s obviously a troubled simpleton. Plus, a few comic beats for Foggy’s wedding!

last issue: Daredevil #165
next issue: Daredevil #167

also indexed for Sept. ’80
Captain America #249