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Mike Murdock
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Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:54 pm    Post subject: DD Book Club - Out Reply with quote

I'm always torn whether to do Brian Michael Bendis. His work is pretty much one long saga from Underboss to Hardcore and it feels like too many issues to do at once. Still, his work is undeniably important for Daredevil and there have been a few requests to return to him. I figured this was a good time to do so. This is a fairly sprawling collection of stories between Underboss and Trial of the Century. I hope you enjoy.

Daredevil Vol. 2 #32 - Out



Quote:
The FBI steps in to sort out the remains of the Kingpin's crime empire and their investigations may change Daredevil's life forever!


Due 11/20
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Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's the dialogue that stands out in this issue. Bendis has been praised for his ear for dialogue. In this issue it has a naturalistic Mamet-like feel. Bendis has also been scorned for having all of his characters have the same speech pattern. I'm not sure that criticism is valid if you look at this issue alone. Silke's voice isn't Driver's voice. Davis' voice isn't Driver's voice. Really, those are the only three characters that get ample time in this issue.

My criticism of this issue is the same as for all Bendis issues: the pacing. In a monthly comic, if we tell stories at the pace Bendis does, we can't advance the story very far.

A lot of space is taken up with Driver relaying information to Davis. That's problematic for two reasons. First, we're being told a story instead of being shown one. Secondly, most of this information is already known to us through the "Underboss" arc. Because of that, I feel like many pages of this issue are being wasted.

There are aspects of this issue I enjoy, having just given it a fresh read. I like how Matt Murdock's file is classified 2-7, meaning S.H.I.E.L.D. has it. That was a genuinely neat idea.

I also felt that the final page with it's four panels robbed the previous splash page of its impact. I think it would have been great if the splash page were the issue's final page, and we had a small inserted panel in the corner with Foggy's shocked expression.

But I remember, at the time, being annoyed that we were being given another story about Daredevil's secret identity being threatened so soon after "Playing To the Camera." I think in the years following this story, it's become clear that Bendis doesn't read anyone else's work, so he proceeds with his stories with no regard as to how they impact what's going on within the Marvel Universe, let alone that character's ongoing narrative, or how closely a story resembles Minority Report.

So, on the plus side, I felt the dialogue was entertaining, and the scene with the policemen moves along at a nice clip. However, on the minus side, it doesn't feel necessary to rehash most of the information being spoken, which makes the scene longer than it needs to be. If the issue had dwelt more on Silke's offering of Daredevil's secret identity, instead of events we've already seen, it would have been more interesting.

I can't deny that the police are entertaining, so I give this issue a three out of five.


Last edited by Dimetre on Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't imagine what someone who wanted to buy a Daredevil comic at the time must have thought by this issue. It's basically just a conversation between a couple of FBI agents. The dialogue is snappy and fun. Ever since I've seen Bendis-speak described on the internet, it's hard not to see it, but I enjoy the dialogue about pajamas and danishes between the FBI agents. For me, since I took a long break since Underboss, I actually appreciate the recap, but I'm not sure a whole recap issue is necessarily important.

It does build momentum, though, and sets the atmosphere and tone of essentially superheroes in the real world. The evidence of Daredevil and Matt being one and the same builds slowly in the dialogue as they put the dots together. Things that are accepted in comic books begin to add up (Daredevil always there when Matt is attacked, etc.). And when you live in a world of radiation giving superpowers, people could actually begin to believe a person could be blinded and able to fight crime. It builds up to the red sharpie and the revelation that they all recognize that he is Daredevil. But there's a moment of relief when the Director says not to use the information - a moment that quickly gets dashed with the turn of the page.

I appreciate world-building and mood setting. I appreciate that not every issue of Daredevil is superheroics in costumes. I appreciate the dialogue (particularly towards the beginning). But at least 85% of this issue is recap of what we should know. Most of the dialogue doesn't even come off as all that snappy. I'm glad I'm reading it for the price of an "Ultimate Collection." I can't imagine what someone felt at the time. But I at least wasn't bored by it. Three and a Half Stars.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dimetre wrote:
I think it's the dialogue that stands out in this issue. Bendis has been praised for his ear for dialogue. In this issue it has a naturalistic Mamet-like feel. Bendis has also been scorned for having all of his characters have the same speech pattern. I'm not sure that criticism is valid if you look at this issue alone. Silke's voice isn't Driver's voice. Davis' voice isn't Driver's voice. Really, those are the only three characters that get ample time in this issue.


