Archive for the ‘Milla Donovan’ 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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #64

September 30, 2014

Daredevil 064Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
early November 2004
*****

Rather than punch their foes (a crime boss & a hitman), the Devil & the Widow call in the authorities (cops, SHIELD). This spy arc is esp fine, a Cold War web w/ BW’s “late” husband at the center! It prefigures Brubaker’s run on Captain America, & works far better than Bendis’ Secret War misfire.

last issue: Daredevil #63
next issue: Daredevil# 65

also indexed for Nov. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #5
Daredevil #65
The Pulse #5

Daredevil #60

September 26, 2014

Daredevil 060Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
July 2004
****

DD & his pals toss a Yakuza club & run it out of town. The pulpy violent core of this arc proves this superb run is less interested in subverting the trope of vigilantism than in pushing its envelope. For that, see the subplot: the hero’s wife leaves him, a personal loss given a noirish pathos.

last issue: Daredevil #59
next issue: Daredevil #61

also indexed for Jul. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #1
The Pulse #3
Secret War #2 of 5
Thanos #10

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 #57

September 23, 2014

Daredevil 057Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
April 2004
****

Not the most interesting issue in the Bendis/Maleev run (tho still v.g.). Maleev draws a rainy-night streetfight btw Murdock & a hundred Yakuza; some of the pages are great, others are boring widescreen layouts. The script has newshound Urich narrating, but he doesn’t always connect to the action.

last issue: Daredevil #56
next issue: Daredevil #58

also indexed for Apr. ’04
New X-Men #153
The Pulse #1
Secret War #1 of 5

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 #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 #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 #42

September 8, 2014

Daredevil 042Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
late March 2003
*****

Double-ship month! A hyperviolent criminal has organized crime w/ a mutant variation on HGH that temporarily gives normal folks superpowers. It’s a brilliant addition to the Marvel U., useful for any writer who wants (a) a one-off supervillain, or (b) a comics-y variation on the classic PSA theme.

last issue: Daredevil #41
next issue: Daredevil #43

also indexed for Mar. ’03
Alias #18
Daredevil #41
New X-Men #136

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