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DD Book Club: Dark Nights A Man Named Buggit

 
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Mike Murdock
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Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 979

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:25 am    Post subject: DD Book Club: Dark Nights A Man Named Buggit Reply with quote

Thought I would try something different this time after all the darkness that was Elektra: Assassin.

Daredevil: Dark Nights #4 - A Man Named Buggit, Part One: What A Day



Quote:
The Man Without Fear’s life gets a voltage of violence from the Shocker!

Matt Murdock must track a fugitive to protect his innocent client – while New York City and the Avengers must confront some massive monster mayhem!

David Lapham returns to the gritty streets of the Mighty Marvel U in WHAT A DAY, WHAT A NIGHT – part one!


Due 9/16
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Dimetre
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Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 899
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So this is lighter than the material we've been covering recently in Book Club. Dark Nights only had three stories, and this was the second. Looking back, I remember Weeks' being the only good one. I don't know how faulty my memory could be since this issue is less than four years old.

The issue opens with a very concise origin page written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Marcos Martin. It's a nice device to catch up new readers with what makes Daredevil who he is.

Turn the page and we see the credits with a short preamble at the top of the page that tells us who Daredevil is and what his powers are. If you're spending one page on his origin, that makes that preamble redundant.

The story is pretty standard as Daredevil stories go. Matt has taken it upon himself to advise a small time hood with connections to the mafia, because he knows he's innocent. Matt's girlfriend, Kirsten McDuffie is the assistant district attorney, and is telling the hood that if he doesn't strike a deal, perhaps provide them with inside information, he's going to be found guilty of murder of a city councillor. Then a little man, Buggit, steals the murder weapon right out of the district attorney's office, forcing Daredevil to give chase.

This story is written and drawn by Dave Lapham, who also wrote and drew Daredevil vs. Punisher: Means and Ends, a series I enjoyed. While Punisher was front and centre in that story, this was going to dwell on Daredevil, so I had high hopes.

The tone was lighter than I expected, especially following the weighty drama of Weeks' story. But the Shocker was on the cover, and he was always one of my favourite Spidey villains, so I was still optimistic.

It was a little odd seeing almost every woman in this story flirting with Matt, and Matt flirting back. I'm aware that way back when Stan Lee was writing Daredevil, he established how attractive to women Matt was. I guess there's no harm in a little flirtation, and I don't know how committed to Kirsten Matt was at this time.

I was let down with how small Shocker's presence was in this issue. I had no problem with how quickly Daredevil beat him, but I was bothered by how easily Shocker got the jump on him. It should be very difficult for anyone to sneak up on Daredevil, especially someone wearing electrically-charged gauntlets.

But, I suppose, Marvel insisted that Shocker be on the cover instead of Buggit. For the record, Buggit is a character Lapham created for an Iron Fist story (http://www.cbr.com/lapham-brings-unique-take-to-daredevil-dark-nights-adventures-of-superman/). When Buggit shows up in this story, the tone violently changes from noir to wacky. I don't have a problem with wackier Daredevil stories, but it's not as if the scenes with the mobsters manage to ground the entire story. And I can't remember how the gigantic monster fighting Thor, Iron Man and Spidey at the end ties into all this.

It's a little disheartening seeing Buggit get the better of Matt, however this should have been over when Daredevil caught up with him with the flour, since, as I said, Shocker shouldn't have been able to surprise him. What I can't accept is Daredevil having a cel phone conversation while swinging around. That is impossible. He can only do that because of his heightened senses and radar. If his hearing is taken up by a phone call, I'm sure he can't swing around, let alone chase a foot-tall man.

I also found it annoying that the head mobster is named Frank Milo. When Matt and Kirsten are talking at the end about Milo, I forgot that he was the same guy as Frank. I actually had to leaf back through the issue to figure it out. Only then could I figure out what Matt and Kirsten were talking about. Had Lapham simply given Frank a last name that couldn't be confused with a first name, that could have all been avoided.

