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DD Book Club: Daredevil: Father
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:45 pm    Post subject: DD Book Club: Daredevil: Father Reply with quote

Daredevil: Father

Quote:
For the first time writing AND illustrating, DD legend Joe Quesada crafts a mystery set during the deadliest heat wave in NYC history. A serial killer is on the loose, pushing a city already past its breaking point over the edge, and Daredevil must battle the heat and fear to keep a crumbling Hell's Kitchen together... by any means necessary!


Description is not mine, but I figured it was a good teaser. For this story, I know absolutely nothing about it beyond that description and that it's written by Joe Quesada. Obviously, I know Quesada as an artist, whose style isn't great but is at least serviceable (and, while I like Alex Maleev, I get some fatigue of his style and appreciate a comic book look after awhile). As a writer, I only know him from that fill-in issue for Parts of a Hole (it's a little weird that someone takes too long to finish illustrating that he has to take time to write a story instead). That story was nothing new, but not too bad. Still, it'll be interesting to see what he comes up with when the project is his alone. Obviously, Daredevil is something dear to his heart.

Chapter One: Father's Day



Due Feb. 14
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Dragonbat
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back when we did Guardian Devil, I commented that I thought Quesada drew a decent DD, but a lousy Matt. I'd like to revise that. The DD in the opening shots looks like he's been taking steroids. It gets better later in the book, but right here at the start? Way too bulky. (And I really don' t like the way he draws Foggy. Surprisingly, his Matt has improved quite a bit.

I like the writing quite a bit better. Nice use of the old spice. Nice Foggy interaction. I like the setup. There's a bit of mystery here, setting up nicely. I like many of the little touches. The Old Spice (and the in-story explanation for Maggie recognizing it works well; too often, I find that this kind of thing—'What do you make of this?' 'Oh... isn't it...?' 'Very good!'—almost requires some willing suspension of disbelief on the reader's part unless the character making the connection is known to have an eidetic memory or it's something that plays off their training. Like, I wouldn't be fazed if a florist could identify a specific breed of rose. I would be if Foggy did it.).

Matt's thoughts about how Maggie's exposure to chemicals didn't give her superpowers rings true and painful.

And then there are the little touches that take me out of the story. "Murdock and Nelson" Did I miss some brief moment in canon somewhere?

On the whole, though, I enjoyed this, it's far from the best DD mini out there. 3.5 stars.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad I wasn't the only one who noticed the Nelson & Murdock error.

The story starts off with Matt growling everything he says. Well, at least that's what it seems to me. Obviously, there's no way for printed words to be actually growling. This is Matt at his most pissed off at the world. The first half of the issue talks about his father and his life. About how he ended up with the negative qualities of his father because he followed his father's example rather than his lead. It ends with a sarcastic "Happy Father's Day." This is a very cynical start, although I don't think it's entirely new. But it not only seems to portray his father in a poor light, it portrays Matt in a poor light. Daredevil's work as a hero is "hitting the right someone." Still, I can't say it's categorically false either. There's always been an ambiguity of Daredevil - both the lawyer being somebody as his father asked and as the fighter going against his father's wishes and being like him. I'm sure, given the title of the story, that this is an important theme.

The legal case is an interesting one with lots of parallels. Hells Kitchen people, illegal chemical spills. Only cancer instead of superpowers. It reminds me of Ann Nocenti's story with Kelco Chemicals (that parallel is even better since the chemicals blinded a small boy, only without giving him powers). Maggie's husband seems to parallel Jack in some ways. He wanted a better life than Hell's Kitchen (for his wife instead of for his son). However, unlike Matt, he got out of the neighborhood and seems to have a hatred for it. However, he seems to have Jack's impatience and temper. I wonder if there's something more to him. Certainly, Matt thinks so.

In the art department, I've criticized Quesada in the past for being cartoonish, but I have to say his style is very different here from his Guardian Devil days. Matt's drawn differently, for example. Although it seems he comes off as very hulking (both as Daredevil and as Matt) which makes him look more like how his father is drawn, but not how I'm used to Matt. His face is also oddly wrinkledhere. Still, I didn't like how he was drawn before so I'll give this one a chance. In that news conference of Nero that has the Thing in it, is that supposed to be Johnny Storm and Mr. Fantastic? If so, that's terribly drawn. I'm hoping it isn't them.

