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DD Book Club - The Micah Synn Saga
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Mike Murdock
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:08 am    Post subject: DD Book Club - The Micah Synn Saga Reply with quote

I've wanted to do this story for awhile, particularly because I like Denny O'Neil's work, but felt hampered for a couple of reasons. For one, this is not collected in trade. You'll have to find the issues if you want to jump in. Second, it's not a consecutive story. Part of me wants to include the issues in between because I wonder if it's deliberate. Certainly, there are tangents with the Gael and Hydra that show the passage of time, which is necessary for Micah Synn to learn about our world. On the other hand, there are also a crap ton of fill-ins, particularly the ones by Harlan Ellison that I enjoyed quite a bit. But I digress. The specific issues we are covering are 202, 204, 206, and 210-214. If you haven't had a chance to collect them or only have some of them, feel free to jump in where you can.

Daredevil Vol. 1 #202 - Savages



Quote:
Micah Synn arrives in New York.


BTW, you all can review the assistant editor backup story if you want to, but I'm sure as hell not.

Due 12/16
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been looking forward to covering this story.

I have to start off with the cover. What was "Assistant Editor's Month"? Well, according to the World Wide Web, it was a stunt cooked up by Marvel's then Editor-in-Chief Jim, Shooter and his sideman Mike Carlin. To coincide with 1984's San Diego Comic Convention, it was said that the main editors of Marvel's titles were at the convention, leaving the assistants to take over for a single month, making that month's issues just a little bit off.

In Daredevil's case, we get Foggy in the upper left-hand corner instead of our titular hero, along with Pop Art Productions under his name, apparently hearkening back to a brief period in the mid 60s when the company was trying to brand itself as "Marvel Pop Art Productions," possibly in an effort to tie itself in with the hipness of the art movement led by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. It was a period that lasted just four issues due to a widespread outcry from fans, and they've been known as the Marvel Comics Group ever since. Where the universal product code would be, we have text reading "Warning: Surgeons Have Generally Determined That Assistant Editor's Month Is Dangerous to Your Health." In this issue's credits, editor Bob Budiansky's name is crossed out, replaced with Michael Higgins. In reality, Budiansky likely edited this issue.

The real contribution that Assistant Editor's Month made to this issue was the back-up feature written by Carlin and pencilled by Luke McDonnell. It reads like something out of Not Brand Ecch, but it's amusing enough. A dumb kid pretending to by "Daringdevil" is giving a lame show-and-tell about his crime-fighting exploits, when suddenly Turk crashes through the classroom window followed by Daredevil who retrieves him and swings away. It's a goofy bonus story.

Now, for the main feature.

The first thing I noticed when I opened up the book was William Johnson's art. His pencils, combined with Danny Bulanadi's inks, are much cleaner than Klaus Janson's towards the end of his run. The most distinctive thing about Johnson's work, to me, were the insane length of everyone's legs. It seems that two-thirds of everyone's height is taken up by leg.

Foggy acts like a jerk towards Matt in this issue, putting his name on the door in much larger type than his partner's. I guess, by the time of Heather's death in a dozen or so issues, it would be Matt's turn. I can't remember the exact reason given for the friction between Foggy and Matt during O'Neil's run. I don't think it was expicitly stated to be Foggy and Natasha's deception leading to Matt and Heather's breakup.

I like the background given for the Kinjorge tribe. I like that they're not native to Africa, but are descended from abandoned British explorers who reverted to savagery. It's an excellent backstory for a villain, from the writer who brought us Ra'as Al Ghul. I can understand how the discovery of the Kinjorge would fascinate people the world over. I liked how Becky was the first in the office to recognize that something was wrong with them. It's possible that Matt noticed the women were laughing, but didn't understand why. Becky's assertion that the Kinjorge found Becky and Matt's disabilities to be a source of derision let's us in on the ruthlessness and cruel nature of the Kinjorge's existence.

In a few pages, after Micah Synn beats up the owner of a fruit stand and is subdued by police, we're treated to female onlookers saying the following

Quote:
Woman 1: I don't usually go for the brute type... but for him I'd make an exception.

Woman 2: He can brutalize me any old time he wants.