This issue is okay. It's not great, but it's not bad either. I give it a three out of five.
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Mike Murdock
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Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a big fan of the last Dark Nights story. I haven't heard as much about this one, but I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

This story starts Matt defending a low-level crook who does bad things but wouldn't do this bad thing. That's always my favorite type of story. Even "bad" people deserve a defense because they might be not guilty of this thing. Although, fyi, Burglary and Breaking and Entering are essentially the same thing. This is the Mark Waid era so Matt is advising clients, but not in there with them. In this case, it's a bit more awkward because he clearly needed an attorney in there.

Then the story takes a weird twist with a little man. Really, the whole thing feels farcical with Daredevil chasing a tiny person through the subway, through the street, over buildings, etc. Eventually, the Shocker shows up in a completely wasted cameo given the cover. I guess they wanted to hide the little person because that's a bit misleading.

The whole story is light fluff, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I like the phone conversation to fill Matt in on the backstory. Kirstin who suspects Matt but doesn't officially know is the best Kirstin. By Volume 4, she felt mostly superfluous to the story. The fast pace of the story makes the details she says hard to follow, but I like that different players have their own motivation. The tiny guy isn't necessarily working with the murderer either. However, in spite of the fluffy tone, it ends up taking a dark turn as staying out on bail turns out unhelpful for our low-level crook and his tiny friend.

Three and a Half Stars. This feels like a fun story of the Waid-era, but doesn't have the same substance of one
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Mike Murdock
Child's Play


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And this nice light, inconsequential story wraps up:

Daredevil: Dark Nights #4 - A Man Named Buggit, Part Two: What a Night

[/img]http://www.use.com/images/s_2/35982fbda074bd84c5b9_2.jpg[/img]

Quote:
This stunning exploration into the life of the Man Without Fear continues!

A fugitive on the loose. The evidence Matt Murdock needs to prove his case has gone with him. And there’s a huge, honkin’ monster tearing New York apart. Just another day for Daredevil…

David Lapham writes and draws a race against time!


Due 9/23
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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!
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Dimetre
Ninja


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 899
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So this two-parter turned out better than I remember it being. It's not great, and there are problems, but it's pretty good.

The weakest aspect of this story is the big huge monster the Avengers are fighting. There is no explanation for why it's here. It has precious little to do with Matt's story. The monster forces Matt to save a baby, and it falls on and squashes Frank Milo at the end of the story. That last part is problematic. The monster is so huge that it shouldn't have caught Matt by surprise, especially since he's been around it before. He should at least have heard Iron Man flying close. So there should have been enough time to save more than just Kirsten. But I think Lapham's intention was to have us feeling that Frank got his just desserts.

Matt talks on his cel phone while swinging around again this issue. I still hate that.

I also have no idea why the Shocker would be in bare feet, but he is therefore giving Matt the upper hand. I think we had the same amount of Shocker in this issue as last.

Other than that, I thought everything was strong. I enjoyed how hard Matt was trying to reach out to Buggit. What started out as a wacky character became a tragic figure. Lapham seems to feel that Daredevil's principle of "No one dies," is a core characteristic, and comes through very clearly this issue, and I really enjoyed that.

It's my pleasure to give this story a good grade. This issue and this two-parter both get a 3.5 out of 5 from me.
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Mike Murdock
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Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The story starts off by saying all humor is gone. That this has become deadly serious. Unfortunately, a tiny man with a bomb strapped to his back is very hard to take seriously. It kind of undermines the rest of the story, which seems to have genuine heart. I like that the patsy (I'm terrible with names) mentioned his cousin, but Matt didn't take it in because everyone has a sob story. The rest felt pretty flat with a fairly expected resolution. The only thing unexepcted was how the Shocker played absolutely no role in the conclusion despite appearing again for no reason. The ending itself was also unexpected, I suppose, but left me more confused than anything else. I had to read it a couple times to figure out if the badguy got crushed by the monster. It's just so out of left field.

Normally I write more, but I really don't feel there's much left to write. I didn't think the first half was all that bad, but this feels dull. Three Stars.
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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
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