Daredevil Message Board
The Board Without Fear!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


DD Book Club - The Children Are Watching You
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Daredevil Message Board Forum Index -> The comics
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Mike Murdock
Underboss


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:14 pm    Post subject: DD Book Club - The Children Are Watching You Reply with quote

I wanted to finally finish the Typhoid Mary Saga. We left off this a while ago. There's actually two book club readings that covered this. The story starts in Typhoid where we are introduced to the character, she fights Daredevil, and is recruited by the Kingpin. Then we have background scenes in The Bully that continue this story. But it took a bit of a break so I took a break too. But with New Mutants coming out, I wanted to do something that tied into Inferno, so this seemed like a good idea. That being said, I'm actually breaking this into two parts. The first is just Typhoid Mary.

I'm starting off with:

Daredevil Vol. 1 #259 - [i]The Children Are Watching You[/url]

Quote:
Typhoid assembles a ragtag crew of villains for her final takedown of Daredevil. Karen Page slips into an investigative role, while Mary grows ever more desperate in her possession of Matt. Will Kingpin have the final say?


Due 3/7
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike Murdock
Underboss


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This issue has such very dark themes. The opening involves a child being sold into sexual abuse. By itself, it's gross and horrifying, but the fact that Butch sees it makes it worse because he seems to basically be used to things like this. On the other side of things, we see Matt cheating on Karen with Mary. I think there's always excuses as to whether Mary has some of Typhoid's latent abilities to influence men's minds, but it still seems troubling. Karen's dialogue is great. She knows something's wrong and is helpless to stop it. I think there's a strong argument to be made that Nocenti writes Karen Page better than anyone else. This is a good example. She's strong-willed and recognizes the problems of her past. She doesn't either capitulate to Matt when he uses Daredevil as an escape but neither does she accuse him of being selfish when he tries to save a little girl. It's a great middle ground that gives her agency in this story.

The gritty world of Nocenti's New York is very much a product of its time. Sadly not because you can't find places like this, but because it wouldn't be Times Square. Back then it was such a seedy place full of adult video stores and, apparently, those stores sold videos featuring Karen Page. It's cool to see her able to contribute by bringing her own experiences into the equation and using it to her advantage. And she isn't just for plot development. There's great character work here. Obviously, Nocenti isn't the most subtle writer, but I think it's handled well. Matt's position is something that is understandable if not forgivable. At the end, I think he wants to break it off with Mary after his wonderful time with Karen, but can't bring himself to do so.

The Typhoid plot arguably is a change of plans. I like that the idea of breaking Matt's heart has sort of backfired because Mary loves Matt. I do like it because it creates a best of of Nocenti villains. First, we get to see Bullet (even better, his kid). His story is always messed up. The casual way he experiences violence is just part of his whole world experience. Each scene brings something interesting. Typhoid breaking out Ammo is shockingly cruel and violent. It's essentially plot development for future issues.

I think the title of this issue is fascinating. It means different things. First off, the use of the word children focuses on the emphasis on the kidnapped children this issue. But they're watching you in different ways. One, they're seeing all the darkness of this New York and absorbing the trauma that it brings. Second, it's a little more literal at the end with Butch seeing Matt cheating on Karen, which is absolutely heart-breaking.

I'm giving this issue Five Stars. I thought it was absolutely great.
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1147
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's odd that I read this right after Chip Zdarsky's 19th issue, which unexpectedly brought Typhoid into his big story.

As I've typed before, I think Ann Nocenti was at her best when she was writing Typhoid. As much as this is a Typhoid issue, another reason why I admire this issue so much is Karen Page. No other writer wrote Karen with such strength as Nocenti did. (Joe Kelly came close.)

I remember what's coming next, so it was such a great idea to have this little adventure where Karen gets to be the hero, and it makes what's coming all the more heart-breaking. As annoying as I found Karen in the 60s, Nocenti made us believe there was no woman that Matt belonged with more than Ms. Page. Everything the two of them say to each other on that rooftop as they stare into each other's eyes -- these two were made to grow old together. Her last line in this issue is, "I need you so bad."