These lines could be dismissed for being written by men writing for a mostly male audience. I would be inclined to agree with that... had I not heard actual real-life women say almost the exact same things about Chris Brown after he beat up Rihanna. It's just a fact of life -- there are people out there who will overlook bad behaviour if the perpetrator is hot enough.

Things get worse when one of Micah's wives is hit by a car, and Daredevil detects no reaction from the Kinjorge chief. In fact, Johnson depicts Micah and his surviving wife grinning. Once the wife dies, Micah savagely dangles a policeman out a hospital window. Daredevil comes to the cops rescue, but has difficulty subduing Micah.

This is a story of a culture clash. The Kinjorge are an "uncivilized" tribe, focused primarily on survival. As Professor Piper put it,:

Quote:
These people came from a hard, savage land. For centuries, their very survival has depended on a certain ruthlessness... on taking what they need and exploiting the weakness of others.


There is a certain implausibility about that. It had been a little over 200 years between the British expedition to East Africa and the discovery of the Kinjorge. Is that enough time for the cultural influence of 18th century England to vanish and a tribe of savages to arise? It might if the original explorers collectively chose to go savage. But what we have with Micah is someone who places no value on anyone's life other than his own, an alpha dog only too willing to assert his dominance over everyone else. That's what it took to become chief over his tribe in Africa, and that's what he'll do in New York.

I admit, I found it odd that Daredevil found Micah so hard to beat up when an ordinary cop did it early in the issue, however that cop sprayed him with mace. That obviously disoriented Synn, who was obviously unprepared of the impact of the butt of the cop's gun. Similarly, Synn was unprepared for electrocution, but Daredevil showed skill in this fight, while demonstrating how tough Micah Synn is.

Synn is a compelling antagonist, and even though I have read these issues before, I'm looking forward to the next one. I give this issue a four out of five.


Last edited by Dimetre on Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In many ways, this issue feels like a welcome return to form. Daredevil is jumping free through New York, going to Nelson and Murdock to meet with a new client. This story had followed one where Matt was in Japan, so there's a wonderful sense of normalcy. The new client is Micah Synn. The premise is a bit strange, but still fascinating. I can't say Denny O'Neil is the world's greatest anthropologist, but there's a lot of fun to be had. Even in the initial exposition, it's clear groundwork is being laid. The idea that they reverted to savagery, they had to defend themselves from hostile outsiders, they have a god named Mow, and how they seemed to be laughing at Matt and Becky are all introduced in a short space. Even if that weren't the case, the way William Johnson draws Micah Synn stands out. He is tall and imposing and seems to show strength with flawless ease.

The Foggy/Deborah thing is toxic and this is pretty much the start of it. Foggy is betraying his friendship with Matt by making his name bigger. The act itself isn't bigger than petty, but it's the pettiness that stings so much. Foggy's certainly less likable with a mustache. But, as much as Foggy is the focalpoint, it's clear that it's his Lady Macbeth that is being blamed. Honestly, I'm a little uncomfortable with how women are generally treated in O'Neil's run. I had a lot of qualms with Heather and her attitude before death, but it was fine - after all, everyone is complex and that includes Heather. Debbie being so manipulative with her husband concerns me since it feels out of character (to the extent she ever had a character). Leaving her aside, I definitely cringed when the women on the street saw Micah and went "he can brutalize me any time he wants." Once again, that alone is fine and not unrealistic. It's just cumulatively that things start to bother me.

The morality of law and punishment when it comes to someone like Micah is fascinating in this issue. They go to great lengths to make us sympathize with his behavior. Even the officer who subdued him feels kind of guilty about it. But it's almost impossible to do so. Even if we understand where he came from, he comes off as a complete threat from beginning to end in this story. After all, when the officer apologizes to him and is kind to him, he can only think of revenge for earlier.

The fight at the end was quick, but you still get the sense that Daredevil got lucky. In that sense, the issue does a great job of setting things up for the conflict to come - and you know it'll come.

Four and a Half Stars. I enjoy the setup of this story quite a bit. It's easy to think of this story as silly, but everything is handled at face value in a way that's believable. Really, it's just the Foggy parts that bother me.


