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DD Book Club: Daredevil/Spider-Man
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:54 pm    Post subject: DD Book Club: Daredevil/Spider-Man Reply with quote

This story has been requested pretty much since the beginning of the book club. The time has finally come for:

Daredevil/Spider-Man #1 - Unusual Suspects



Quote:
The crimelord the Owl is making a play for power yet again. Daredevil meets with his informant in jail, Jack Abbot and tries to warn him to stay away from the expected chaos.


Due 2/27
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Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, here's a surprise. Check out who did the colours -- Matt Milla, the same guy who is currently doing the colours on Daredevil Volume 5! I like what he does in this issue. The streetlights seem to reflect off of Daredevil's outfit, giving it a sheen. That seemed to be a common thing with Marvel Knights books at this time.

I remember being excited for this mini-series at the time. The entirety of "Parts of a Hole" hadn't been released yet, because of Joe Quesada's lateness on art duties. As you can see, Quesada had risen to the role of "Supreme Calculator."

Quesada's tardiness in finishing the art for "Parts of a Hole" proved to be a big problem. Because this issue came out first, readers found out about the Kingpin's condition resulting from Maya Lopez's attack before she had done anything. That must have pissed David Mack off.

I like Phil Winslade's art in this issue, and Milla's colours are vibrant on some pages, and muted on others (almost as muted as they are today.)

I think Paul Jenkins had a very good handle on Matt's senses. His description of them as Matt enters his home and detects Peter's presence couldn't have been done better.

The exchange between Matt and Peter was awkward, simply because of the huge amount of exposition that had to be dropped. Obviously Jenkins and Winslade knew they only had four issues, and couldn't afford to let too many pages be swallowed up for this information. It's a slog, but you get the point: Someone is making a move on the Kingpin's territory.

I think the villains in this story are something special. First, I think the Stilt-Man has never looked more threatening. He's a villain who didn't survive the Silver Age with his reputation intact. Nowadays, whenever he does make an appearance in comics, it's always with a wink, as if the writers want to make it clear that they're in on the joke. But I am of the opinion that any writer can make any villain cool, and this rendition of Stilt-Man, I felt, had a ton of potential. However, the next time we saw Stilt-Man, he showed up in the Bendis run shouting at Matt that he knew he was washed up and he was leaving the game. Potential squandered. I am curious about how other people view Jenkins and Winslade's rendition of Stilt-Man.

Obviously the Gladiator isn't Melvin Potter. I don't know who this guy is. I don't think it ends up mattering too much. It's too bad, because this character feels tossed in.

I don't know too much about Copperhead. (There are a lot of gaps that still need to be filled in my 70s collection of Daredevil comics.) I just remember that he seemed to be other worldly when I first read this.

The villains in this issue seem to know what they're doing. Their leader seems to be someone very twisted and creepy. And the last page of this issue shows that their play on the Kingpin is actually successful.

I think this issue's only weaknesses are the heavy exposition and the generic Gladiator, but other than that, I think this is a very strong opening for the mini-series. I give this a 4 out of 5.
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted kinda late on the last book club entry, so I will post early on this one.

First Dimetre is right, the Gladiator in this story isn't Potter, it is a Gladitor copycat named Wylie Lemmick:

http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix5/gladiatorlemmick.htm

And Dimetre is right again about Lemmick, he is kinda of throwaway bad guy, because he will never match the original. Gladiator's gimmick is kinda generic, its Melvin Potter as a character that makes him compelling, give the basic to another guy and you get a generic villain. I think you could have replaced with any other villain and gotten better results, especially since there are only 4 villains in this group. Also this seems like the first major DD villain team up since Typhoid Mary's group back in the 80s.

I do think this issue is a bit heavy on the exposition, but I think that is necessary. I like the interplay between Spidey and DD, with Spidey being a bit more jokey while Daredevil is a bit more serious, though DD seems be able to dish out, cutting off Spidey's lawyer joke. Those two are always fun to see team up, though this seems more like a DD story then a Spidey one.

