Daredevil Message Board
The Board Without Fear!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


DD Book Club - Battlin' Jack Murdock

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Daredevil Message Board Forum Index -> The comics
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Mike Murdock
Lowlife


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1402

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:38 pm    Post subject: DD Book Club - Battlin' Jack Murdock Reply with quote

Rather than draw from the main series, I thought I'd try another mini-series. This is a story I'm not very familiar with, but feels like it could be a fun take on the background and origin of Daredevil in a way that adds something new.

Daredevil: Battlin' Jack Murdock - Round 1



Quote:
The fire that burns in the chest of Matt Murdock finds its origin in this 4-issue limited series by fan-favorite writer Zeb Wells and international superstar Carmine Di Giandomenico. Learn the story of Daredevil's father -- the comic-book icon Battlin' Jack Murdock -- as he boxes four rounds in what is destined to be the last fight of his life. See what leads the man who raised Daredevil to betray his gangland bosses and fight with integrity…even if it means his own death!


Due 8/20
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

Not sure what to read next? Check out the Book Club for some ideas!

I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons


Last edited by Mike Murdock on Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:27 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1156
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never read any of this mini-series before. I wasn't too excited for it when it came out. After all, how much more did we need to know about Matt's formative years? I prefer brand new stories. But, I'm open-minded. Perhaps there is a new angle in here that will allow us to view Matt's upbringing in a new and innovative way.

The cover is a pretty gory boxing image from Carmine Giandomenico, seemingly out of Raging Bull. It suggests that this is going to be about boxers, and much of this issue is. To me, Giandomenico's art is kind of sketchy, almost reminding me of Ron Haynes from Daredevil: Ninja. But, I'm open-minded, so I'll give this a shot.

Boxing is immediately a gritty backdrop for a character study. It's man versus man, and there's always an air of desparation, because it's two palookas beating out each other's brains in the ring for the amusement of an arena of onlookers. It's notoriously connected to gambling. It makes for some incredibly colourful stories.

Out of that, what struck me first was Jack's contention that his son was weak. I never knew Jack to think that. I realize Jack wasn't the smartest guy in the world, but I thought he saw Matt as more capable than that. When this story came out, it was generally accepted that by the time Jack was fighting this match, Matt had been training with Stick. I think Matt would have been unable to hide his new-found confidence gained by his heightened senses and his training. I'm guessing Jack would have been surprised by some of the tasks Matt was performing. I'm not saying Jack wouldn't have been worried about Matt's future, but I don't think he would have used the word "weak." Of course, we know better, but it's somewhat upsetting to hear a father talk about his son with that word, let alone one with a disability. I'm not sure we needed to go there. At least he also describes Matt as brave, but still.

Jack is a tremendously insecure man. In the ring, he admonishes himself for what he knows he must do -- throw the fight. In the past he gets violent because a shopkeeper tells him he knew Maggie was too good for him. Obviously Jack knows that's true. He gets violent again when Maggie drops off Matt and walks out.

I wish Marvel could agree on why Maggie left. It seems that the reasons outlined in the Original Sin tie-in may have become gospel -- she viewed herself as a danger to Jack and Matt due to post-partum depression. Here, she feels that she sinned because of pre-marital sex with Jack, so she joined a convent and left her baby with the father. That seems to be a bit too much to ask me to believe. The Original Sin story seems more true to me.

This isn't bad, but it's not the most riveting character study either. I really enjoyed the young versions of Josie and Turk, but other surprises are few and far between. Where is this story going to go of which I'm not already aware? That's the problem with writers mining a characters early days for new material. I'm hoping for some surprises, but I'm guessing they'll be few. Still, I'll try to keep an open mind.