Dimetre wrote:

The first thing I noticed when I opened up the book was William Johnson's art. His pencils, combined with Danny Bulanadi's inks, are much cleaner than Klaus Janson's towards the end of his run.


I liked Johnson's work a lot when he took over for Janson. To be honest, Janson felt like he was slipping compared to when he had Frank Miller's thumbnails to work with. William Johnson's work was very clean but still interesting - particularly during the Japan arc.
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:
Honestly, I'm a little uncomfortable with how women are generally treated in O'Neil's run. I had a lot of qualms with Heather and her attitude before death, but it was fine - after all, everyone is complex and that includes Heather. Debbie being so manipulative with her husband concerns me since it feels out of character (to the extent she ever had a character). Leaving her aside, I definitely cringed when the women on the street saw Micah and went "he can brutalize me any time he wants." Once again, that alone is fine and not unrealistic. It's just cumulatively that things start to bother me.

That's an interesting thing to bring up. I'm not sure I agree with you when it comes to O'Neil's Daredevil run. As you said, Deborah didn't really have much of a character, so to make her manipulative and disloyal is better than nothing, I suppose. I think Becky continued to be a well-drawn character -- when she did show up. Glorianna was okay. Natasha was a force with which to be reckoned, but sometimes Matt had to rescue her -- O'Neil was far from the first writer to use Natasha that way. I suppose we can include Heather Glenn in our "fridging" list, but we've already discussed how her character was weak already.

Perhaps Denny O'Neil, who I consider to be an excellent writer, is merely guilty of not knowing what a female audience would like, or what to do with female characters, and I hardly think he was alone amongst comic book writers at the time. He is widely criticized for being the writer of the mod-era Wonder Woman, when Diana gave away her powers for Steve Trevor, and worked in fashion. O'Neil thought he was making Diana more relatable by making her more street-level, when nowadays Wonder Woman fans look back on that era and see Diana being disempowered.

Anyway, I cringe more when I read Stan Lee and Gerry Conway-era Daredevil than O'Neil. On a positive note, I think current writers have, for the most part, learned and are writing better women characters.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil Vol. 1 #204 - Vengeance of the Victim



I don't know if anyone knows how to find old solicits because I couldn't find one for this, unfortunately.

Due 12/23
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And the situation with Micah Synn just gets more and more complicated. This issue opens with New York City in full Kinjorge-mania. Daredevil saves Micah and his wife's lives from an assassin named Crossbow, who was hired by a distant relative of the Kinjorge chief.

I'm really enjoying the way this story is developing and the way it's paced. It feels like a classic Batman caper, which shouldn't be too surprising since this is written by Denny O'Neil.

William Johnston has been replaced by Luke McDonnell on pencils, and I think that was a positive move. Not only people's legs a more reasonable length, but he and inker Danny Bulandi seem to be an excellent match. I'm reading an old newsprint copy, but it's amazing how clean and crisp some of the images are, especially close-up images of peopel's faces. If David Mazzucchelli weren't coming to the title soon, I'd say it was a shame that McDonnell didn't last longer on Daredevil.

The only nitpicks I have are that I don't know if two people are able to fit underneath a 1984-era New York City subway train. McDonnell's panel showing Micah falling backward and knocking his wife onto the subway tracks was from a confusing perspective, making me think Micah (mistakenly) was knocked onto the tracks as well.

Crossbow isn't a very threatening assassin, and at no time was I worried for Daredevil's safety around him. Having said that, and even though he's featured prominently on this issue's cover, he is not the main antagonist. He is there to make our hero's job harder, and is another fly in the ointment.

The only other thing is that Tony Stark's alcoholism seems, to me, to be played for laughs. This issue came five years after "Demon In A Bottle." Was Tony not sworn off alcohol at this point?

As for Debbie Nelson's increasing unlikeability, I would have a problem with it if she were a strong character before this. Can anyone tell me anything about Debbie before this story? Probably just that she loved Foggy and she used to work for the Organizer. At least her eagerness to assume her place in high society is a character trait. As for returning Micah's embrace, she seems as surprised at her behaviour as anyone else would be. I don't think she expected to be as swept up by the moment as she was.

