Archive for the ‘Kingpin’ Category

Hawkeye #22

January 25, 2016

Hawkeye 22Matt Fraction // David Aja
September 2015
*****

Together Kate & Clint save the BK brownstone & its families from the ‘Tracksuit Draculas’ & harlequin hit-man. Fraction & Aja close their outstanding run, adding a gesture to set up next ‘season’. Superlative comics on every level, the sort of collection you can lend to a non-fan of superheroes.

last issue: Hawkeye #21
continued in Hawkeye #1

Hawkeye #8

January 10, 2016

Hawkeye 08Matt Fraction // David Aja with Annie Wu
April 2013
*****

The redheaded femme drags Barton into another encounter with the tracksuit gangsters of “Little Irkutsk”. Delightfully, she gets the evil eye from the other gals in H’s life: Widow, Hawkgirl, Mockingb, & naïve GF Spider-W. Covers to fake romance comics, by Wu, act as exposition and punctuation.

last issue: Hawkeye #7
next issue: Hawkeye #9

Hawkeye #5

January 7, 2016

Hawkeye 05Matt Fraction // Javier Pulido
early February 2012
*****

Kid Hawkeye impersonates an Iron Man villain—the criminal mastermind w/ a gold mask—& earns an archenemy. She also learns that the video of her mentor sanctioning a terrorist was a fake, to protect the IDs of Navy Seals: a clever comics application of the Bin Laden op a few years ago.

last issue: Hawkeye #4
next issue: Hawkeye #6

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Hawkeye #6
Winter Soldier #13

Hawkeye #4

January 6, 2016

Hawkeye 04Matt Fraction // Javier Pulido
January 2013
*****

SHIELD’s lost a VCR tape of Barton assassinating a global terrorist for them—so it dispatches him to buy it at auction in an ersatz Asian megacity! As an international man of mystery, he’s a flop. Pulido, however, proves Aja’s near-equal, using minimalism & softer curves to strike a lighter comic tone.

last issue: Hawkeye #3
next issue: Hawkeye #5

also indexed for Jan. ’13
Winter Soldier #12

Hawkeye #2

January 4, 2016

Hawkeye 02Matt Fraction // David Aja
November 2012
*****

Hawkeye & his namesake from the Young Avengers steal $ that a criminal circus (shown here as Cirque du Soliel types) stole from organized crime. Aja seems inspired by Steranko’s pop-art layouts, but w/ a 21C graphic angle: see the A+ cover, & a page of Barton slowing time as he draws the bow.

last issue: Hawkeye #1
next issue: Hawkeye #3

also indexed for Nov. ’12
Captain America #17
The Fantastic Four #610
FF #22
Winter Soldier #10

Runaways #26

July 14, 2015

Runaways 2-26Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
July 2007
**

The kids banter their way over NYC rooftops in a maguffin plot that intersects with street-crime Marvelites Kingpin & Punisher. The latter gets treated as a joke (Molly punches his junk) which I’m okay with, but it suggests that Whedon also thinks poorly of him. So why write him into the ish?

last issue: Runaways #25
next issue: Runaways #27

also indexed for Jul. ’07
Daredevil #97
The Immortal Iron Fist #6
Nova #2
Thunderbolts #114

Runaways #25

July 13, 2015

Runaways 2-25Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
June 2007
***

Replacing Vaughan with this mag’s highest-profile fan & strongest influence is a no-brainer. But Whedon’s start is inauspicious. Partly it’s the only-okay art, a real comedown after Alphona. A return visit to NYC, as Nico’s self-doubt leads the team into a criminal alliance w/ the Kingpin!

last issue: Runaways #24
next issue: Runaways #26

also indexed by Jun. ’07
Daredevil #96
The Immortal Iron Fist #5
Nova #1
Thunderbolts #113

The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1

March 4, 2015

Sentry-Spider-Man 1 of 1Paul Jenkins // Rick Leonardi
February 2001
***

Before his erasure from Marvel, the Sentry had helped Parker grow up—netting him a Pulitzer photo & fame! Bronze Age Spidey is a perfect vehicle for the Void-as-depression theme, & tonally S/S-M reads like a lost issue of Marvel Team-Up. But with yeoman’s work by Leonardi, it’s about as forgettable.

continued from The Sentry #5 of 5
continued in The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
see also 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/The Void #1 of 1
The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

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 #116

November 23, 2014

Daredevil 116Ed Brubaker // David Aja
April 2009
*****

Tho’ atypical, this may be the best issue of Ed B’s DD run. Aja subs for Lark, less cinematic & more comic in his layouts. He elevate the best-of-run script: a one-off on ninjas v. Kingpin, whose rage is as the ocean. Bru writes the villain’s voice far better than he does the mag’s mopey protag.

last issue: Daredevil #115
next issue: Daredevil #117

also indexed for Apr. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #10
Nova #22
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #53