That just makes Typhoid and the Kingpin's manipulation of Matt all the more distressing. We know that his love for Mary isn't real love, although Mary's love for Matt might be. This story has real stakes, and that has helped it loom long in the memories of Daredevil fans.

I also think that Karen and Typhoid contrast nicely with each other. Karen, in this issue, reluctantly wields her sexuality to rescue some missing children. As she's doing it, the memories of her time as a junkie creep up. Even though this time she's doing it by her choice and for a good cause, it's making her sick. It makes her feel like a product.

In Typhoid's case, she finds power in the way she makes men desire her. Her aims are nowhere as pure as Karen's. She just wants to crush her other personality, and she doesn't care how many lives have to be extinguished to make that happen. Power is her endgame.

If I have a little quibble, it's with Butch's last line. Nocenti effectively uses children as devices to show the effects of heroes and villains on society. Matt is someone Butch has looked up to greatly, but when he sees him hugging Mary, he suddenly decides he hates him. That's a very harsh turn. I think having Butch express confusion would have been enough, and also more believable.

John Romita Jr. was great in this issue. I especially love Typhoid's expression when Bullet has his huge hand around her neck. She isn't intimidated in the least. I wonder if he worked from a photograph to get that facial expression drawn so perfectly.

Even though I already gave Zdarsky's 19th issue a perfect score, I'm going to do it again. This issue also gets a perfect score!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike Murdock
Underboss


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just realized today is International Women's Day. It always seems good to have a Nocenti story then.

Daredevil Vol. 1 #260 - Vital Signs

Quote:
Typhoid Mary has hit her mark! Daredevil’s in dire straits when Typhoid’s rogues gallery comes out of the woodwork. The Man Without Fear is usually ‘swinging blindly’…but this time the saying couldn’t be more true!


3/14
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1147
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giant-sized spectacular!

This issue starts off with Matt as happy as we've ever seen him, but as it progresses Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr. pile brutality on top of brutality until we can't take anymore. Daredevil has had many low moments, getting attacked by Bullet, then Bushwacker, then Ammo, then the Wild Boys, then dropped off a bridge by Typhoid, has to be among his lowest.

This is some of the finest penciling from Romita Jr. I've ever seen. The double page spread of Bushwacker on a motorbike shooting a flamethrower at Daredevil is magnificent. Nowadays I find Romita Jr. to be careless and sloppy, but I think in the late 80s he had found his own style and still invested the time and effort required to make it great. There is excellent flow of action from panel to panel -- the best example being Matt dodging Bullet's swings of a two-by-four early on. However, the last two wordless pages alternating between Matt's fall from the bridge and a tear rolling down Typhoid Mary's cheek are probably the two most memorable pages from this issue. It's a perfect mix of dread and sorrow.

Typhoid is such a complex character. The Mary personality must be horrified by Typhoid's actions, and is clearly peeking out here.

Nocenti includes an oddly meta moment on the issue's second page. Matt says to Karen, "I may have gotten heightened senses in the deal, but in reality, radioactive materials bring only death." It's as if Daredevil is aware that his world is fictional. I may be reading too much into it, but I also think Nocenti was trying something meta with this line.

I don't think everything about this issue works perfectly. I think it's a very good issue, but it often strains my suspension of disbelief. I'm not sure I buy the level of the concussive impact the balloons pop had on Daredevil, or that Bushwacker wouldn't go down to street level to beat up on him more. I think while that anonymous woman was talking to him, he seemed to be calming down and gathering his wits about him, so I think he should have been able to handle Ammo's attack better than he did. But that anonymous woman -- I liked the scene, but she is a completely superfluous character. She just appears out of nowhere like the ideal New Yorker. Why couldn't she have been replaced by someone we know, like one of the Fat Boys?

By the time Ammo takes his leave to be replaced by the Wild Boys, this issue seems to have descended to torture horror. It reminded me of The Passion of the Christ. After a delusion where Daredevil sees apparitions of his parents and his worst enemies, the Wild Boys show up, and just toss him around like a rag doll. It's pathetic and upsetting the way they manhandle him. To be fair, I think that's what Nocenti was going for.