Again, I am liking where this story is going. I'm giving this issue a 4.5 out of 5.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This issue starts a bit slow with some exposition trying to get people up to speed on the Kinjorge. In addition to the idea that every issue could be a first, there was a different story last issue so some fill in is probably appreciated. Still, it's not overly exciting. There's some more Deborah and her self-absorbed personality, which seems important to remind people of given the whole thing with the door last time. Still, things pick up pretty quickly when a guy in a medeival hood with a crossbow shoots at Micah and Daredevil has to dive under a train to rescue Micah's wife. It's a good thing he was shirking his responsibilities as Matt Murdock or else he couldn't have done that.

I have to say, in spite myself, I love Crossbow. He's nonsensical, but I like that he sticks to his gimmick. He doesn't like the modern world, so he'll hire himself out to anyone who will let him use an ancient weapon. Later on, there's a lovely subtle entendre with "I shot me bolt, if you don't mind a joke." Denny O'Neil's accent for him is hard to place. I keep thinking he has to be British, but things like "Laddybuck" make me think he's Irish. However, Lord Barrington Synn's British fop is delightful and even without any phonetic spelling just leaps off the page. Credit to Luke McDonnell as well. The way he draws him cringing from a hit that never comes is great.

I said there's a lot on Debbie's character, which is frankly terrible, particularly about Matt. Matt was best man at their wedding, if I'm remembering correctly. She may have been kidnapped for a good chunk of the time, but this still feels weird. The kiss between Micah and Debbie is oddly cut short and not followed up on in a way that makes it unclear the context of it. That seems significant enough to warrant more attention. On the other hand, I love the party because we get drunk Tony Stark (with his beard, he's a bit easy to confuse for Micah). He blatantly blabs that he's a superhero and nearly gets Matt killed for his drunken efforts.

I know my criticisms are going to continue with Debbie. I apologize if I'll sound like a broken record. She got a lot more time here. I also thought some of the slow moments in the beginning weren't as exciting. Four Stars.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merry Christmas everyone. This is a well-timed story, almost like I planned it this way...

Daredevil Vol. 1 #206 - Every Good and Perfect Gift



Quote:
Micah crashes Matt's Christmas party and The Kingpin helps Daredevil keep the savage from abducting Foggy's wife.


Due 12/30
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, this is an historic issue -- David Mazzucchelli's debut as Daredevil artist. As I've typed before, Mazzucchelli is my favourite ever artist in Daredevil history, so I was curious to leaf through this one and see what it was like.

The first thing I noticed was the length of Matt's arms and legs. I'm not sure if this was Marvel policy at the time, but I get the impression that perhaps a new penciller was instructed to copy the style of the preceding artist. William Johnston did draw insanely long legs on people, so I felt that he was influencing the way Mazzucchelli was drawing somewhat. I could be way off, but whatever. At any rate, I think we're seeing classic Mazzucchelli by issue's end.

Daredevil's beating of the guy who stole Becky's Christmas present to her mother was a think of beauty, but I have to ask, if a switchblade is folded up in a guy's pocket, do you actually think Daredevil can tell that it's blade is six inches with a mother-of-pearl handle and a bit of rust on the spring? At best I think Daredevil could detect the shape of the weapon in the guy's pocket and infer that it's a switchblade, but I don't think he could get that amount of detail. That kind of took me out of it, but only for a second.

Dr. Horatio Piper tells a reporter that the Kingorge tribe (in previous issues they were the Kinjorge) are descendants of British explorers who were lost in Africa in the sixteenth century. In issue #201 they were said to have gone to Africa shortly before the American Revolution. It's kind of quick to switch up the details this much. Writer Denny O'Neil is only human I realize, but it's editor Bob Budiansky's job to catch such mistakes and correct them, no matter how small.