September 19, 2014

Daredevil 053David Mack
December 2003
*****

Once a compelling new castmember, Echo got left behind by this mag’s amazing twists. So she embarks on a vision quest, in the tradition of her Lakota tribe. #53 gets heavy into deep narrative symbolism on its holy journey into the spirit realm; its only peer on the stands may be A. Moore’s Promethea.

last issue: Daredevil #52
next issue: Daredevil #54

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
Avengers/JLA #4 of 4
New X-Men #148

Daredevil #52

September 18, 2014

Daredevil 052David Mack
late November 2003
*****

A reiteration of the heroine’s origin story: adopted by Kingpin (her father’s killer), Maya Lopez developed a preternatural ability to mimic physical actions. Bold of Marvel to cede this top-tier title to such a radical style for a quarter! Mack’s pencil-work & bespoke page designs are truly unique.

last issue: Daredevil #51
next issue: Daredevil #53

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
Daredevil #51
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147

Daredevil #50

September 16, 2014

Daredevil 050Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
with Gene Colan, Klaus Janson, David Mack, Michael Avon Oeming, Joe Quesada, John Romita, & Lee Weeks
October 2003
*****

Bendis’ first-act climax sees a rollcall of DD artists contribute a page. Matt M savages Fisk and, mask off, declares himself the new Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen! But are overwhelming force & violence the tools of a hero? BMB mirrors, among other things, the rhetoric & action of the Bush Presidency.

last issue: Daredevil #49
next issue: Daredevil #51

also indexed for Oct. ’03
Alias #25
Avengers/JLA #2 of 4
New X-Men #145

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 #47

September 13, 2014

Daredevil 047Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
July 2003
*****

We follow the $ from buyer to dealer to gangster to Kingpin, as he re-consolidates his hold in a nice burst of cynicism & the blades of Typhoid Mary. Maleev has done A-1 work updating her punk look by JR Jr. He also stages her fight scene w/ finesse, tho’ it says nothing about her character.

last issue: Daredevil #46
next issue: Daredevil #48

also indexed for Jul. ’03
Alias #22
New X-Men #141

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 #31

August 28, 2014

Daredevil 031Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
May 2002
****

Vanessa Fisk takes over by killing her husband’s killers, incl her own son! Bendis takes existing points—DD’s open secret of an ID, K’pin’s blindness—and spins an unexpected yet inevitable twist. Maleev advances upon the photo-tracing style of Alex Ross by scanning, inking, & smudging backgrounds.

last issue: Daredevil #30
next issue: Daredevil #32

also indexed for May ’02
Alias #7
Avengers #52
New X-Men #124

Daredevil #30

August 27, 2014

Daredevil 030Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
April 2002
****

DD’s secret ID is common knowledge in the underworld. It’s a smart development, but the real plot engine is Kingpin’s blindness, a weakness that leaves him open to a generational coup. Bendis’ chronology leapfrogs all over; that & excellently structured scenes disguise the slow pace of this arc.

last issue: Daredevil #29
next issue: Daredevil #31

also indexed for Apr. ’02
Alias #6
Avengers #51
New X-Men #123

Daredevil #29

August 26, 2014

Daredevil 029Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
March 2002
****

#29 spotlights a mob capo who wants a piece of the action & conspires to oust the Kingpin & kill Murdock for his shystering, which is hurting business. Bendis wears his cinema influences heavily, w/ Tarantino-style anecdotes & non-linear storytelling set atop a Scorcese setting of seedy NYC crime.

last issue: Daredevil #28
next issue: Daredevil #30

also indexed for Mar. ’02
Alias #5
Avengers #50
New X-Men #122

Daredevil #27

August 24, 2014

Daredevil 027Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
January 2002
*****

The mob action that surrounds the now-blind K’pin mimics the goomba lowlifes of The Sopranos; in another thread, a rookie cop panics & opens fire when he spies DD. The weird intrusion of a masked super-avenger into cop/crook tropes gives the mag a whole new layer of realism & archetypal power.

last issue: Daredevil #26
next issue: Daredevil #28

also indexed for Jan. ’02
Alias #3
Avengers #48
New X-Men #120

Daredevil #26

August 23, 2014

Daredevil 026Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
late December 2001
*****

Bendis & Maleev start their classic collab on DD by playing up the mag’s crime/justice theme. A supercharged criminal explodes at the NYC courthouse. In-story, it mirrors the Caesar-like assassination of the Kingpin. But the chaos also clearly & vividly echoes the 2001 attack on Lower Manhattan.