Anyway someone is making a play for Kingpin's Empire and while Kingpin is hardly the most sympathetic guy around and his criminal empire is pretty nasty in general, these new players seem to be particularly brutal in how they want to take over, they seemed to killed everyone at an illegal casino and I doubt everyone there was a hardened criminal.

Stilt-Man in particular has acquired a new psychopathic attitude, I don't how this version of Stilt-Man would worked out long term, but this probably one of his best showings. Copperhead is a mystery at the moment, he does seem very different to the more talkative vigilante was back in the 70s, who was somewhat nuts and felt a punishing house cheated his father and wanted revenge on them. But he still retains the creepy calling card of putting pennies on the eyes of his victims after killing them.

With Kingpin's sight gone, you could argue that the various would be crime lords would see this as the time to strike. Spider-Man says someone who would want to replace the Kingpin is either very stupid or very scary and so far they seem pretty scary so far.

One thing that is kinda of silly, is Matt is meeting with a jail house informant about who these new players are and he gives Matt a bunch of other odd and cryptic clues as to who the new player is. That makes this guy seem like he's the Riddler or something, its a bit out there.

I have a pretty good idea who the leader is, its a bit obvious, but I will wait till next issue to talk about him.

Anyway, i have said for years that writers should try to revamp DD's rogues gallery top top bottom, rather then just relying on old standbys like Kingpin, Bullseye, the Hand, Typhoid Mary, etc, so I do like the premise of B-list villains being the main threat here. I will give this issue 4 stars.
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james castle
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this mini available digitally at all? My issue are in my parent's basement collecting dust but I wanna jump back in.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one is sadly not (which is why it took so long to recommend it). March 20 will be two weeks of DD and Punisher that are on Marvel Unlimited. After that, I was thinking End of Days (although I'm still up for suggestions that would tie in with Civil War).

My review:

Spider-Man and Deadpool (I wonder if I should have saved this for a Civil War tie-in), written by Paul Jenkins (who I know from the Marvel Knights Inhumans) and, as Dimetre pointed out, it's interesting that Matt Milla is the colorist. Style-wise, it looks very different. If I had to guess, I would have guessed it was the same art team from Guardian Devil.

It appears somebody is going against the Kingpin and it's very early on that Spider-Man and Daredevil meet to discuss it. As a Daredevil reader, it's weird to see Spider-Man have all the information. I recognize he deals with street-level foes so that's fine with me, but he did all the legwork and knows all the information, which is something I usually associate with Daredevil.

Small detail, but Matt Murdock is representing someone on a probation violation who is connected to this. Peter Parker is asking him to investigate his client and tell him what he learns. I think there are some ethical issues there that could be problematic. Luckily, I like the way they play it. Matt respects his client despite his problems (and criminal past). It's clear he's represented him many times before and they have an understanding. His client wants to communicate with him and they figure out a way to do so. It doesn't come off as Matt exploiting his position of attorney.

Is this Gladiator Melvin Potter? He doesn't look like him and I'm not sure he'd fit in. Stiltman looks really creepy, though. I have to say, I'm somewhat confused how it ended.

Good start. I liked it better when the bad guys were just shadowy, though. I'm hopeful that will pick up and hopefully a bit more Daredevil and Spider-Man teaming up. Three and a Half Stars.

ETA: I always write my reviews before reading others. I actually missed Kingpin's blindness. Frankly, it contributed to my confusion overall.
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:


Is this Gladiator Melvin Potter? He doesn't look like him and I'm not sure he'd fit in. Stiltman looks really creepy, though. I have to say, I'm somewhat confused how it ended.



I don't know if you saw my post, but I can say that yes that is not Melvin Potter, its this guy:

http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix5/gladiatorlemmick.htm

I tried to find a digital copy for sale for James and I couldn't find one anywhere, that was pretty annoying.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's weird that he seems to have the same delusion.
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:
It's weird that he seems to have the same delusion.