I give this issue a 3 out of 5.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike Murdock
Lowlife


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1402

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good little intro, setting up the familiar story of Jack Murdock in the boxing match. Two things that are different. First, it's from his perspective with his narration. We get to see what he thinks of Matt at this moment. The contrasts are pretty strong. He calls Matt both brave and weak. But that he wants Matt to be smart so he doesn't end up working for the Fixer. Second, the fight is in Madison Square Garden for the heavyweight championship of the world. That's a bit much for me. I like the idea of Battlin' Jack as a local legend. If he had the championship belt when he was murdered, he'd be nationally known.

This version is very much the Frank Miller "TMWOF" version where Jack is an enforcer. I thought it was a nice touch, although it simplifies the story in some ways. Still, I like the shakedown scene. There's a good contrast between the nice theory and the actual practice. Yes, shaking someone down with a guy with a club is against the law, but laws are pretty abstract and distant when the actual danger is in your face.

Flash back to a younger Jack, who is a wreck. Turns out this is just as Matt was born. It's very different from Mark Waid's story (which, to be honest, is a wonderful story, so I'll have to reconcile the two). He's apparently washed up from the beginning of Matt's life and already working for the Fixer. To be honest, this version of Jack isn't particularly likable. I'm sure he'll get built up, but it's a bit much right now.

I'll go Three and a Half stars. I have this uneasy feeling with this version of Jack coming on a bit too heavy. However, there are nice little set ups for things that I think could work well. It just feels a little too heavy on the Frank Miller version (like more Miller than Miller, in a way). Still, I suspect (and hope) that things are going to go in a positive direction from here as Jack learns to be a dad that his son can be proud of.
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

Not sure what to read next? Check out the Book Club for some ideas!

I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike Murdock
Lowlife


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1402

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil: Battlin' Jack Murdock - Round 2



Quote:
"The latest offering from the Marvel Knights line"

A failed boxer turned mob enforcer, Battlin’ Jack Murdock is living in an alcohol-soaked world where his fists are his only currency and his day job is filled with violence -- until the birth of his son Matt leads him on a path to redemption, that is. But when Jack finds out that integrity has a price – one that he just might not be able to pay -- can he stay away from the bottle? Or will a young Matt Murdock discover why they called his father Battlin' Jack?!


Due 8/27
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

Not sure what to read next? Check out the Book Club for some ideas!

I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1156
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought this was stronger than the first issue. I was underwhelmed by that one, so I didn't go into this one expecting much. I wasn't excited to see Giandomenico's art again, but I think Zeb Wells really injected some dramatic moments here. The adorable little girl who walked in as Jack was roughing up her dad may seem cliche at first, but what comes later really surprised me, and you can see the dark path it leads Jack toward.

I'm warming up to this series. I like how Josie seems to sincerely care about Jack's well-being. I can see how each new development in the plot is giving Jack much more than he can handle.

The Maggie plot is kind of confusing. Her choice to abandon Jack and Matt for religious reasons leads to further questions. Did she stay for a few years even though she had those religious concerns before? I gotta say I prefer the Original Sin version.

I found it easier to empathize with Jack this issue, and his path of despair easier to follow. That allowed me to be more accepting of his use of "weak" when describing his son. It was probably not the best choice to open the first issue with that. Now that the story has gotten going, I can let it go easier.

Jack does some reprehensible things in this issue. The scene in which he hits Matt is preceded by an incredibly traumatic event. When Matt runs in and tells his dad how he fought a bully, you now see how disturbed Jack was leading up to this moment. Wells adds to this scene (which we all know was first dreamed up by Miller in #191), by displaying the first traces of Matt's fearlessness. Matt stands up to his father. We have never seen that before. It doesn't go well, and when we see what follows, it just adds to Jack's misery and self-loathing.

I guess you can compare what Jack goes through, in this issue at least, to what Matt endures in Born Again. It starts with one thing, which is bad enough, and then another and another and another, until it breaks him. The difference here is that there is no Kingpin orchestrating things. It's just life.

I thought this was a very good issue. There were some cliche scenes, but I think Wells did some great character work with Matt and Jack, and Giandomenico portrays Jack well with his lumbering bulk. I give this issue 4 out of 5.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike Murdock
Lowlife


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1402

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It just occurred to me that he's supposed to take a dive in the fourth round and that's how many issues this has.

