Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly Marvel Comics Review – Part Two

Hopefully this is late enough to avoid spoiling Daredevil, because the issue came out Wednesday, but fair warning, we cover most of the events in the review below. Your notice has been served!

Daredevil 500

by Ed Brubaker, and various

We have moved back to the original numbering to preserve a big anniversary celebration, and I can only hope that Marvel stops re-numbering their series and learns a lesson somewhere in all of this. Here is the creative team for the first part: Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano, with Klaus Janson, Chris Samnee, and Paul Acazeta. There are two covers, but for the same price, I picked up the triple fold-out cover! Brubaker writes the conclusion to his Return of the King story, blending the history of Izo in with the existence of the Hand. They even show the splinter organization he founded when the youngsters had enough of Izo as an old man, and fans will recognize Stick, who came to play an important part in Daredevil’s life.

Brubaker does well with all of his plot elements, with Matt deciding to let Milla go, and making up with Foggy over the phone, sort of. Even Turk gets a good scene. Matt and Izo rescue Dakota from a malevolent Owl, who still comes across as a mob guy, but a thoroughly despicable mob guy that you don’t treat as a joke. In a controlled fury, Daredevil severs some of Owl’s nerves, going a little farther over that dark line than he has in the past.

Izo’s master plan is revealed, with another flashback that explains how Tarantula’s healing powers will enable him to overcome the brainwashing of the Hand eventually; he is also able to break White Tiger free of their control with these same abilities. Thus unravels part of the power structure arrayed against Daredevil.

The Kingpin faces the Hand leadership, and an overconfident Lord Hirochi steps forward to claim credit for the attack on Kingpin’s home is Spain, where his new girlfriend and kids were killed. Kingpin quickly snaps the guy’s neck and puts forward his own claim to take over leadership of the Hand. His distraction using the Owl to torture Dakota and waste Daredevil’s time was ruined by Turk realizing that things are way too messed up to end good in any way, enabling Murdock to catch up to Fisk before he had a chance to try his planned takeover of the Hand.

The showdown with Lady Bullseye is quick and ruthless, which it had to be. Brubaker points out how talented a fighter she is, and you can believe that she has to go down fast, or she might get the upper hand. Izo has led Matt to this next step, and they launch a nice twist to things: Daredevil accepts their previous offer to lead the Hand! His only conditions are to basically throw out Lady Bullseye and Kingpin, neatly isolating them from any immediate power base. Is this Izo’s roundabout way of restoring the Hand to an organization of honor? To take a blind boxer’s son who dresses up in a costume and pummels people, and put him at the head? Sounds a little far-fetched, doesn’t it? But it makes for excellent reading, and we know Matt has stepped up in the past.

The final surprise reveals that Izo trained the woman who would turn into Lady Bullseye in the first place! So the master manipulator is revealed, but not to Matt. Milla is out of the way, and Izo used Lady Bullseye to set up the proper conditions that would convince Matt to follow a certain path. It’s great story, with excellent art, and a nice end to this chapter of Daredevil’s journey. Just as when there was a transition from Bendis to Brubaker, there is a lead-in to the potential for what may be an entirely new, exciting chapter for Matt.

Very well done.

Part 2 is a preview of Dark Reign: The List – Daredevil, so I skipped over it, because I want to read the whole thing at once. Part 3 is by Ann Nocenti and David Aja, in an interesting tale where two bystanders help pull Daredevil to recover from an attack by Bullseye.

Nocenti knows her history, and she adds a nice finale to it, with Bullseye throwing a picture of Daredveil’s father right into his chest. The young girl who helped get Matt out of the line of fire tells him a little bit about the picture, but when he asks pointed details like the name of the boxer, if the boy’s hair is red, etc., she lies. Daredevil know she lies each time, so the reader can see that she is lying because she wants to spare his feelings, assuming the picture he describes would be hurtful to him. The reader also knows that Daredevil knows the truth anyway. Aja’s style boils the scene down to its basics and simply lets the emotion of the moment sit there silently. Also very nice.

Part 4 is a pinup gallery, most of which are really quite good. One makes want to see Patrick Zircher do an entire issue of Daredevil again. Finally, we have a reprint of Daredevil 191, and the new tradition of printing the cover gallery for all 500 issues. It’s a good deal for $4.99. Good luck to Andy Diggle when he starts his run on the title with #501. That's two tough acts in a row to have to follow!


Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.

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