Overall, it's OK. It lacks a certain subtlty, but there's some good use of theme with the father-son dynamic. Nero is obviously going to be important but it's hard to say how (another continuation of theme). And the serial killer was in the synopsis so that's no surprise (maybe it's Nero!). Overall, not a bad setup, but hard to say really. I'm torn between three and a half and four stars. I feel if this were Bendis, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and say four. Since I'm not going to split the difference and say three and three quarters, I'll give the benefit of the doubt and say Four Stars. The feeling I get is it could end up as a sprawling mess, but we'll see.
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Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When Guardian Devil and Parts of a Hole came out, I loved Joe Quesada's art. It was simultaneously cartoony and detailed, and just enough of each for me to be thrilled with it. In the late 90s, Quesada's Daredevil looked very athletic, like a gymnast, and that was appropriate for what he does. What happened to Quesada? Why does he now draw him like a WWE wrestler. No WWE wrestler could do the things Daredevil does, like flipping from roof to roof, or fighting in his acrobatic way. Jumping from a turnbuckle is not acrobatic, but everything Daredevil does is. Drawing Daredevil like Stretch Armstrong was a bad artistic choice by Joe Quesada, his first one in this series. More to come.

As for the story, so far there doesn't seem to be one. There are a few scenes, but they don't seem to have anything to do with each other. Daredevil has an internal monologue while going to Fogwell's Gym. Then Foggy and Matt have an appointment with a client -- in a scene that steals the plot from the movie Erin Brockovich. Then we meet Nero -- correction: We're told about him by a news anchor on a TV he's watching. We also don't know why we're meeting him. He has nothing to do with either Daredevil's excursion to Fogwell's Gym or the Erin Brockovich scene. Then our introduction to Nero goes away. Then Daredevil stops a mugger, and scares the bejeezuz out of him so bad that he turns himself in to the cops. Then a woman is having sex but the man she's with pulls a knife on her in the middle of the act. That's the end of the issue.

At the issue's end, there is nothing to suggest that these scenes have anything to do with each other. We are just being asked to trust that they are linked in some way.

Then there's this line: "Dad Always said, 'No good deed ever goes unpunished.' I think that had something to do with Mom running out on him, but I'm not sure." I, to this day, can not figure out how Maggie leaving would illustrate the proverb, "No good deed ever goes unpunished." It does not make sense.

It's a pretty bad way to start a mini-series written and drawn by the Editor-in-Chief. Even worse, the second issue didn't come out until close to a year afterward.

It's sad that this series seems to be so clumsily thought out. What's even sadder are the circumstances in which the series was conceived.
Quote:
"Having lived in NYC during the Son of Sam killings, that was definitely an inspiration, but the entirety of the five issues was written at my father's bedside as he was passing away from emphysema," Quesada stated. "It was a very trying time and as he laid there in the hospital I just typed and typed, cried a bit, but mostly smiled as I was reliving our time together in my mind's eye all the while. From childhood to adult, I was flooded with memories and how instrumental my father was in where I was today. All these things found themselves into 'Father.'"


My own father passed away from colon cancer around the time issue 2 came out, so I was eager to follow this series, thinking I could work through some of my grief in the process.

If only I could figure out what Quesada was trying to say. Clearly the first issue doesn't provide any clues.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it's worth, I think Quesada draws Daredevil differently depending on the circumstances. You could see this a little bit in Guardian Devil, where he would appear to be a devlish monster when angry. Here, the argument is that Daredevil spends his nights beating up thugs. That's why he was drawn as a hulking bruiser.
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james castle
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, I sort of hate Quesada. I think he's a shallow, empty opportunist. In my view, various interviews over the years have shown that he has that not so rare quality that allows him to say anything he needs to if it's in his interest. He's also obviously an egomaniac. During some One More Day interview he took credit for bringing NES games like Zelda to North America (?!). I think his lack of creativity and vision has made Marvel into a shadow of what it once was.

But maybe he made a good Daredevil comic? Let's find out.

Oaof. That first page really is a gut punch. This is my first time reading Father and I knew his take on DD was a bit nuts but this is crazy. As Mike says above, it's clear Quesada is going for a "draw characters in line with their qualities/actions thing". Miller used to do this a lot. Giant fist when someone is being punched, etc.. Quesada seems to be copying that.

Speaking of which, the Millery dialogue/scripting is a bit over the top. The flashback sequence reads like someone doing an intentionally over the top Miller impression. Which sort of leads to problem once it becomes Matt's thoughts. Much of the inner dialogue sounds nothing like Matt. It's all weird tough guy 30s gangster stuff which isn't Matt.