Jack's character continues to start in a rough place. It's arguably darker than TMWOF. At least there, I got the impression his Dad started working as a boxer and then got roped into the enforcer stuff. I also got the impression there it was done out of desperation to support his blind son. His hitting his son was a single solitary blow, almost involuntary. Here, it was anything but. Still, it's nice to see some redemption when the cries of a stranger's kid gives him the humanity to want to quit. And the hitting was at a particularly low point thanks to the Fixer.

I do like that it's essentially TMWOF issue one told from a very different perspective. I get that they're setting up Jack's flaws so he can have his redemption. But maybe it's laid on a little thick? Three Stars.
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

Not sure what to read next? Check out the Book Club for some ideas!

I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike Murdock
Lowlife


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1402

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil: Battlin' Jack Murdock - Round 3



Quote:
After several years as a whiskey-soaked, washed-up boxer-turned-mob enforcer, the palooka Jack Murdock has turned his life around. He's cleaned himself up, seen his son Matt off to law school and revitalized his career. But after a string of wins, the Fixer returns to call in a favor, and demands that Jack lose his shot-at-the-championship bout…by a knockout! Step into the ring and inside the head of Daredevil's father, in this series by Italian sensation Carmine Di Giandomenico and Zeb Wells!


Due 9/3
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

Not sure what to read next? Check out the Book Club for some ideas!

I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1156
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was another good issue. I expect there weren't strong sales of this issue nine years ago, due to the central figure not being a superhero, but also the generic covers. I've read both good and bad work from Zeb Wells, but I don't think he's that big a name to draw huge numbers, and I've never heard of Carmine Di Giandomenico before.

The opening is, once again, the pivotal championship fight. It's the third round, and Jack is struggling against Crusher. He brought a cross into the ring, which doesn't make sense, either logically or in terms of the story.

I absolutely loved the scene with Jack and Maggie in the church, mostly because I didn't expect a scene like that. It's clear that he still loves her and she still haunts him. Maggie says she visited Matt in the hospital (which we know from Born Again) and that he is strong -- which I appreciated. However, if this conversation happened, I don't know why Jack would be thinking of Matt as weak during the fight. Also, if Maggie asked him to take off the cross while he is indulging the flesh or fighting, why would he have the cross in the ring? Why wouldn't he have left it in a locker?

I was confused by the next scene, because I thought we were back at the pivotal fight. I should have known that Crusher wasn't black, but I still was surprised. They have him winning the fight already? But this wasn't Crusher, it was just another victory on the way to the big fight.

I love what they're doing between Jack and Josie, and how he's still hung up on Maggie.

As for the Fixer, I'm not sure his scheme makes much sense. Why rig fights so an old guy gets the chance to take a dive against the champ? Why not a younger guy? Why let the old guy get that far? And why not tell the old guy that the fights are rigged until now? And if you waited until now, why tell him at all?

As for the scene at Fogwell's gym, I liked that the gangsters followed him there, however, I was puzzled by what Matt was wearing. I was fine with the ski mask, but why was he working out in a buttoned shirt, jacket and what looked like blue jeans? Why wouldn't he be wearing workout clothes? It didn't make much sense to me. Also, it seems that he was there when Gus was there, so I'm guessing Gus is used to seeing this masked character work out in the gym and has no problem with it. Also, I was a bit surprised to see Matt wearing a mask while his dad was still alive.

Matt's fight with the gangsters was okay, although I can't tell from where Matt pulled that gun which he socked into the guy's jaw. The blow's trajectory has it coming from above, but if he pulled it from the guy's holster, wouldn't it have made more sense to have it coming from below?

I like how this issue ends with Jack prepared to throw the fight as per the Fixer's wishes. We all know that's not going to happen, so we have a reason to read the next issue.