That's a point I hadn't noticed. I appreciate you pointing that out. I think it works well for cops (even if I think it's more TV cop than cop cop).

Quote:
But I remember, at the time, being annoyed that we were being given another story about Daredevil's secret identity being threatened so soon after "Playing To the Camera." I think in the years following this story, it's become clear that Bendis doesn't read anyone else's work, so he proceeds with his stories with no regard how they impact what's going on within the Marvel Universe, let alone that character's ongoing narrative, or how closely a story resembles Minority Report.


I think it's fair to say he's aware of it (he referenced Kingpin's blindness and I think he later references Playing for the Camera).
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Dragonbat
Playing to the Camera


Joined: 15 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:



... and I think he later references Playing for the Camera.


Yes, it's coming up in #33.
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, then I have to wonder what was Stuart Moore's job description as editor. If Bendis pitched this storyline, I'm assuming he would have pointed out the plot of Bob Gale's story which preceded immediately before. Honestly, it seems to me that Bendis has carte blanche at Marvel. He seems to be able to write whatever he wants and it gets published.

(Even though I'm obviously not a fan, I am capable of keeping an open mind. I'll remind you that I gave this issue a 3 out of 5 -- a passing grade.)
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not going to type up the whole thing, but there's a Newsarama interview with Bendis right after #32 that's reprinted in the first volume of the Bendis Ultimate Collection. It helps shed some light on it to me. I think the key part was this:

Quote:

For regular readers of Bendis' [sic] updates at his message board, the big "event" in issue #32 was the huge event the writer spoke about convincing Marvel's Editor in Chief Joe Quesada to let him make in the book at last year's San Diego Comic Con International.

"I was bugging Quesada about it all last summer and finally got him to buckle on it at San Diego," Bendis told Newsarama. "He always agreed it was a story worth telling and a dangerous one, so I agreed to stay on the book and see it through. There's been a rash of hit-and-run comic creators on comics; they do damage and run away. I hope I can show the old-school value of sticking with something for more than a couple of issues and really making the most of it."


Based on that, I suspect Bendis's plot was approved long before Bob Gale finished writing "Playing to the Camera." Furthermore, I suspect Gale did not need to seek approval for "the secret identity is preserved" since that doesn't have the same plot impact as it getting revealed. Although, when we did our reading of that story, I did sarcastically write in my review of the final issue "and his secret identity was never threatened again" or something like that. Gale's story is interesting because it worked really hard to set up a brand new Daredevil status quo with a complete supporting cast and everything. Then it got washed all away. Given that the story wasn't well-received overall, it's probably for the best, but it makes an intriguing "what-if."

BTW, Dragonbat, what did you think of the issue?
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Dragonbat
Playing to the Camera


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On its own, it doesn't do much for me. A lot of setup is fine, but in general, an issue that's all setup tends to turn me off. Now, if I were to read the entire arc at one sitting (which I've done in the past), it's a much better experience.

If we were back in 2002 and, as a curious consumer, I had picked up this issue as my first-ever DD comic, I doubt I'd be back for #33.
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Darkdevil
Humanity's Fathom


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bendis...*sigh*

Okay then, let's do this!


As with the majority of Bendis' run, I've never read this issue before now. So, this being a recap issue was in fact quite nice. I can see where ongoing readers at that time may have felt frustration over the pacing here, seeing as this issue recaps material that they'd already know. But for me, in this moment, I can appreciate Bendis' efforts here.

Setting the recap up as a type of police briefing was a good choice. The flow of dialogue was good though most of it sounded like heavy exposition but that can be forgiven under the scenario being presented here. This is the cops saying, 'This is what we know, this is what we think we know, etc'. While I will agree with Dimetre in Show, Don't Tell the story, this did make for an interesting read.

Laying out the reasoning behind these killings, the speculations for who is actually behind this, the surprise reveal about Richard Fisk, and then the speculation about Matt being DD. I did like how Bendis approached this. It's connecting certain dots that, till now, makes you wonder why a majority of people haven't done so before now. It's not just 'DD saving Matt' or whoever or DD's possible connection to their law firm, it's things like Elektra was Kingpin's top assassin, oh yeah, she was also Murdock's former girlfriend and get this, she died on his doorstep after being murdered by her replacement for Kingpin. It's the little things that give credence to this outlandish idea, that was nice to see how Bendis built upon that as the cops discussed this possibility.