I think that's just lazy writing, the copycat in this case is just a complete knock off the original, without the compelling nuances. Really this Gladiator copycat could have been replaced by any other villain and you would have gotten better results, this guy is just dull and generic.

Cranston is a better copycat villain, because he became a more fearsome villain then the other Mr. Fear characters, despite not being the original.
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Darkdevil
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Peter's friendship with Johnny Storm gets most of the spotlight in instances/team-ups like this, so it's nice to read more of DD interacting with Spidey.

I'm not all that familiar with Phil Winslade's work but for the most part, it was quite decent. Given the time of this mini's release, it's quite the throwback to see so many webs in the opening shots with Spidey, almost has a McFarlane tone to it all. But the characters and action look good for the most part (though there were certain panels, especially when Matt was visiting Abott in jail, where Matt looked kinda gaunt).

The villains though look particularly chilling. I don't know this Gladiator but he does look rather generic. I thought Stilt-Man looked much better and much more intimidating. The glee he felt when assaulting Fisk's building was apparent. I'd be more interested in seeing where this version of the character may have been going. And it's always good to see a team-up of DD villains.

We don't actually get much interaction between Spidey and Matt here, the focus being instead the heavy info dump on what's been going on. I do like the implications that both of them do operate in the same underworld circles so it's cool seeing them exchange notes. I must say, I love Jenkins' handling of Matt's senses too. The descriptions of Matt's awareness of Peter awaiting him in his home was brilliant.

So, someone is after Kingpin's empire yet again. Given his new physical handicap, it would certainly make sense. My only quibble here is the layout of the villains' assault on Kingpin's building. Because of the tight grid panels, I found it difficult at some points to tell who was doing exactly what. (Although Stilt-Man's use of his extension legs in the elevator to deal with the upper floor guards was a good touch). The last page was a nice cliffhanger.

Overall, I thought this was a good start to this mini. Hopefully getting all the exposition out of the way here will allow for more real interactions between Matt and Peter in the later issues. I would give this three-and-a half stars.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil/Spider-Man #2 - The Sting



Quote:
Here's what Daredevil and Spider-Man know: someone just tried to kill Wilson Fisk. Here's what we know: a revamped Gladiator and Stilt-Man are in on the hit, but a third villain is calling the shots. And by the end of this issue we'll all know the true face of the man gunning for the Kingpin!


Due 3/5
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will get my review of this issue out of the way right away.

This is more of a set up and exposition issue, clearly the action is going to happen in the next issue.

In this issue, Kingpin survives his assassination attempt (of course) and is now in the hospital, when asked by reporters about this event (that he is trying to play off as an accident) and stating that he retained Nelson and Murdock as his lawyers.

Spider-Man and DD hang out for a bit and banter and compare notes. Its fun banter, Spidey being immature and DD chastising him for it. Spidey informs DD that Fisk has stated he has retained Nelson and Murdock as counsel (it makes sense Spidey would know first, because he does work in a news room). DD as Matt Murdock goes to visit Fisk.

Murdock says he can't represent him due to conflict of interest, but Kingpin sends his body guards and the media away and their real conversation begins. Kingpin of course, wants DD to take down his latest rival and he knows DD will have to do it, otherwise this new gang war could cost many innocent people their lives. DD hates that Fisk is treating like an errand boy, but for the moment, Fisk has the upper hand and this goes back to the some of the frank Miller stories where Kingpin would help DD for favors to take down some of his rivals. Anyway Kingpin deduces that the Owl is the real leader of the group and is too crazed to be bribed or threatened to back down, which only leaves physically defeating him.

DD deduces that Owl and his cronies have a base in the sewers, so Spidey and DD go looking for them. Owl and his gang ambush them, DD is knocked out and Spidey holding him, as Owl informs a psychopathic Stilt-Man he intends to eat the super heroes.

Okay so here my thoughts:

I liked the banter between Spidey and DD, though Spidey almost seems a little too immature, he usually banters at his villains to annoy them and throw them off their game, he shouldn't do that as much with his hero colleagues. DD is being set apart from Spidey as the more mature one, I don't think DD should be a Batman level brooding hero, but I don't think he should be the wise cracking hero he was back in the Silver Age.