Micah Synn takes a meeting with the Kingpin. Debbie knocks on the door and Kingpin hides in the bedroom. Obviously Debbie is conflicted about her feelings towards the Kingorge chief. He made out with her in this story's previous installment, and she took part in that, but she felt guilty afterward. Here, again, the brute takes hold of her and pushes his lips onto hers, and after trying to refuse him, he does it again, and she succumbs. That's when Fisk comes out of hiding and suggests to Debbie that she leave. He then scolds Micah Synn, saying, "The Kingpin has rules -- rules which you would do well to memorize. Among these rules is one stipulating that we do not touch another man's wife, for any reason -- ever."

That's strangely honourable for the Kingpin. Perhaps his enforcement of this rule is due to everything he's been through with Vanessa up to this point. Also strange is Debbie's lack of surprise at seeing Wilson Fisk with Micah Synn. She doesn't even bring it up to Foggy later on. I can excuse that due to her confusion and distress. She also seems embarrassed, which, as to my understanding, is common after sexual assault.

The Kingorge are such brutish, animalistic jerks. They taunt anyone weaker than they are, and feel entitled to grab anything they want, whether it be food or people. Reading this, anyone would want to see this group of people get their comeuppance. You know Matt is going to come through and save his friends, and, consequently, Christmas. (I love the way this worked out. I'm reviewing this issue on Christmas Eve!)

How did Matt know that knocking over the Christmas tree would short out the electricity? I didn't buy that. Oh well, it sets up some beautiful Mazzucchelli action.

It's surprising how much faster and stronger Micah Synn is than his Kingorge underlings. He manages to lift up Daredevil with one hand, and it doesn't even look like he's struggling. That's almost super-human. I guess that's why he's the tribe's chief, and what makes him a compelling antagonist, but I don't think Matt's ever had this amount of trouble against someone without super-powers (except for Bullseye.)

Fisk, it turns out, was following Synn, and is clearly disgusted by his behaviour. Before Micah can tear Matt apart limb from limb, the Kingpin surprises the chief with a fist to the gut. The only thing Fisk is offended by is Synn's treatment of Debbie. Daredevil quickly springs into action and delivers six savage blows to Micah Synn's gut and chin.

Daredevil says to Fisk that he supposes he owes him and Fisk replies that it's a Christmas gift. Debbie shows more concern for Micah Synn than her own husband, and we're left with an uneasy feeling by this issue's end. Something is clearly wrong with Debbie's behaviour.

Sexual assault has been in the news a lot lately, and there is a lot more awareness and sensitivity towards it than there was in 1984. Would a brute like Micah force himself on a woman he found attractive? Yes. Is it wrong? Yes. It was established early on in this story that a lot of women found Micah hot. Obviously Debbie was one of these women, and Micah took her by surprise. I think her reaction to his unwelcome assault surprised her, and she was ashamed. She was obviously confused by her feelings, and even went so far to make a present for him after that first encounter. She gives him the present, and he does it again. She makes a weak attempt to refuse him and he repeats his move. Again, what he's doing is wrong. Event the Kingpin knows that! But by this time, Debbie is returning Micah's kiss.

How bad is Debbie's behaviour? I consider Debbie to be a victim of sexual assault. She did nothing to invite Micah's advances. Is she sexually attracted to Micah? I think it's obvious that she is, but I don't think that makes anything Micah is doing okay. Is she being unfaithful to Foggy? I think so, but I don't think she planned anything that has happened. Again, she seems as surprised by her own reactions to everything that's happening as we are. It's obvious that Foggy's marriage to Debbie is in danger, and it's because of something that Micah did to her, and it's nothing that Debbie invited. It's very sad.

At any rate, I think Mazzucchelli's debut on the book is excellent, and obviously this story has got me thinking. I wish Budiansky was a better editor, but I liked this issue. I give it a four out of five.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dimetre wrote:

Daredevil's beating of the guy who stole Becky's Christmas present to her mother was a think of beauty, but I have to ask, if a switchblade is folded up in a guy's pocket, do you actually think Daredevil can tell that it's blade is six inches with a mother-of-pearl handle and a bit of rust on the spring? At best I think Daredevil could detect the shape of the weapon in the guy's pocket and infer that it's a switchblade, but I don't think he could get that amount of detail. That kind of took me out of it, but only for a second.