As others have said, there's not a lot to say about the plot at this point. The introduction of NeRo is exposition amateur hour. Instead of introducing the character through, I dunno, plot or dialogue or dramatic scenes he literally just dumps a biography into the middle of the issue. I guess it's very thinly dressed up to be a tv biography but surely that's just the character sketch written right into the script. And the guy is watching a biography of himself?

Anyway, maybe I'll try to do the same plot break down I did with Guardian Devil because this is supposed to be a mystery. Let's see how it hangs together.

ISSUE 1 - (or WAIT, IS THIS A MYSTERY?)

What We Know and What is Happening

1. A woman Maggie got Erin Brockoviched and hires Murdock and Nelson (Quesada is a huge DD fan!) to sue.

2. Maggie's older husband named Sean is a jerk. No one seems to mention the fact that he looks comically older than Maggie.

3. Maggie and Sean grew up in Hell's Kitchen. Presumably generations apart but, again, no one seems to comment on this. Matt seems to recognize Sean but Sean claims they never crossed paths.

4. Whoever was selling Old Spice in the old days in Hell's Kitchen was really raking it in.

5. Nester, the son of a Human Rights Activist, started a Junior Guardian Angels group. Then his dad was killed. Then he disappeared for a bit but came back as NeRo - a media mogul who makes rap and fragrances (I know it's unlikely but I hope there really is some sort of fragrance theme to the whole series and there's some crazy show down between NeRo's Only and Old Spice).

6. Some lady who appears to be tied up and about to have kinky sex with some dude isn't bothered by the fact that the dude is wearing a jacket and gloves but is very bothered by the fact that the dude pulls out a knife. Presumably she's killed.

Hints and Mysteries

The person holding the knife in the final, disturbing scene is wearing a jacket that matches Sean's jacket.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter Two: Heat Wave



Due Feb. 21
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Dragonbat
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay. From the way Matt's talking, in the first few pages, it sounds like this story takes place during the time that he was the "King of Hell's Kitchen," except that, if memory serves, Matt wasn't wearing his costume at that point. Whatever. It's a mini and (as far as I know) not canon, and therefore does not need to be bound to it.

I like that image on the credits page of Matt being dwarfed by DD. It works for me. A lot more than the reference to the iso tank... that he's SEEN in the movies? Yes, Matt does talk about 'looking things over' or asking Foggy if he can 'see' the tabloid story that exposed his identity. But this one jars me. Not just because it strikes me as a call-out to the DD movie, but because I really have to reach to take this any other way. "See an article" can be shorthand for "see what the article has to say." "See in the movies..." doesn't work for me in the same way.

Art in the second panel from the bottom of page 8 makes me wonder whether Matt was drawn in tighty-whities, but the colorist went for flesh-tones instead.

Okay. This is more on me, ymmv, Matt has thought of Hell's Kitchen as 'his' territory for a very long time, etc. But when I got to the panel where Matt talks about 'running after some costumed idiot who doesn't have the sense to stay out of [his] neighborhood,' it struck me that this internal monologue sounds more like Batman than DD. It's not that DD doesn't think of Hell's Kitchen the way Batman thinks of Gotham. He does. 1000%. But the way DD voices that sentiment sounds off here. It sounds like Dr. Doom's old mind transference-ray switched Bruce Wayne and Matt Murdock for a bit. Moving on...

Something sinister about that flashback to the blind pedestrian. (Is this my imagination, or is my past reading of this mini influencing me to see hints of the final reveal when they aren't there?)

"No use crying over spilled toxic waste" made me smile. THAT's not a Matt I can confuse with Batman!

And I do love that whole sequence on pages 14-15, where he hears trouble, tries to talk himself out of attending to it, narrows down what he's going to be facing, etc. Nicely done.

So, now we're back to Nelson and Murdock. Guess last issue was an error that slipped by editing?

Pages 28-31. That whole sequence... call out to Will Eisner's Spirit. 5 seconds with Google confirms Quesada studied under him. Eisner passed on in 2005. Credit where it's due: this is a gorgeous tribute.

Last page... Huh. How do they know who he is? What just happened?

Intrigued. Some bits jar me, but there's a lot here that works. I'm going with four stars this time.
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Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kind of like the vapidness of newscasters Candy Cotton and Randy Firkandi, and how their faces never change. However, it seems Joe Quesada, Marvel's Editor-in-Chief, can't proofread his own work.

