Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Daredevil #500 - Review

Daredevil #500 - Review

Another anniversary issue for Marvel hit our shelves last week, this time for the “Man without Fear”; Daredevil. With a price tag of $4.99 it had to pack a lot in to make it worth the price tag. So, what did we get for our money?

1. The first story was from Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark and will be the last chapter in their run on Daredevil. It is the concluding part to the “Lady Bullseye” and “Return of the King” story arcs that were for me, the highlight of Brubaker’s work on the title. The huge cast used in this story was handled perfectly, we had Daredevil, Master Izo, Black Tarantula, The Hand, The Owl, Kingpin, Lady Bullseye and Foggy all having their individual parts woven together masterfully by Brubaker. The pacing between story parts was perfect, a page here, two pages there, moving the story along swiftly and generating anticipation for the climatic battle between Matt, The Hand & Kingpin. Daredevil make a tough choice in story to sacrifice his personal life totally in order to make amends and deal with the Hand and the Kingpin the best we can, and it’s a strong, bold move that Brubaker takes here. The twists were great and I really can’t fault this story in any way. While I didn’t enjoy Brubaker's earlier arcs due to lack of pace and action, this story packs plenty of punch, owing a big debt to the great art of Michael Lark, whose dark moody, noir-ish work on this title has been nothing but excellent from the start.

2. The second part was a preview of Daredevil: The List, which continued directly from the previous story. It will be the first chapter from new writer Andy Diggle, but this preview doesn’t offer much until the end, where it looks like the full issue will see a familiar DD villain, now disguised as Hawekeye, being sent to take out Matt. Daredevil vs. Bullseye – Round 1 million!?!? Could be worth a look.

3. Speaking of Daredevil vs. Bullseye, the next story was by Ann Nocenti and David Aja and featured exactly that. After the battle an injured DD is taken in by a local bar owner/ boxing fan and a local kid with parent issues. This is a nice little tale with great conversations between the three characters with layers of meaning to DD’s own personal history. Aja’s work is great, though not as sleek as his work on Iron Fist, the ink is heavier, but the style and action sequences still look fantastic with loads of energy.

4. Next up is a pin up gallery with some great art of DD but this is just really filling space.

5. Finally we have a reprint of Daredevil #191 written and drawn by Frank Miller. I have always heard that Miller’s run on Daredevil was some of the finest work ever done on the character but hadn’t yet gotten round to reading any of it so I was pleasantly surprised to find this issue including and... it was brilliant. It was a very street level DD story and a really strong emotional piece which sees Daredevil playing a game of Russian roulette with a paralyzed Bullseye, with DD trying to understand whether the violence he uses to stop criminals like Bullsesye actually has the opposite effect he intended and effectively breeds more violence. It’s a great thought provoking piece with some of the best pencils and writing I‘ve seen from Miller. It’s absolutely made me want to go back and read all of Millers’ work on the title which I believed is collected in the Daredevil Visionaries TPB’s, now at the top of my “must buy” list on pay day.

So to summarise, this collection of stories meant this was definitely the best comic I read last week and a must buy for any DD fans. Don’t miss it.

Hex’s score – 5 out of 5

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