The banter between Kingpin and DD was good. The way Kingpin figured out it was Owl behind this gang war was pretty convoluted, again Abbot seemed like the Riddler in the previous issue, with these vague cryptic hints of who the new player is.

I do like the fact that Owl is the ring leader, with Kingpin noting he has to resources to pull this off (which makes sense given his back ground as a corporate criminal) and Kingpin being somewhat wary of him due to his crazed nature. This is actually part of Owl's evolution of character, he started of as a generic crime boss/super villain, became something of a joke by the 80s (with Nocenti treating as a super villain who is too old school to fit in with modern times) and eventually became a raging psycho who eats rats and kills people at the slightest provocation and that is the characterization that seems to have stuck in modern times.

Even his appearances in more light hearted stories play that up, he appears as a villain in the comedic Superior Foes of Spider-Man mini series and there he is eating rats and general being a sadistic psycho, feeding one of his men to hungry rats and after capturing some super villains who tried to rob them, he promises to let them go, after he cuts off their legs. I think that makes a better foil/rival for Kingpin then say Injun Joe, the rival Miller came up with, who has an unfortunate name and is a total nothing character. I think this actually one of the first stories that presented Owl as a rival to the Kingpin, but I think it works and makes Owl one of the more relevant Silver Age foes DD has. Kingpin has rage issues and offs his men for petty reasons, but Owl seems like a way worse boss, far less competent, but far more sadistic, I think Kingpin would think a lot of the Owl's methods are pointlessly cruel and go to far.

I also like the fact that Matt sends Foggy and Black Widow off to perform an errand for him, with Black Widow kinda flirting with him or just being nice and Foggy being a bit flustered.

Anyway this issue is a more set up and I think some the stuff about how DD finds out Owl is behind all this and finds out where Owl's lair is, is a bit contrived, so I will give this issue 3 and a half stars.
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Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Overlord wrote:
I do like the fact that Owl is the ring leader, with Kingpin noting he has to resources to pull this off (which makes sense given his back ground as a corporate criminal) and Kingpin being somewhat wary of him due to his crazed nature. This is actually part of Owl's evolution of character, he started of as a generic crime boss/super villain, became something of a joke by the 80s (with Nocenti treating as a super villain who is too old school to fit in with modern times) and eventually became a raging psycho who eats rats and kills people at the slightest provocation and that is the characterization that seems to have stuck in modern times.

Even his appearances in more light hearted stories play that up, he appears as a villain in the comedic Superior Foes of Spider-Man mini series and there he is eating rats and general being a sadistic psycho, feeding one of his men to hungry rats and after capturing some super villains who tried to rob them, he promises to let them go, after he cuts off their legs. I think that makes a better foil/rival for Kingpin then say Injun Joe, the rival Miller came up with, who has an unfortunate name and is a total nothing character. I think this actually one of the first stories that presented Owl as a rival to the Kingpin, but I think it works and makes Owl one of the more relevant Silver Age foes DD has. Kingpin has rage issues and offs his men for petty reasons, but Owl seems like a way worse boss, far less competent, but far more sadistic, I think Kingpin would think a lot of the Owl's methods are pointlessly cruel and go to far.

Hmmmm. I have never read Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Since this series was released, I have only seen the Owl as portrayed in Daredevil by Bendis, Brubaker and Waid. I think the Owl was a character who definitely needed a makeover after the Silver Age. (That was kind of the joke in that Nocenti/Ditko issue.) Other than Gladiator, I think Jenkins and Winslade did an excellent job making over these villains. Given Waid's recent tinkering with the Owl, it seems that he's still a character that hasn't found a stable modern age personality. I think the one in this mini-series could have been given a chance.

I think the scene between Matt and the Kingpin was great. Even though Fisk is hospitalized and sightless, he clearly is still a force with which to be reckoned, and has Matt over a barrel. I think there was one panel where Winslade is paying tribute to Sienkiewicz's work in "Love and War."

