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DD Book Club: End of Days
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Mike Murdock
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Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1291

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:15 am    Post subject: DD Book Club: End of Days Reply with quote

This is by popular request after a long time waiting, it is time for End of Days.

Daredevil End of Days #1



Quote:
Eight issue mini-series by acclaimed Daredevil writers Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack, as well as veteran artists Klaus Janson and Bill Sienkiewicz. The last story of Matt Murdock.


Due 4/10

BTW, looking through the comic covers for this was pretty morbid just by itself.
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Dimetre
Paradiso


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1090
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what I wrote four years ago on this message board.
Dimetre wrote:
Because of David Mack and Bill Sienkiewicz, I bought the first issue. I won't be buying any more.

On the plus side, it started out fine. I was enjoying being inside Ben Urich's head during his writing process. I felt Mack was behind much of this. It reminded me of Kabuki a bit.

On the downside...

SPOILER ALERT






Daredevil's murder of Kingpin is inexcusable. Everybody involved in this series has been involved with this character for a long time. They should know this character. They even say he stands for justice in this issue. So why, when he has Kingpin down, does he go in for the killing blow. He wouldn't. Then he says, "I'm sorry, but I've tried everything else..." or something like that. If you decided to kill, there are a number of things you obviously haven't tried. Matt would never abandon his belief in everyone's entitlement to their day in court. Never.

I am so sick of people thinking that Matt is a killer. They always point to #181 or Born Again, completely ignoring that in the former example his first instinct was to save a villain's life and in the latter his options were to either let another person die by machine gun fire every split second or to use the bazooka to blow up the helicopter. And don't even talk to me about the misbegotten mess that is Shadowland.

This is inexcusable. I'm assuming it was Bendis who came up with this story. You'd think there would be someone at Marvel standing up for the character and saying, "But Brian, he would never choose to kill." Obviously no one was saying that to Andy Diggle during Shadowland. What's wrong with people?

I realize I've already dealt with the question of whether Daredevil is willing to kill on this message board at length, so I won't touch on that any further here, except to say I still think the killing of Fisk is brutal, unnecessary and poorly handled.

I haven't touched this issue in four years, and I still have not read any further. Today I read this issue for the second time.

I really don't like Bendis. I'm finding a lot of his arrogance here. Take, for example, Ben's passage about how Fisk lived by a philosophy that Daredevil needed a Kingpin to be Daredevil. Let's disregard, for a moment, what nonsense that is. Ben continues.
Quote:
And for years, on some level, it looked like he was right. a balance was struck between them that seemed to signify how their relationship would always be. A good guy and a bad guy. Except one rainy night in Hell's Kitchen, when Matt Murdock, a beaten man, outed by the press again, disgraced and done... Proved Fisk's theory wrong.

Matt took the Kingpin's kingdom away from him by brute force. In public. In front of his men. in front of his subjects.

(This series has two editors and two associate editors, yet they missed those two lower case letters at the beginning of sentences. Impressive work guys...)

The most dedicated followers of Daredevil know that Daredevil took down the Kingpin way back in Daredevil #300, over a decade before Bendis wrote Vol. 2 #50. I guess that doesn't count in Bendis' world. Also, Bendis doesn't seem to acknowledge that the Kingpin went to jail after the Murdock Papers. Anyone who's read Brubaker's run on the title knows this. But I guess that doesn't count either.

I have always felt that Bendis was very bad at acknowledging what went on before his arrival on a title. The whole "outing" of Daredevil's secret identity was very annoying to me, because it happened numerous times before, yet Bendis was writing and speaking about it as if what he was doing was unprecidented.

Then there's the decompression for which Bendis is famous. We have two pages of people telling Ben they didn't see anything. One page could have accomplished the same thing. Hell, half a page could have accomplished the same thing.

Anyway, I guess this series (eight issues? Jeez...) is going to play out like Citizen Kane, and they're not even trying to hide it.

I find the art process weird. So Janson does the layouts, and Sienkiewicz just does his work on top of it? Why doesn't Sienkiewicz just do the layouts himself? Maybe he doesn't do that anymore. I'm pretty sure I have some Black Widow stories where he just finished the artwork over someone else's layouts. At times it's gorgeous. I can't help but smile when I see the pattern on Kingpin's vest in that one panel. (An obvious hearkening back to Love and War.) Yet, there are simply too many panels of brawny men beating each other to a pulp. I think Janson and Sienkiewicz made a point of playing up the violence, but the ugliness, savagery and brutality just overtakes this issue to the point of unpleasantness.

I guess I'll keep reading to see if this series goes anywhere profound, but given its poor reputation, I'm not hopeful.

I give this issue a two out of five. The only positives are the look into Ben's writing process and some of the artwork. Otherwise, I find this issue very frustrating.
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james castle
Devil in Cell-Block D


Joined: 30 Jul 2004
Posts: 1998
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man, this is going to be fun. Anyway, here we go:

End of Days Part 1: The Mystery of the Murderous Billy Club

Plot!
Note: As he is wont to do Bendis tells bits of the story out of order for no real reason other than to make a comically straight forward plot appear clever. In order to evaluate the plot apart from the funny running order I’m just going to just summarize it chronologically.