All in all, a good, but flawed issue. I give it a 3.5 out of 5.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike Murdock
Lowlife


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1402

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ I would assume the cross plays out next issue. Basically, it's his symbolism of morality and reminder to do the right thing. I could also see it as just a bit of superstitious good luck.


Maggie's conversation early on helps give Jack some inspiration. It's good to see her taking on the wise inspiration-giving role that we're used to. I never got the impression they talked again, but it works fine here. More importantly, Jack looks like someone you could trust to raise a kid, which is sorely needed.

I like the interplay with Maggie and Josie. I'm not sure I like the sweet relationship between Josie and Jack considering Josie is best known for Matt routinely trashing her bar, but it's sweet. On the other hand, there's Maggie's cross keeping Jack honest. There's nothing wrong with Jack dating again, but there is something nice about him having a virtuous ideal. Josie fills that role in a way that Maggie never could.

I like keeping tallies of the varios continuities. This one is closer to the Stan Lee version of Matt going to Law School when Jack dies. On the other hand, it's Frank Miller's TMWOF with the threats against Matt's son influencing his decision. I don't really like it getting pushed that far because it makes Jack seem a bit more selfish. It's one thing to know his own life is forfeit but wanting to make your son proud. It's another entirely to win knowing it could kill your son. It makes the decision at the end of this issue (which we know isn't the decision he finally makes) seem like clearly the correct one.

Still, for those who went into this somehow expecting a Daredevil comic, there's a nice little moment towards the end showing that Matt could take care of himself, even if Jack didn't know it (I do wonder if they'll somehow reveal that he secretly did know before he died).

Better issue all around. I'll go Four Stars.
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

Not sure what to read next? Check out the Book Club for some ideas!

I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike Murdock
Lowlife


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1402

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil: Battlin' Jack Murdock - Round 4



Quote:
This is it fight fans. Grab your ringside seats for the fourth and final round of Battlin’ Jack Murdock’s life. Don’t miss the three minutes that changed the Marvel Universe forever and helped forge Matt Murdock into the Man Without Fear.


Due 9/10
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

Not sure what to read next? Check out the Book Club for some ideas!

I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1156
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This miniseries ends with a pretty good issue. I think the whole miniseries ended up being better than I expected.

The following are my two favourite things about this issue.

#1: Josie. I think Wells and Di Giandomenico made an inspired choice with working her into this story. She's a side character with whom every Daredevil fan is familiar, but no one would have ever thought of her this way. I like how genuine her feelings for Jack seemed to have been. She seemed to care how he felt, and was concerned about how conflicted he seemed to be with his morals, even though he wore that cross out of respect to Maggie, not God.

#2: Jack's skills as a boxer. That moment when he whispered to Creel "You drop your gloves like a punk after every right hook. Your ribs have been exposed all night. You're mine if I want you, sweetheart," was great. He said that while he was still planning to throw the fight like the Fixer wanted. He said that just to send Creel the message that his victory wouldn't be genuine. It also sends us the message that Jack knows what he's doing in the ring.

Then Jack figures out the mystery of the masked man from the last issue.

That mystery isn't the most riveting thing. We readers all knew who it was, so it was only Jack who had to figure it out. You'd think he would have figured it out when he found the billy club that turned into a blind man's cane. I thought for sure he knew then. But someone had to knock into Foggy who knocked Matt's shades off. Then Jack saw his son's black eye from the ring, which I find very unlikely, firstly because of the bright lights shining into the ring, and secondly from all the blood and sweat on his face, compounded by fatigue.

At least solving that mystery got him to stop thinking of Matt as weak. That was bothering me throughout this series, but I guess I see that was building up to Jack's switch in perception.

Now, we have always been told that Jack made Matt promise he wouldn't become a fighter, and here we see him accepting that Matt is a fighter as he goes off to meet his maker. He doesn't only accept it, he laughs as he imagines Matt kicking all of their asses after he's gone. Of course, Matt doesn't know any of this. The way he reacts to his last moment with his father shows that he clearly didn't think that was his last moment with his father. I guess it's possible that Jack's feelings about his son evolved during his last moments on this planet, without Matt realizing it. That's comforting, I think.