As Randy Firkandi says on the second page: "...Police Commissioner Roger Smith confirmed today, during a tense press conference, that recent surveys showing large increases in crime rates in Tribeca, Murray Hill and Manhattan's Upper West Side were, indeed, accurate... The Commissioner went on to blame the current heat wave and the recent actions of Daredevil for the sudden shift."

Well, I found that confusing, and not just because there are too many phrases pasted together in that first sentence. Only two pages later, on the title page, Matt mentions how he "kicked the bad guys out of Hell's Kitchen." I'll admit, I'm not an expert on the layout of New York City's neighbourhoods. Is the commissioner suggesting that because Daredevil kicked the bad guys out of Hell's Kitchen, they have now invaded Tribeca, Murray Hill and Manhattan's Upper West Side? Or is he making the case that, like Batman, Daredevil's presence creates a criminal element?

It just confuses me.

Daredevil's physique has grown even more cartoonishly brawny since issue #1 the previous year, and the DD emblem has appeared to shrink. He is also wearing a billy club holster on each leg, which doesn't make sense to me. Daredevil only needed a holster on one leg for forty years preceding this.

I agree with Dragonbat about the "stay out of my neighborhood" line. Too much like Batman.

Also, I never liked how this comic made it seem as though Daredevil only concerned himself with Hell's Kitchen. Quesada has Matt saying, "Let it go, Matt, not your neighborhood." I never remember Matt being like that before. Matt would always try to help out in areas where he felt he was needed, geography be damned.

The pages depicting the murder of Kristy McKaden were absolutely chilling, because the images are all from the point of view of the murder. So were the final pages of issue number one, but the colour pallette used here makes this murder much creepier. The intercutting with panels of NeRo's eyes leads us to think he's the murderer, although there has been no interaction so far between NeRo, Matt, Foggy or the clients.

I felt the three pages involving Maggie's black eye could have easily been cut down to one without losing too much.

I don't think Matt would be so careless to go jumping around in his regular clothes, but Quesada did a good job drawing it.

But I think the real star of this issue is Richard Isanove. He's credited with paints, but he's also the guy who was responsible for the colours in the early days of the Marvel Knights imprint. Take a look at some of the colour choices in this issue. Fantastic work from Isanove. Quesada has said, "Richard is arguably the greatest colorist in the history of our industry." Isanove makes another good case for that with this issue.

The plot, such as it is, still feels disjointed. NeRo still feels like a non-character. All we've seen him do is watch TV. So far he and Maggie's husband have been presented as possible suspects, yet Daredevil hasn't even begun to look into the serial killings at all by the end of issue two. We, the readers, know about Johnny Sockets, but we're a third of the way into the series, and Matt, for all we know, hasn't even heard of the guy. He's only looking into the source of Maggie's black eye.

And yes, we have no idea who the Santerians are, or how they know Matt is Daredevil (although he was leaping around from building to building in his normal clothes, so conclusions could be drawn).

This issue may be slightly better than #1, but not that much. And as for the Father in the title, there is one page with Battling Jack. The father theme is kind of absent from this issue.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's clear Joe Quesada is heavily influenced by Man Without Fear. From the scene of Jack pining over Maggie that's literally from that issue to the general idea of Daredevil beating up bad guys as an addiction. Neither I have a problem with, but the devil's in the details, so to speak. It matters how it's handled. And it would be nice to say something more or something new. On everything else, is the implication that Nero (or NeRo?) is the serial killer or that Maggie's husband is? Maybe NeRo is the new vigilante that gets vaguely mentioned and never really built upon. I like the chase at the end, but why was Matt not in costume when he did it?

Art-wise, I like the Devil shadow thing on the title page. That's nice. On the negative side, holy crap. Did Daredevil take steroids? He looks like the worst characterature of a 90s male superhero ever. Just give him a giant gun and he'll be Cable. Biceps shouldn't be larger than heads, simple as that. Back on the plus side, the noir suit and tie look where everything is shadow except the white shirt and red tie looks really cool. It fits the whole style of the art (which is very much in the style of Batman: The Animated Series). But for the character models, I could really appreciate this. I'll have to check who is with Quesada on this because those people should get a comic to work on.