1. Daredevil named himself the new Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen. Remember when that happened in Bendis’ run? Yeah, it makes as much sense here as it did then. I.e. not much. Check it out: “Matt took the role of Kingpin. Not of crime. No. Not the Kingpin of crime. The Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen”. I mean, what? Anyway...

2. Kingpin comes back to New York and Daredevil beats him to death in public with his billy club. (Wait, what? He….why?...what happens?).

3. Daredevil and Matt Murdock disappear and no one knows where he went!

4. Years later. Daredevil and Bullseye fight (maskless) for “over an hour and forty-five minutes” (as described in what has to be the weirdest and overly specific opening line of any comic (are there honestly lots of people who keep saying “I don’t know how long it was but I know it was over an hour and forty-five minutes. Not two hours though! More than an hour and forty-five minutes but definitely less than 120 minutes!”?).

5. Bullseye gains the upperhand and right before he kills Daredevil by shoving his own billy club through his head (I know, gross) Daredevil says “Mapone”. Bullseye appears shocked by this word.

6. Ben Urich, after being pressed by J. Jonah Jamison, decides to do some investigating. He questions a bunch of people who have wandered in from DKR and they all refuse to talk to him. Which is, you know, weird, because what exactly are they refusing to talk about? Bullseye killed Daredevil in a super public way. So much so that it was video taped and on the news. So what exactly is Ben asking these people and why on earth aren’t they giving him any answers?

7. Ben finally finds one dude who tells him that Matt said “Mapone” right before he died.

8. Ben has dinner with his 16 year old son (?) Timmy and then thinks about Daredevil’s origin for an extended sequence.

9. Ben decides to write a story and a Daredevily person appears on the roof tops!


Ben(dis)’s Mysteries!
Note: Ben helpfully lists all the questions he wants to answer with his story near the end of the issue. Nothing solved yet but as we go forward let’s see what happens.

Why did Matt kill the Kingpin? Nothing yet.
Why did Matt leave New York? Because he killed the Kingpin (?).
Where did he go? No idea.
How did Bullseye find him? No idea.
And what did Matt say with his dying breath? Mapone.
What did it mean? No idea yet but I’m sure we’ll all be very, very satisfied when we find out.

Fun Facts!
Note: Let’s see how the following categories play out as we go along.

Illegitimate Kids Shown This Issue: 0
Running Illegitimate Kid Count: 0
Did What Happens on the Cover Happen: Yes
Cliff Hanger: Someone who looks like Daredevil is standing on a rooftop watching Ben!

Whose Time is it Anyways?
Note: how far in the future are we? Here's a collection of things we know have changed or happened.

Captain America is dead.
"Xavier's Rebellion" happened (maybe foreshadowing of Bendis' truly terrible X-Men run in which a revolution or rebellion was constantly talked about but never actually happened).
"The Baxter Building Murders" too.
Timmy is 16 and his friends at school don't even know who Daredevil was.

So timeline is unclear at this point.

Now THAT is Decompression!
Note: Because you gotta be impressed at a certain point.

Panel 1: “So...what do you think it means” - “What?”
Panel 2: “The word. He says a word”.
Panel 3: “Who does?”
Panel 4: “Murdock. Daredevil. Right before--you know--”
Panel 5: “I’m sorry.” - “No one else is reporting it. They just keep --honey get your camera!”
Panel 6: No dialogue. Just Ben.
…..
Panel 13: Ben learns that Matt said “Mapone”.
…..
Panel 17: They’re still discussing it somehow.

Bonus points because this is three pages of Ben learning something the reader already knows.
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So why can't you see the funny side?
Why aren't you laughing?


Last edited by james castle on Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Francesco
Underboss


Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 1307

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

haha! This should be fun Smile
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james castle
Devil in Cell-Block D


Joined: 30 Jul 2004
Posts: 1998
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dimetre wrote:
I still think the killing of Fisk is brutal, unnecessary and poorly handled.

I haven't touched this issue in four years, and I still have not read any further. Today I read this issue for the second time.


I'm in the same position. I read the trade once when it came out and never again. Amazingly I'd entirely forgotten that Daredevil randomly and brutally killed the Kingpin. My my brain blocked it out because it's so ridiculous. Either way I was shocked all over again.
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Francesco
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Joined: 08 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we need a little prologue.
Back in the day, this miniseries had been announced with much sound and fury way before it was actually released. For a long time, all we fans knew was that they were going to write that miniseries, that the first issue had that ominous cover with what seemed DD's corpse found at the scene of a murder and that acclaimed authors Bendis, Maleev and Mack were working on it.

And so, this series was delayed for a bit, and this served to magnify the expectations. Also, the creators, in a couple of interviews stated that this was going to be the canon ending to DD. This was obviously the kind of bull that a new reader could buy, everyone else just dismissed the idea as Bendis hyping his own work. A thing worth noting is that the creators released a sh!tload of interviews, tweets, facebook statuses and bits of informations before, during and after the release of this miniseries. Really they wouldn't shut up about it.