The scenes of Daredevil and Spider-Man swinging through the city are a delight mostly because of Matt Milla's vibrant colours combined with Tom Palmer's inking. At this point, Marvel Knights was setting the standard for the aesthetics of comics.

I agree with the Overlord that the "gob" comment may have been too immature even for Spider-Man. I would have reacted the same way as Daredevil.

I don't like the way Black Widow is portrayed in this issue. I don't think Winslade draws in her in any more of a sexualized way than she has been in the past, but Jenkins sure has written her as just a titillating confection. It's kind of shocking to read this now, because the character has come such a long way, from Scarlett Johannsen's portrayal, to the excellent series by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto. The "fill me in" line is cringe-inducing.

Once Daredevil and Spider-Man are in the sewer, Jenkins again demonstrates his firm handle of Daredevil's senses. However, it's a sewer, and you can kind of guess that this is a trap. Sure enough...

One last thing: I've never been a huge fan of Alex Ross. Because his work is so photo-realistic, I find it a constant reminder of how ridiculous superheroes would really look in costumes like that. I appreciate less realism in renderings of superheroes.

I think this is a good issue, marred by that awful portrayal of Black Widow. I give this issue 3.5 out of 5.
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dimetre wrote:
The Overlord wrote:
I do like the fact that Owl is the ring leader, with Kingpin noting he has to resources to pull this off (which makes sense given his back ground as a corporate criminal) and Kingpin being somewhat wary of him due to his crazed nature. This is actually part of Owl's evolution of character, he started of as a generic crime boss/super villain, became something of a joke by the 80s (with Nocenti treating as a super villain who is too old school to fit in with modern times) and eventually became a raging psycho who eats rats and kills people at the slightest provocation and that is the characterization that seems to have stuck in modern times.

Even his appearances in more light hearted stories play that up, he appears as a villain in the comedic Superior Foes of Spider-Man mini series and there he is eating rats and general being a sadistic psycho, feeding one of his men to hungry rats and after capturing some super villains who tried to rob them, he promises to let them go, after he cuts off their legs. I think that makes a better foil/rival for Kingpin then say Injun Joe, the rival Miller came up with, who has an unfortunate name and is a total nothing character. I think this actually one of the first stories that presented Owl as a rival to the Kingpin, but I think it works and makes Owl one of the more relevant Silver Age foes DD has. Kingpin has rage issues and offs his men for petty reasons, but Owl seems like a way worse boss, far less competent, but far more sadistic, I think Kingpin would think a lot of the Owl's methods are pointlessly cruel and go to far.

Hmmmm. I have never read Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Since this series was released, I have only seen the Owl as portrayed in Daredevil by Bendis, Brubaker and Waid. I think the Owl was a character who definitely needed a makeover after the Silver Age. (That was kind of the joke in that Nocenti/Ditko issue.) Other than Gladiator, I think Jenkins and Winslade did an excellent job making over these villains. Given Waid's recent tinkering with the Owl, it seems that he's still a character that hasn't found a stable modern age personality. I think the one in this mini-series could have been given a chance.



To be fair, a lot of villains who are A-list get tinkered with Waid wrote Dr. Doom as far more evil then he usually he is in the Unthinkable arc, which did feel out of character for him. Magneto occasionally is written as just an evil mass murdering psychopath, which seems like it would be out of character for him. Really I think this the nature of beast with comics, different writers will write different characters in a different way at times.

Even with Waid we see signs of the creepy psycho Owl, with him hiding in trees, staring at rats and killing an informant who he believes betrayed him, he is a bit more toned down under Waid's pen, but you still see signs that Owl is somewhat unhinged.

Psycho Owl came about in a story that happened just after Last Rites, with Owl being affected both physically and mentally by the serum that allowed him to fly, he started thinking he was a bird of prey, killing random criminals, this where he started to develop his obsession with eating rats and gained freakish new powers, being able to turn his head at a 180 degree angle. It seemed like Owl could have been redeemed, but in the following years, Owl came off as more of a psycho.