(Best line, perhaps one of the best ever - "If I'd gotten a radioactive isotope tossed in my face, I'd gotten leukemia and die")

So for being a Bendis issue, I rather enjoyed this. The tension, suspense and mood being created was quite good. Three-and-half stars.
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its been a while since I took part in the book club, but this seems like a good time to get back.

I have read this arc before and of all the Bendis arcs, this arc felt like it was the most dull arc in his run.

This issue is pretty dull, it just recaps everything we know from the last arc, DD himself doesn't bother to appear and it is just FBI agents talking. Really this could have been a sub plot in an issue, rather then the main story of the issue.


The cliff hanger was cool though, this comic is starting to show its age though, if it was written now, Foggy would just look at his phone and see that Matt's cover was blown.

I am going to give this 2 and a half stars for being lackluster, some of the dialogue bumps up the story, but this issue is pretty mediocre.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil Vol. 2 #33 - The Secret is Out



Quote:
Foggy and Matt desperately try to figure out what to do now that Matt's secret ID is known to the world.


Due 11/26
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james castle
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Joined: 30 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been a while since I participated in a Book Club too but this one might be fun. It's also been a while since I read these issues and I've never thought about them in terms of plot so it might be fun to break down. I'm an issue behind so here's my late plot break down for 32:

Out Part 1: Plot Break Down

1. Agent Driver, some other agent whose name I can't find and Mr. Davis review the evidence that Matt Murder is Daredevil in light of Silke telling them that he heard third hand that Matt is Daredevil. [NOTE: the vast, vast majority of this evidence has been available to the FBI for ages Silke or no Silke. ALSO NOTE: All the "clever" things that Bendis...I mean the FBI agents...point out are just examples of Bendis pretending the usual suspension of disbelief that is applied to superhero comics doesn't exist. It's as clever as having a character say "but Clark Kent looks JUST LIKE Superman without the glasses!"]

2. Mr. Davis tells them not to tell anyone.

3. It's on the front cover of the next days News and Foggy is like OMG.

Everyone should go read the first THREE PAGES of Born Again and compare and contrast.
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been several years since I read this issue, but I'm guessing most of us are familiar with how this story goes. Because those of us in the Book Club have been re-reading various stories, I am finding some things strange.

When Matt wakes up aware of the media camped out in front of his home, he thinks to himself, "My life is over." That seems very melodramatic to me, considering the reference to the events in "Playing To The Camera" later this same issue. It turns out that Bendis, along with editor Stuart Moore, were aware of that story, which puzzles me that they chose to run with this story so soon after. Matt even says, "Oh Foggy... How could this have happened?" He's a grown man and a superhero. We all know that this wasn't his first secret identity crisis. I don't know why Bendis and company are treating this as such a life-shattering event. Sure, it sucks, but Foggy and Matt are acting like someone died.

Foggy is acting more adult than Matt here. He actually suggests a strategy of denial. I guess, based on his assessment regarding "Playing To The Camera," that's their only option. However, the Globe did actually print the truth, but, I guess we'll deal more with that later.

The two FBI agents have very similar speech patterns in this issue, and Alex Maleev even draws them similarly. That caused confusion for me this issue.

The two pages devoted to Henry and Sherry at seven in the morning told us precious little about their relationship. They seem to be living together, but don't see each other very often. Does she not trust him? Maybe he cheated on her in the past? They seem to have money problems. If they do, how bad is it? Is she going to leave him? We don't know, but it's suggested. But that was two pages to find out as little as we did. Henry seemed to conclude that he needed money. How much? We don't know. Later on we don't find out how much money the Globe offered for the story.

You'd think someone as intelligent as Black Widow would know better than to show up in costume landing on the rooftop given Matt's media problems. Why wouldn't she show up in plain clothes? It's not good for a story when the characters in it act dumb. Natasha's smarter than that, but Bendis needed Henry's suspicions confirmed.

