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DD Book Club: Daredevil vs. Punisher
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:35 am    Post subject: DD Book Club: Daredevil vs. Punisher Reply with quote

Daredevil vs. Punisher: Means and Ends

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It’s wall-to-wall David Lapham (Stray Bullets) as the Eisner Award-winner and indy sensation writes, pencils and inks two of Marvel’s biggest icons! Daredevil and the Punisher vie for the soul of Hell’s Kitchen as half the East Coast’s underworld — in chaos since Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, was deposed—scramble for a shot at the big chair. And as the city descends into chaos—as murder and intimidation become the staples of the day—Daredevil and the Punisher each seek to restore order in their own unique way. For Daredevil—who’s anointed himself the city’s new “Kingpin”—this means dispensing justice at the end of a billy club. But for the Punisher, justice at the end of a billy club isn’t justice at all. For the Punisher, justice for these animals is at the end of a shotgun. Featuring more Marvel villains than you can shake a stick at—including Hammerhead and the return of the nefarious...Jackal!


Based on the suggestions, I figured this was a good one to do next. We just had Frank Miller's take on Punisher, it made sense to keep that theme going with a different take. Based on that synopsis, this takes place during Bendis's run so spoilers for the unlucky few who haven't read that far and don't know what happened. I know nothing about David Lapham and don't know what to expect. So here we go:

Daredevil vs. Punisher #1: Good Deeds, Bad Deeds



Due 4/11
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this mini-series tended to focus more on the Punisher, but it contained some good Daredevil moments. David Lapham wrote pencilled and inked this entire series, so you're getting a single man's vision here.

The fight scenes are pretty good, and you can tell Lapham respects both of these characters. Frank knows that Daredevil is a better fighter than he is, but he banks on his own resilience to outlast him. There is one panel in which I can't tell how Matt knocked Frank to the floor, but that's one out of many good ones.

I think Lapham has a good handle on the rivalry between these two characters, and gets to the essense of Matt's conflict with the Punisher.
Quote:
He hates him. Hates him with every fiber of his being. Hates him for being the antithesis of what Battlin' Jack Murdock's son has built his whole life on. Hates him for using a sob story as an excuse to turn Hell's Kitchen into his personal war zone. But mostly he hates him for making him defend the lowest scum of the city. For making him feel dirty.

Most of this issue is from Frank's point of view. It's very cool to see how much Matt perplexes him.

Although I'm not a fan of The Punisher, he works well as a foil for Daredevil. There's not a lot of Daredevil in this issue, but you can tell this story is leading up to something good. I give this issue a 3.5 out of 5.

By the time this issue came out, I was taking a break from buying Daredevil, because I wasn't enjoying Bendis's interminable pacing. This series moved at a good clip, and the characterization's were true to what fans expected. Fans of this rivalry should definitely read this series.


Last edited by Dimetre on Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember reading this mini series when it came out and was I reading Punisher Max at the same time and I think I greatly prefer the Max version of Punsiher to the 616 version.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here we go. Dardevil v. Punisher. As a side note, I'm writing versus as "v." It's how lawyers do it and it saves a whole letter, so it's really important in a review like this where there's nothing wasted in what I write. Except pretty much everything I've written so far. Starting off, I have to say I have no idea what to expect. It could be a beat em up or it could have more significant themes.

It starts off with a gruff opening. If this were Joe Quesada, that opening would be coming out of Matt Murdock's mouth. Here, it's much more appropriately said by Frank Castle. Love the near fullpage spread on the title page with the Punisher in the corner leaning against the wall with a gun in his hand looking out the window (oh yeah, with the dead guy on the ground). The fight scene was pretty cool and a good start. I like a good action scene, I just don't want six issues of exactly that. I loved the clashes in style with the Punisher shooting away and Daredevil acrobatically dodging it. There's a cool callback to childsplay as the junkie kid attacks Frank Castle with a knife. They used the same smoke coming out of his mouth look. Of course, this kid gets his neck snapped because Daredevil's not around to save them.

The clash in narratives is interesting. A bit weird that Punisher is first person, while Daredevil is third person. But the focus on Punisher is good since I don't know much beyond the background. The flashback to his family with these diner owners is pretty good. But it shows that a lot of what's going on with the Punisher is in his own mind. It's not so much a belief or a creed, but insanity driving him. Clearly the Punisher is the main character, but I think that works.

I'll give it Four Stars. It's a promising start. Curious to see where it goes from here.
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Naked Bat
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like this story. The pacing is great, there are some interesting sub stories, the action scenes are really intense too. The most inetresting part though, is the characterization, and how Lapham explore the antagonism by using frank's voice. and it really works.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I don't post this now, I'm going to completely forget to. Some kind of moving picture internet thing is distracting me right now.

Daredevil vs. Punisher #2: The Big Squeeze



Due 4/18
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part two. I just finished watching the Netflix series, which was awesome. I'll try not to let that cloud my judgment. It is a different medium, after all.

It starts off quite violent. The kind of unnecessary violence that seems to justify someone like the Punisher returning the favor. On the other hand, perhaps the Punisher is responsible for this escalation in violence (they said it was milder until he killed so many). The meeting of the gangsters is typical gangster stuff. I'm not expecting Coppola, but Bendis is miles ahead of this. Not sure the Jackal appeals to me. I'll give it a chance, but we'll see.