I gave the first story the benefit of the doubt for potential. This story does pretty much literally nothing more. It added a few more threads I don't really care about but pretty much treaded water otherwise. I'll give it a generous Three Stars. There was nothing I hated that would drop it more. But there wasn't anything I liked either.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now to comment on others:

Dragonbat wrote:
Okay. From the way Matt's talking, in the first few pages, it sounds like this story takes place during the time that he was the "King of Hell's Kitchen," except that, if memory serves, Matt wasn't wearing his costume at that point. Whatever. It's a mini and (as far as I know) not canon, and therefore does not need to be bound to it.


It reminded me of that as well, but nothing else fits so I decided not to dwell on it.

Quote:
"No use crying over spilled toxic waste" made me smile. THAT's not a Matt I can confuse with Batman!


Made me groan, but I liked it.

Quote:

Pages 28-31. That whole sequence... call out to Will Eisner's Spirit. 5 seconds with Google confirms Quesada studied under him. Eisner passed on in 2005. Credit where it's due: this is a gorgeous tribute.


Good point, didn't catch the Spirit tribute.

Dimetre wrote:

Also, I never liked how this comic made it seem as though Daredevil only concerned himself with Hell's Kitchen. Quesada has Matt saying, "Let it go, Matt, not your neighborhood." I never remember Matt being like that before. Matt would always try to help out in areas where he felt he was needed, geography be damned.


Yeah, I don't like that either. Although, to be fair, it isn't the first to do that. The whole premise of King of Hell's Kitchen is exactly that. There's a lot of reasons not to like it. For starters, Hell's Kitchen isn't all that big. If he had cleared Manhattan, that would have been an accomplishment. But the NYPD has pretty much cleared Hell's Kitchen without Daredevil's help these days (with help of a little thing called Gentrification).

Quote:
But I think the real star of this issue is Richard Isanove. He's credited with paints, but he's also the guy who was responsible for the colours in the early days of the Marvel Knights imprint. Take a look at some of the colour choices in this issue. Fantastic work from Isanove. Quesada has said, "Richard is arguably the greatest colorist in the history of our industry." Isanove makes another good case for that with this issue.


Yeah, I commented on that in my post, but I didn't take the effort to lookup who it was. Credit where credit is due, his work has been excellent so far.
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next up:

Chapter Three: Orisha



And what's this? It's not available to read online. That appears to be quite a snag.

Due 2/28 if you have it, I suppose. Open to suggestions for those who don't.
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Dragonbat
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How did I not remember that? Sheesh. Evidently, I didn't miss much, but yeah... guess I'm sitting this week out.
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Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have it, so I'll start with the positives.

On the first page, I like how the heartbeat monitor morphs into Daredevil's radar sense.

We learn more about NeRo, and Matt seems to suspect him of something.

If Matt didn't hear of Johnny Sockets before, he certainly has now, and he even cares about it.

The numerous splash pages in the middle of the issue were well done, and make their point well.

So those are the positives.

On the other hand...

Why does Daredevil have two leg holsters on the cover? He's made it through decades with only one.

Matt says, "Long as he stays out of the Kitchen, it's not my business. Let the cops take care of it." Like last issue, this is not the Matt I know. I don't care for this attitude.

The Santerians pummel Matt, and the way the panels are laid out, it's very difficult to follow what's going on. For example, there's a panel where it looks like Matt lands on the ground with an explosive FWAMM! and even says "UK!", but in the very next panel he's floating in the air. That doesn't make sense. Because this fight is so confusingly laid out, it's hard to even figure out what the names of the individual Santerians are, along with their powers. Chango seems to be able to burn people... I think. Ogun is big. Oya can levitate people and toss them psychically. Does Oshun sap people of their blood? Maybe. And Eleggua seems to have the same powers as Purple Man.

I didn't know that Matt had a samurai/ninja room. And a big one too. With all the ups and downs in his legal career, how would he have been able to keep all of these things, and maintain such a collection?

There are a lot of pages spent on the Santerians, but we never really get a sense of who they are, other than they're looking into the Johnny Sockets killings. It doesn't make sense that they nearly killed Matt at the end of issue #2. And, by the way, which Santerian knocked him out at the end of that issue? Is one of them named Orisha? They're a confusing bunch.

I think Samurai Motorcycle Daredevil is stupid. The worst.
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james castle
Devil in Cell-Block D


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dragonbat wrote:
How did I not remember that? Sheesh. Evidently, I didn't miss much, but yeah... guess I'm sitting this week out.


Wow. Does anyone know why #3 isn't available? I signed up for Marvel Unlimited to read these and it's insane that #3 isn't there.
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