As for Matt and Jack's last conversation, wouldn't he have brought up what he figured out about his son? Jack clearly knew this was the last time he would ever see Matt. Maybe he didn't want to use this moment to confront Matt about his extra-curricular activities. I have to admit that I got a little misty reading that scene, because I didn't expect that Matt would have gotten this last opportunity to see his dad. I think that's the most important purpose of this scene, and it fulfills it well, even if the lack of discussion about masked vigilantism strains credulity.

I think this miniseries is a very strong study of character who serves as a mythic figure for our main protagonist. Unlike Ben Parker or Thomas Wayne, Jack Murdock was a struggling palooka, bereft of many options in life. He has previously been portrayed as the greatest guy on earth (with a fatal streak of naivete), or an abusive man capable of the occasional virtue. I like how this series, starting with the second issue, broke down Jack by heaping misery upon misery onto him, allowing us to feel the pressures he was feeling. It put us in his shoes.

I feel this series was hurt by a weak first issue, and I suspect that many readers jumped ship before the second issue came out. That's too bad. I think this story is worth checking out, even if Turk doesn't make another appearance. (Wells should have figured out a way to make use of Turk in this story.)

I give this issue a 3.5 out of five, and that would be my grade for the entire miniseries as well.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike Murdock
Lowlife


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1402

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some good moments in this issue. I felt the ending was a bit weird. Maybe it's because I knew how it would go, but I felt it showed too much. Like it was building to something big and then held it there a little bit too long. That being said, I like the take on everything here. I like the idea that he knew by the end. Maybe like isn't the right word. Appreciate is better. It showed why he could make the decision he made after his son was threatened (something I criticized him for previously). In this story, where the theme is that he had to protect Matt because Matt is weak, the revelation that he'll be able to take care of himself works quite well. On the other hand, it's a bit contrary to the usual theme ("Be a lawyer or a doctor or somebody that isn't a fighter."). This story is "oh no, he secretly wanted him to be a fighter."

One thing I didn't like as much is the Josie thing. It just feels a bit weird. Maybe it's the fact that it's Josie, I don't know. Her role in the main story is just so different. But it also would mean nothing if it was a new character.

I'm surprised at how much the Netflix version seemed to take from this one as well. Maybe not as much as they did with TMWOF and Yellow, but I felt Jack betting on himself was inspired a little bit by Josie betting on him. Certainly, after this and Yellow, I think it's fair to say that the other boxer being Crusher Creel is canon.

Timeline-wise, this version puts Jack's death well after he started training with Stick, so I think the take is very good. Obviously, the Matt age question is an important one. I prefer Matt getting blind at a relatively young age - certainly pre-High School. I like that Jack gets desperate as Matt gets blinded and his education becomes more expensive (it's one reason I didn't like that he was seemingly an enforcer in this from before Matt was even born). Likewise, I don't think Jack's death should occur until Matt is either 18 or close to it (the Netflix show's orphanage worked well for that, but isn't at all hinted at in the books). He always has to wonder if his father was proud of who he became.

And that final question is what does appeal to me about this book. I don't think it was perfectly executed (one random idea would have been to have two narrators to contrast Matt's wonder with Jack's revelation), but there is a comfort in believing, just before his death, Jack saw the man Matt would be - in all aspects, the brilliant lawyer, the wonderful friend, and the heroic fighter for justice and knew he was leaving this world in good hands. So I'll give the issue Three and a Half Stars, which is what I'd give the series. It's been an interesting, if uneven ride that has had moments I hate mixed with moments I absolutely love. With that, I'm glad I read it.
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

Not sure what to read next? Check out the Book Club for some ideas!

I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Daredevil Message Board Forum Index -> The comics All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group