last issue: Daredevil #25
next issue: Daredevil #27

also indexed for Dec. ’01
Alias #2
Avengers #47
New X-Men #119

Daredevil #15

August 18, 2014

Daredevil 015David Mack // David Ross
April 2001
***

The finale of this long-delayed arc wrong-foots the reader by skimming past DD’s skirmish w/ Echo to fill the Kingpin’s backstory out. Pity, since Echo’s the first truly interesting new character this mag has seen in ages. Ross closes for Joe Q, but what’s really missing is the hint of Mack’s style.

last issue: Daredevil #14
next issue: Daredevil #16

also indexed for Apr. ’01
Avengers #39

Daredevil #14

August 17, 2014

Daredevil 014David Mack // Joe Quesada with David Ross
March 2001
****

Thankfully, #13’s problems have retreated. A novelistic timeframe—months presumably—lets Foggy N. dismantle the Kingpin’s empire in montage, tho’ that makes the pacing of the Echo/DD plot wonky. Meanwhile, Quesada, now Marvel EiC, hands a few breakdowns to Ross, while Mack must have a hand too.

last issue: Daredevil #13
next issue: Daredevil #15

also indexed for Mar. ’01
Avengers #38

Daredevil #13

August 16, 2014

Daredevil 013David Mack // Joe Quesada
October 2000
**

Foggy tries to connect a client’s murder to Fisk while his partner seeks the witness, who in turn shoots & “kills” the acquitted Kingpin of Crime. Mack’s delays finally seem to catch up with him, as he squeezes about a year of plot into one issue. The trial scenes are particularly woolly & clichéd.

last issue: Daredevil #12
next issue: Daredevil #14

also indexed for Oct. ’00
Avengers #33
Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet #1 of 1
Thunderbolts #43

Daredevil #10

August 13, 2014

Daredevil 010David Mack // Joe Quesada
March 2000
*****

Who’s the force behind this phenomenal work, indie artist Mack or Marvel insider Quesada? The lovely design serves to intro a compelling counterpart to Matt M: a Latina/American Indian, deaf, able to mimic actions perfectly, a potential hero whose super-origin is corrupted by K’pin’s intrigues.

last issue: Daredevil #9
next issue: Daredevil #11

also indexed for Mar. ’00
Avengers #26

Daredevil #9

August 12, 2014

Daredevil 009David Mack // Joe Quesada
December 1999
*****

Mack shows how conventional the previous arc was, by delivering beats in montage structure. In turn, the dramatic scenes act as breaks rather than as framework. He pushes Joe Q to new, Eisner-like heights of composition, each page a frame-free splash. Plotwise, Kingpin has a new pawn to ruin DD.

last issue: Daredevil #8
next issue: Daredevil #10

also indexed for Dec. ’99
Avengers #23
Thunderbolts #33

Daredevil #6

August 9, 2014

Daredevil 006Kevin Smith // Joe Quesada
April 1999
***

A diptych. Half of #6 has DD angsting over his g’friend’s death; what stands out here isn’t the emo, it’s the 4×4 gridwork by Joe Q. The second half delivers a big action sequence. The hero climbs the baddie’s skyscraper lair, a video-game structure, lacking even the deathtraps of a Silver Age tale.

last issue: Daredevil #5
next issue: Daredevil #7

also indexed for Apr. ’99
Avengers #15
Avengers Forever #5 of 12
Thunderbolts #25

Daredevil #233

March 5, 2012

Frank Miller // Dave Mazzucchelli
August 1986
*****

Kingpin’s paramilitary assault alerts Captain America (written perfectly as a man out of time) to a secret supersoldier project. The caped critique of the US govt. is out of synch w/ Murdock’s arc. Not quite a perfect ending, but one of the great short runs in superhero comics, thanks esp to Mazz.

last issue: Daredevil #232
next issue: Daredevil #234

also indexed for Aug. ’86
Elektra: Assassin #1 of 8
The Fantastic Four #293

Daredevil #232

March 4, 2012

Frank Miller // Dave Mazzucchelli
July 1986
*****

There’s more action to this one issue than the previous five! The tonal switch from internal to external feels like spillover from Miller’s recently completed Dark Knight Returns. So does the sight of Fisk, wrapped in a US flag, ordering a pscyho supersoldier in Rambo drag to attack Hell’s Kitchen.

last issue: Daredevil #231
next issue: Daredevil #233

also indexed for Jul. ’86
The Fantastic Four #292
The Mighty Thor #369

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 #229

March 1, 2012

Frank Miller // Dave Mazzucchelli
April 1986
*****

FM & DM set up an artful network of parallel actions & Christian iconography in a sepulchral tone. They’re telling a death/rebirth tale (shouldn’t they set #229 over Easter, not X-Mas?), but redemption is hard. Murdock, deranged & homeless, ends up in Hell’s Kitchen as subplots twist thrillingly.

last issue: Daredevil #228
next issue: Daredevil #230

also indexed for Apr. ’86
The Fantastic Four #289
The Mighty Thor #366
The Punisher #4 of 5