The setup is interesting for Daredevil. Either he has to help the Punisher or he has to help Hammerhead. He's trying to be a tough guy and his skills help him a long way, but it doesn't seem like he's going to accomplish everything alone. Frankly, I have no idea what happened in the last two panels. I've stared at it for like five minutes, but I just don't get it.

Overall, it's a serviceable part two, but nothing special. Three Stars.
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed Daredevil's confrontation with Hammerhead, and how unrelenting he was.

Otherwise, I don't think this issue moved the proceedings forward that much. I'm also wondering why Lapham is so hellbent on making the Jackal look like the Grinch.

Punisher's gunfight in the subway didn't lead to much, and you can predict how the plot with Martin is going to end.

You'll find out what the final two panels are in the next issue, but, yes, it's a frustrating image on which to end.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil vs. Punisher #3: Victory, Now!



Due 4/25
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this issue is stronger than the previous one. There is more Daredevil than ever in this one.

Again, I think Lapham has a strong handle on what makes both Daredevil and the Punisher work as characters. It is a curious choice to write Punisher's narration in the first person, while writing Daredevil's in third person, but it works. I'd be curious to find out why he did so.

It's good that points out in the first panel that Daredevil "should have heard the man in the hall." Nevertheless, I think Daredevil would have heard him, making it impossible for Bushwacker to take him by surprise. I like how Lapham ramped up Bushwacker as a threat. He's pretty bad-ass in this issue. It makes you wonder why he hasn't appeared that often since. I don't know whether Lapham's assertion that Bushwacker is a mutant has stuck around as Marvel gospel, but it makes sense to me.

I like how Daredevil is the only one here who shows concern for the safety of civilians. His appearance at Jimmy Sweets' bedside was well done. Daredevil is really on top of everything in this series, and the final panel promises a lot in the next issue. This was a good one.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy crap, that's a dark start. Very detailed in its description, I like that it didn't hold back. Intense use of Bushwacker. I always thought he was a cool villain invented by Noccenti. Felt like he needed to be used more. He's certainly relatively simple (he's a guy with a robotic gun hand), but the opening proves he can pack a puch when you just need a bad guy to inflict pain. The fight itself is pretty cool. I like that the Punisher isn't portrayed as a hero, he's just a man on a mission. Daredevil is out there trying to save the day, save the people, etc. When Punisher fights, there's collateral damage.

I like the story of the kid with the gun this week. It seemed a little less cliche this time. Still, while he comes off as a hero here, I'm sure it'll come spiraling down. It's gritty New York city. Guns rarely end well.

The second Bushwacker fight is interesting for the revelation. Like I said, I read his original appearances with Noccenti. In the first issue, he was being hunted by Wolverine because he was killing mutants. The idea that he is a mutant is an interesting twist. Didn't make much of a difference to the issue, but it added a cool moment. The ending was cool too. Daredevil was successful, saved the day, got the entire organization arrested. But, of course, that's not good enough for Frank Castle.

Overall, this issue was a vast improvement. It's an intense, action-heavy issue, but it benefitted from being quite dark this time (but handling it fairly maturely). The two styles of the characters are contrasted quite well this time. It's still from the Punisher's viewpoint, but Daredevil still comes off as the one who is clearly right. I'm going to give it Four Stars.
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its been a while since I read this comic, I read it when it first came out, but I have to say I don't like this take on Bushwacker and I will tell you why.

I prefer the crazy, religious nut Bushwacker who has this insane moral code that only makes sense to him, the Bushwacker in this story is just another murder happy psychopath. Personality wise, I don't see difference between this Bushwacker and Bullseye, that makes Bushwacker is less unique as a member of DD's rogues gallery. Sure Bushwacker in this story is threatening, but he is not very unique with this characterization.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly, I never saw anything with Bushwacker in Noccenti's run that came off as a religious nut. For the most part, he was just a contract for hire.

As far as differing from Bullseye, he's got a machine gun flamethrower hand. I think that's the difference Wink
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:
Frankly, I never saw anything with Bushwacker in Noccenti's run that came off as a religious nut. For the most part, he was just a contract for hire.


I think with comic book characters, they can be more fleshed out by future writers, that is what Miller did with Kingpin and Bullseye. I think Bushwacker was a good concept when created by Nocenti, but he was more fleshed out in some of the Punisher issues and Daredevil Annual 4. I think DD annual 4 is his best story, IMO.

Now I understand why Bushwacker is characterized this way in this story, its not his story, he is more of a plot device then anything else. That is fine for this story, but I don't think this rather simplified characterization is good for the character on a long term basis. Bushwacker even mentions his past characterization in this story, saying he is no longer anti mutant or a holy roller. I think if he ever got another character spot light story in the main DD title, I would focus on the religious fundamentalist aspect of the character, just because I think that make him unique among DD's villains, rather then being another Psycho for Hire.

Mike Murdock wrote:

As far as differing from Bullseye, he's got a machine gun flamethrower hand. I think that's the difference Wink


I get the joke, but really I think its better if more comic book writers focused less on a villain's gimmick and more on making them unique characters. Bullseye is already a murder happy psychopath, Mr. Fear and Purple Man are pretty well just as bad he is, but have their own vile crimes as serial rapists, so it would be interesting for me to see DD fight a villain who thinks he is doing the right thing, but as a really flawed moral code that he is adhering to.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil vs. Punisher #4: Over the Line



Due 5/2
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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!
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