Foggy was cool enough in that last exchange, but there some awkward dialogue moments. Foggy asks Matt, "So, what are you going to do?" Matt wails back, "Oh Foggy, no!" That reaction didn't make sense to me, or to Foggy. He asks, "What?" "This-- this is my cross to--" Matt replies. It still didn't make sense to me. It would have made more sense if Foggy had asked, "So, what are we going to do about it?" But he didn't. Foggy said "you." Also, Foggy has to realize that the Globe printed the truth, so it seems overly vindictive to talk about suing "everyone in sight until their heads spin off the top of their bodies. We're going to own that dishrag of a paper." He argues that what they printed wasn't newsworthy, but I can honestly see how other people within the universe would disagree, especially because of the events in "Playing To The Camera." Foggy positions the Globe to be the villain here, but I think that's unfair

All of Bendis' bad habits about which I regularly complain are present here: multiple pages used for a scene that could easily fit on one. I absolutely hate it when he has twenty or so speech bubbles crowding a panel saying the same thing, as he does here in the media scrum. It's so annoying, and less bubbles could have accomplished the same thing.

And the cliffhanger, with Foggy recommending that Matt retire the Daredevil identity is weak. First of all, none of us think that Matt would actually do that. Secondly, Foggy's speech leading up to that line is divided up among five panels on that final page. In the third last panel, he actually says, "A big frickin' neon sign. And it says it's time to just put the costume away once and for all." So when we get to the final line two panels later, there is no impact. It's weak.

I have read worse from Bendis and Maleev, but this is pretty annoying. I give this issue 2.5 out of 5.


Last edited by Dimetre on Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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james castle
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dimetre wrote:
They seem to have money problems. If they do, how bad is it? Is she going to leave him? We don't know, but it's suggested. But that was two pages to find out as little as we did. Henry seemed to conclude that he needed money. How much? We don't know. Later on we don't find out how much money the Globe offered for the story.


Why would have the Globe offered him any money? The "story" he gave them was completely worthless. The story that eventually came out quoted anonymous sources so what was the worth of the agent's input?

Agent: I have a story for you.
Globe: Great. What is it?
Agent: Matt Murdock is Daredevil.
Globe: Wow! That's front page. What evidence do you have?
Agent: None.
Globe: But we can quote you?
Agent: No.
Globe: Okay. Well. Can we quote anyone?
Agent: No.
Globe: So all we can say is that someone says that Matt Murdock is Daredevil?
Agent: I guess so.
Globe: You realize that lots of people said Matt Murdock was Daredevil, like, last month. It was proven to be false.
Agent: Yeah. Anyway, how much are you going to pay me for this rumour that can't be proved?
Globe: Not a lot.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The focus on this story seems to be the art. At least, that's what it seems when you have pages without any dialogue. This issue focuses on the adventures of Henry the FBI Agent. Actually, it may sound like I'm being sarcastic, but I appreciate that Bendis takes the time to hint who he is and why he might do what he's doing. It's a monumental moment, so it's important it doesn't come from a complete stranger. We see that he thought the FBI would do something with this and was wrong. We see that he makes stupid bets like this. We see he's having marital issues with his wife (with hints of a possible affair), but the bigger issue is money issues (so stupid bets like that aren't the best idea). After all that, he makes the decision to sell out Daredevil.

The remaining issue is whether Matt should come clean. Foggy's right that his life as a lawyer is over - and that's the best case scenario. I could have watched Foggy and Matt talk for another five pages. Unfortunately, mid-dilemma, the issue just kinda ends. I get the cliffhanger is Foggy telling Matt to retire, but Foggy being a wet blanket is nothing new and there's nothing really in the way that moment is delivered that makes me believe he's going to retire. I'm sure the last time I read this, I read on to the next issue right away. It's only the Book Club that's causing me to stop here.

Three Stars. If it wasn't for the abrupt ending and the massive amount of what feel like wasted pages, I'd give it higher.

Dimetre wrote:

Foggy is acting more adult than Matt here. He actually suggests a strategy of denial. I guess, based on his assessment regarding "Playing To The Camera," that's their only option. However, the Globe did actually print the truth, but, I guess we'll deal more with that later.


Honestly, I thought this issue and next issue (and maybe the one after that) were all one issue in my memory. I certainly thought they explored more about the ethics than they did right there.

Quote:
The two FBI agents have very similar speech patterns in this issue, and Alex Maleev even draws them similarly. That caused confusion for me this issue.


Yeah, I wanted to try and make some profound point about Henry, but I had to read those pages about three times before I felt confident enough to write it. They're far too similar looking. I wish they had different ties or something.
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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