About the cover that was released as a teaser, truth to be told, we were in the Brubaker era at the time and most people was getting sick of seeing misery upon misery piled upon hornhead. So seeing from that cover that we were going to read the story of DD's death didn't exactly lift up our spirits, especially since Bendis had a habit of using big flashy stuff like "character X dies!!!" instead of crafting an actual plot.
... The concept of "the last DD story" was intriguing though, so we could only wait and hope he wouldn't abuse this gimmick in the coming miniseries.
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Mike Murdock
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Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It opens pretty graphically. I actually winced when Matt got killed, which isn't something I do in comics often. That's definitely a way to make a statement when you start. I was wondering where this story would start. I figured it might be a mystery of his death, but that's obviously not the case. However, this "mapone" may be something to play with (and I love the shameless Citizen Kane reference since that's what it is).

A lot of the story is just a retelling of his life, but I like that it builds something new with the restaurant fight with the Kingpin. I think Daredevil's actions here are the big shock of the story. I can't say it's my preference. On the other hand, it's an out of continuity story that takes place in the future and a buildup with Fisk to something like this isn't unprecedented. Bullseye is the other big example (not just the ignition of Shadowland, but the moment Frank Miller decided to drop him from a great height). There's context here that's important and context the story promises to tell, so I'm not going to pre-judge it here.

I do like the art style, particularly in the flashbacks of Matt's origin. There it's very stylized, with a watercolor look at parts, which I think helps when it's retelling such a well-worn story. But the action scenes look great too. Is it Klaus Janson? Daredevil has a certain look to him that I don't think anyone's done since the Miller/Janson days. I also see Bill Sienkiewicz. Anyone know which part each artist is responsible for?

Like I said above, this promises to deliver on a lot. I think it has potential. Having Ben Urich discover the story is an obvious choice, but the right one. Let's hope it delivers. Four 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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james castle
Devil in Cell-Block D


Joined: 30 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't tell if Mike Murdock is trolling me.

This is all so exciting.
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Darkdevil
Humanity's Fathom


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ugh. Bendis.

I mince no bones, on the whole, I do not like Bendis' work. I still have no clue as to why his DD run is so acclaimed. I do not like his writing flaws, errors, inconsistencies, and ego-inflating idiosyncrasies.

And thus far, with this first issue in this HIGHLY anticipated miniseries, I see nothing to change, sway or alter that opinion.

Where to start?

Overlooking the hype that this is the canon ending (*right*), this story is set at some supposed future date yet Matt, Bullseye, Ben look remarkably the same. J. Jonah Jameson is still alive yet we've reached the 'death of print'.

Typical of Bendis, this issue is overflowing with dialogue, some of it decent, most of it not. The insight with Ben, his narration, is interesting. But as others have pointed out, some of these scenes are too long and unnecessary. The whole page spread of witnesses not talking, saying variations of the same reply? Too much decompression.

Amidst the dialogue is two extended scenes of extreme violence. The initial fight between Matt and Bullseye is brutal but I don't buy it completely. In such a contest, I believe that Matt would give as good as he gets yet that's little evidence of that here beyond Bullseye's bruised face. DD hardly lands any punches or contact throughout. The only sign of his 'never say quit' mentality is that one line of narration about how when you thought the fight was over, Matt got up. That's it.

Second, Bullseye stabs his club through Matt's head....through his head.....what?!

On a side-note, there's no indication whatsoever that Bullseye was arrested for this murder despite the high publictiy. Unless it's addressed in a later issue, I found that annoying.

The second scene of violence is worse with Kingpin. For starters, Bendis is only referencing events from his own run, his own personal canon. Big mistake. I've heard of that storyline of Matt becoming the Kingpin of Hell's Kitchen but really, what does it mean? I don't know and there's no clearer explanation offered here.

So upon hearing that Fisk is back in the neighborhood, Matt confronts and then proceeds to beat and kill him. Totally out-of-character. Previous pages were spent showing how Matt put all of his energy and effort towards the law and justice. How is killing Fisk either?! And Matt's line of 'I've tried everything else' is so weak and pathetic. This is a travesty.

The art was inconsistent, not representative of what I'd expect from either of these pros. Although I did like Siek's overtones and finishes but the fight scenes were too chaotic and uneven.

James appears to be right, this is shaping up to be fun. Starting off this badly, how low can we go? Ben's narration saves part of this issue but this was overflowing with Bendis' typical writing traits. One-and-a half stars.

DD does not kill in this style nor manner.
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james castle
Devil in Cell-Block D


Joined: 30 Jul 2004
Posts: 1998
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darkdevil wrote:
Ugh. Bendis.
Overlooking the hype that this is the canon ending (*right*), this story is set at some supposed future date yet Matt, Bullseye, Ben look remarkably the same. J. Jonah Jameson is still alive yet we've reached the 'death of print'.


Ohhhh, good point. I'm going to have to add a category of "Whose Time Is It Anyway?" to breakdowns of issues going forward. I only remember bits and pieces but I think trying to figure out just how many years have passed will be fun.
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