Current Reviews


Daredevil #109

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2008
By: Paul Brian McCoy

Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka
Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, Matt Hollingsworth (colors)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Daredevil #109 arrives in stores tomorrow, July 23.

"Cruel and Unusual: Part 3 of 4"

Okay, I'm going to start off with my big complaint about this issue. Ready?

The font used on the recap page is very hard to read, being white and typewritery rather than crisp and clean.

That's it. If you were looking for more in-depth criticisms than that you can quit reading now. Because this is one solid book. There's nary a hair out of place. Being a four-parter instead of a six-parter means that the narrative is leaner and we move from point A to point B to point C without a lot of mucking about.

And this is a good thing.

Not that Brubaker's longer stories are bad or anything, but there is a tendency to have Matt mope around for a while and then spend quite a few pages beating people up, um, I mean, interrogating people. I wouldn't call it filler. I just don't know if it's always necessary to hit those notes again and again. And again.

So yeah, the pacing here is good.

I'm also enjoying the focus on Dakota. I don't know anything about her character, so it's nice to see her get some spotlight to really flesh out the supporting cast. I mean, did you know her estranged dad is ex-C.I.A.? I didn't. I didn't know she had a dad or that they weren't speaking. Although I guess if she had a dad and he hasn't played any part in her life so far (in this comic) I could assume that there were either issues or he was dead. Anyway, my point is, I had no idea she had a life, and an apartment, outside of doing PI work for the firm.

So good on ya, Brubucka.

And the finale of this issue is excellent. It's rare these days that a comic makes me sit back and say "Damn!" but this one did it. Twice. Both DD and Dakota have their own separate storylines leading into next issue's conclusion and both characters are in a heap of trouble. Dakota moreso than DD, if the cover to the next issue is any indication.

Lark continues to do excellent work. This issue there are more talking heads than in some issues, but it is handled well and when the violence bursts onto the page, the contrast is powerful. Also, Hollingsworth's colors are again subtle and effective; My favorite bit of detail being Matt's hands as he works out on the heavy bag. The redness of his fists, fading into the lighter flesh tones of his wrists and arms is perfect. Nice touch.

So yeah. I like this one a lot. I don't know if it's having Rucka on board or what, but this is one of my favorite DD stories of Brubaker's tenure so far. Which is a surprise, really, because with the first chapter, I wasn't sure this was going to be anything special. But it's a good one, from start to finish. Well, so far. But I have high hopes for next month's climax. I'm also very intrigued to find out where Matt's head will be at the end of this. Supposedly, this story is meant to establish, not a new direction really, but a new phase in Brubaker's overall Daredevil plan. I'm really looking forward to that.

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