Bendis had him maul one of his underlings to death , Brubaker had him kill a random guard and try to rape Dakota North.

I also feel like you square stories where he seems less psycho usually, with a desire to occasionally try to copy the Kingpin and present himself as a sophisticated crime boss, but that is just a facade to hide his true brutish nature, like in a story where Spidey goes to Owl for information (this is was after DD has dethroned the Kingpin) and Owl gives him the information he seeks and presents a pleasant facade, but is seen eating a rat after Spidey leaves.

Superior Foes was fun for most of the story, though the ending gets very convoluted. I will say I like thew way they wrote Owl, you could say they tried to get some humor out of how psycho Owl was, but he came off as creepy and unnerving a lot of the times and he wins in the end, in a way. Owl is likely more psychopathic then usual in that story, being described as a crime boss more interested in violence, torture and murder then profit. Superior Foes made Owl seem like a friendly and pleasant conversationalist, which really highlights how monstrous his actions are. They had comedic moments with Owl in this series (this series is very the over the top and Owl is given a secret base filled insane comic book death traps used to defend it and they tell an amusing story where one of Owl's attempts to threaten someone failed in a rather over the top and embarrassing manner) but I don't think that subtracts from the creepy moments Owl had. I think you still do some over the top comic book stuff with Owl, as long as he seems creepy and sinister in the process. Even for a series that is very comedic and over the top, I feel like Owl had some genuine unnerving moments.

I feel this modern version of Owl is a good foil for Kingpin, Owl is what Kingpin would be if he no impulse control and did not care what others thought of him. Kingpin certainly has temper issues and kills his own men for petty reasons, but I think even Kingpin would think feeding his men to starving rats is just pointlessly cruel. Heck Owl being such a psycho would justify Kingpin's position, its hard to dethrone Kingpin when one his replacements wants to have the streets run red with blood.

As for Black Widow, at least they didn't draw having her zipper down so much that you can see most of her cleavage, which is how she drawn half the time. That always seemed to pure fan service and nothing else.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It feels like a significant portion of this story is taken up with Daredevil and Spider-Man talking shop while swinging through the city. I think it does a good job showing off their slight differences here, but it also takes up an inordinate amount of time without gaining much (it's a solid recap, though). The vibrant colors and beautiful views help a little bit.

The rest of the story is basically Matt's meeting with Fisk. I didn't really like how it played out with the "you work for me" " I really don't" stuff. It just seemed rushed. Usually, the Kingpin has a bit more subtlety or Matt is forced to think about it longer. Here, it's quickly moved on with Matt just deciding he's really not. It also feels weird that Fisk would suddenly play this card when he never did before. Not long after, the issue ends with a fairly tense, but relatively quick ending.

BTW, did this story come out just after Parts of a Hole? If so, it feels like a lot of Bendis's early work mirrored this work. Both the themes of taking advantage of a blind Fisk and the idea of the Owl as a rival come very close. Of course, the latter is pretty common to Daredevil. Still, it feels like Bendis lucked out that not as many people read this.

I felt this didn't advance the plot much and a lot of it didn't really have strong character work either. It's good setup, but I don't see why issue two should be setup. Three Stars.
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Dimetre
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:
BTW, did this story come out just after Parts of a Hole? If so, it feels like a lot of Bendis's early work mirrored this work. Both the themes of taking advantage of a blind Fisk and the idea of the Owl as a rival come very close. Of course, the latter is pretty common to Daredevil. Still, it feels like Bendis lucked out that not as many people read this.

I think the plan was to have the first issue come out immediately after "Parts of a Hole" wrapped up, but it ended up coming out before "Parts" concluded because the main book was getting further and further behind deadline. So I think the original plan was to have this book come out at the same time as "Wake Up" but, obviously it came out earlier. In any case, this mini-series pre-dates "Underboss", Bendis' first work with the Kingpin, but almost a year.
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