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Daredevil Annual 2018

 
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Sunni
Flying Blind


Joined: 07 Jan 2017
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:19 am    Post subject: Daredevil Annual 2018 Reply with quote

I suspected from Misty Knight being on the cover, that this annual was going to be a stealth Misty story rather than a Daredevil one, so I went in with lowered expectations, which is good because that’s exactly what it was. And since we’re on the cover by Shane Davis, I didn’t like it because Matt’s face and arm look disproportionate to me.

The good about this story is the art is nice. It looks a little cartoony in places, and there’s a few issues with some action sequence paneling (it’s not clear that someone is supposed to be flying through the air and not hit into the ground in one panel), but overall, I really liked Marcio Takara’s art. I especially liked the coloring by Marcelo Maiolo as the palette used has a very day-glo at dusk feeling. As for the writing, I like Misty, and I think she was written well here as opposed to some of her other more recent appearances such as in The Sentry. More impressively I liked the people we met only for this story in Misty’s police detective partner Carmen, her daughter Sofia, her mother, and grad student Robin. I also really enjoyed the fantastic opening page (Daredevil with lollipops and a candy cane! The Punisher with a cupcake gun!) and that Sofia has a little Daredevil stuffed toy. I bet the royalties from those go to Fisk Corporation LOL.

The bad, well, Matt is barely in this issue and when he is, his characterization is way off. Except for the part where Matt figured out Nicky was violating his parole, he might as well have been Spider-Man or Deadpool. Since this story was set in the past, Erica Schultz might have been going for Stan Lee’s interpretation here, but it didn’t work for me. There’s also only a little back and forth between Misty and Matt as the focus is on Misty and Carmen figuring things out through their detective teamwork. I think Matt could have been completely eliminated from this story, and it still would have played out the same, which isn’t a good thing. Furthermore, the villains were complete clichés, and the plan simply doesn’t make sense. Frankie is this supposedly powerful mob boss, and all he can do when he’s dying is lean on a random chemistry grad major while his goons stand around? Now is the time to call in a few favors, buddy, and get Robin some help from a medical doctor. Moreover, why would growth hormone fix the cancer? That’s Deadpool’s entire problem, that while his healthy body regenerates, his cancer regenerates as well. Why did everyone think this was a solid plan? Why didn’t Frankie try to buy a cure for cancer from Stegron or something instead?

Overall, I did really like the art, so I’ll be generous and give this annual a 3.5. I think there’s a much darker story that could have been told here given the flashback where Bullseye is responsible for Carmen’s husband Jorge’s death and that their daughter Sofia looks up to Daredevil, but we got a cute cheerleader piece instead. It’s fine but not a standout.
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Mike Murdock
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1167

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, this story felt "fine." But there was nothing particularly interesting here. I like the idea of an early Misty/Daredevil meet up. When Misty first arrived, she had a confrontation with Iron Fist. Then she had a confrontation with Luke Cage. So I buy that she had some initial superhero complaints. My biggest issue is Daredevil really doesn't do much. He's just appearing in the background. That can be fine, narrative distance can do wonders, but the fact that it's Misty learning to get along with someone she never interacts with doesn't do much for me. I think a story where Ben Urich is a superhero skeptic and Daredevil changes his mind would have been a much more engaging story.

Also, if you're going to set it in the past, go all out and give Daredevil is yellow suit. I'd also find something other than MGH. It's such a Bendis trope that it feels anachronistic even if, to their credit, this isn't a widely available street drug here.

BTW, Frankie Paura's nickname is "fear" and his last name is Italian for "fear." Nicky Scarpe's last name means "shoes" for some reason.
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Dimetre
Paradiso


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1001
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like Erica Shultz had a Misty Knight story she desperately wanted published, but this is the only way she could do it. After all, Misty doesn't have her own title, and Marvel may be leery of giving her one, thinking it wouldn't sell. It's kind of odd to read this story under the title of Daredevil. It reminds me of David Mack's "Vision Quest" story, which was all about Echo, but took up Daredevil #51-55.

I also found the appearance of Mutant Growth Hormone jarring. It was as if comics hadn't moved forward in 15 years. I'm guessing Shultz places Bendis' Daredevil run on a pedastal, and I realize she's not alone, much to my chagrin.

It's a fine Misty story. It's not exceptional, but it's not bad. It's big problem is that it's presented as something it's not. Not only is this called a Daredevil annual, but Misty has her bionic arm on the cover. That's full out misrepresentation of the inner story, and I don't like that. That's why I'm giving this a 2.5 out of 5.
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Mike Murdock
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1167

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add to the Misty story theory, they're releasing a Daughters of the Dragon digital series, but the style is three forty-page stories released over three months followed by a hiatus. There isn't room for a stand-alone flashback story (or even really Annuals).

That being said, I suspect the real impetus for this story is that Misty Knight is going to appear in Iron Fist Season 2 and they wanted something out for that. It's also the reason we're getting a Typhoid Mary three-part story, I'm sure, although the timing could have been better on that.
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Mike Murdock
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1167

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm re-reading Daredevil #356 right now. I think it's fair to say from reading that story that Daredevil and Misty Knight had never met each other previously. I don't mind a retcon one way or the other, but I thought it was worth acknowledging.
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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