I was OK with it in this context, but I tend to agree. The radar sense is handled inconsistently, of course, and Dennis O'Neil seems to take the position that it's a more powerful thing. I believe he called it "paranormal waves" before - almost like a magical radar that is physically emitted from his head and the information beamed back. I personally have always taken the position that the radar sense itself is, like Frank Miller described it, reaching out and touching everything all at once. For that, it means the radar sense can't penetrate other objects. For me, I took the position other senses are how he penetrates things - he knows a bomb is behind a wall because he can hear it ticking. In this case, he would know about the knife and its components likely through smell. Given that, I agree the length is the least plausible part. I still liked it, though, because I liked the scene. Maybe he could sense the bulge of his pocket, which let him estimate the length of the blade and, given everything else (the metal, the mother of pearl, etc.), he made an intelligent guess.

Quote:
How did Matt know that knocking over the Christmas tree would short out the electricity? I didn't buy that. Oh well, it sets up some beautiful Mazzucchelli action.


I think that's one of those things you just have to go with. As I'll say in my review, it's very silver age. Ultimately, it furthered the plot, but it's also a bit of false hope. I view it more as a callback to less realistic times than anything else. Of course, a blind man with radiation-enhanced senses is fighting an African tribe of British colonizers who went native, so realism is relative.

OK, my review:

This issue has a very dramatic beginning with a splash page of Becky on the floor reaching out for help. The whole start, with the mugger is very dark. At the end, we find out its Christmas time as well. There's a cool moment of Daredevil showing off his senses. Sometimes he's more discrete with his abilities, other times he shows off. I don't mind him showing off here. It helps when he appears all-knowing. It adds an intimidation factor. David Mazzuchelli draws a great fight scene where the panels and background drop out. Of everything, it is the most Miller-esque thing seen in a long time. I'm sure fans of his run would start to see something familiar there.

We cut back to the Micah Synn storyline. This is issue #206, so there would have been a break last issue (I think it was the Gael storyline). We're reintroduced to the tribe as they comically (but still scarily) run wild to get the food they were given for free. The big thing is Micah Synn upstairs showing how much he has learned while still being absolutely remorseless in taking what he wants. Here, I think the thing with Deborah is more subtly done, with Mazzuchelli showing she's attracted to him, but still doesn't want want he does. Regardless, it makes for a nice reveal as the Kingpin appears. The moral code the Kingpin brings up is an interesting one, but one earned by the Gangwar Story by Frank Miller. The love of his wife is the one thing that trumps all.

The reason I timed this issue this way is because the focus is on Matt's Christmas party. There's a nice little moment between him and Glori that hint of the relationship that will develop. There's an interesting moment where Luke Cage called and said he can't make it (I wonder if Matt's identity had been revealed. I'm not aware of any interaction between them since Paper Chase). Then Micah Synn shows up and things get chaotic. They torture Becky, they Micah grabs for Deborah, etc. Mazzuchelli draws it in a way to emphasize it with croooked, uneven panels (something I don't believe Miller ever did, but I could be wrong). Any attempt to protest or reason with the Kinjorge is met immediately with violence, which emphasizes the terror.

There's a nice old school Matt pretending to stumble while blind moment leading to a fight. At first, he starts winning and you expect it to go how it's gone many times before. Denny O'Neil turns that on its head. In the dark, Micah is still a threat and knocks Matt outside and is about to kill him when the Kingpin shows up. There's a good attempt at using the page layout to its advantage. We just see the fist in a bottom right panel and have to turn the page to reveal who saved him. And with that, there's a set of six panels, each with a different hit from Matt against Micah. This could have been drawn in different ways (such as showing the space between the hits), but the focus on the hits makes it feel so satisfying. It's what you need to see.

There's no clear conclusion here. Even though Matt won again, it seems things will pop up again, but it's unclear whether the Kingpin's involvement is a one-time thing or something ongoing. At a minimum, there's the uneasy tension between the two that pops up. Daredevil still has reason to consider him his greatest enemy, but, at the same time, he ows a clear debt to him. The fact that it's not expressed as one is all the more powerful.

I'm giving this one Five Stars. It may be the art that pushes it over the edge. There's just an energy and edge that wasn't there before, which makes it all the more fun.
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