However, she really didn't pick the most interesting villains for this story, did she? She picked ones she created, and that's her right, but Ammo never made an impression on me. If this issue was your first exposure to Ammo, what could you tell me about the character? He's violent. That and he's black. Not much, is it? The Wild Boys? They like beating people up. That's it.

I think the choice of villains holds this issue back from getting a perfect score. That flaw only gets highlighted when Daredevil sees a vision of Bullseye, Gladiator, Elektra, Typhoid and Kingpin -- truly great Daredevil foes.

Nocenti always likes to explore a social issue, and that's true with this issue. Nuclear disarmament seems to be her topic, but really I think she shining a light on toxic political discourse. She has two opposing parades meet at an intersection. One is a pro-disarmament rally and the other is a patriotic "America: Love It Or Leave It" rally. Both parades can be argued to be positive movements, but both and draw detractors. Sure enough, when they meet, a riot breaks out. Ammo points out the riot to Daredevil, but oddly enough that ends Nocenti's exploration of the theme, and there are fourteen pages left to go.

As I said, this issue is very good, and this defeat starts Daredevil down a dark, dark trail. This period may be the peak of Nocenti's long run, and she deserves admiration for her boldness. As good as it is, I see things that could have made it better. Ammo and the Wild Boys are nothing villains who leave no impression. The whole peace versus violence theme is leaned on heavily early on, but then just dropped. The things Matt lists at the issues beginning that made him so happy, it would have been horrific if those things were threatened, just to bring him even closer to rock bottom.

What we do have is so good though. I'm giving this a four out of five.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike Murdock
Underboss


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issue starts with fairly typical Nocenti un-subtle dialogue. I think the difference is it plays up that it's Matt being deliberately corny so it sells it well. There's one small bit of dialogue there that's easy to miss but stings in retrospect. Karen says "come home alive" and he says "I always do." It's such a casual part of their conversation that it's hard to realize how much it matters for this issue.

The two parades colliding and the violence it brings feels like a metaphor for the whole situation. Villains and heroes are mutually assured destruction in Nocenti's world. Heroes don't keep people safe, they just escalate the conflict. The entire time, Matt talks about how he doesn't want to fight, but he does it anyway. It gets to the point after he's injured that he's the one hurting the public by attacking a blind man. The image of Einstein makes it clear that even well-intentioned people can breed violence. The image of his father helps reinforce this. One of the big contradictions of Daredevil is he broke his father's promise to avenge his father. But his father never wanted him to fight.

The order of the fight is interesting. It mostly goes from strongest to weakest so, by the time Matt is done, he's unable to deal with the weakest foe. That being said, Bushwacker seems to be the strongest on paper and is the one who makes the most impact and really disrupts his senses. By the time we get to the Wildboys, he's so punch drunk he's essentially broken with reality. He's also completely helpless. It's depressing to see these nobodies beat him up with no resistance. Honestly, I'm almost glad when I see Typhoid show up. At least her killing Daredevil doesn't feel like cheating. There also seems to be some hope of Mary taking over. The final two pages as Matt drops work perfectly because it intercuts with Typhoid Mary starting to cry.

I gave the last issue Five Stars and I think this one deserves the same. This is definitely Ann Nocenti's strongest work.
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike Murdock
Underboss


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fittingly enough, the moment I decided to bite the bullet and do this story to coincide with the New Mutants movie, they move that movie. No big deal, I still love the story and we'll continue it this week. Everyone stay safe. Comic book reading is the best form of social distancing.

Daredevil Vol. 1 #261 - Meltdown

Quote:
Daredevil is dying. Typhoid Mary and her hired goons have beaten the hero to near-death, and only Karen can save him. If Matt remains missing a minute too late, Hell’s Kitchen will lose its defender. The Human Torch joins the search for Daredevil!


Due 3/21
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1147
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This issue feels like a fill-in. All Matt does in this issue is lie flat in the grass under the bridge from which he fell. This issue focuses on how the world he protects is coping while he's unconscious.

I always found it odd that the Human Torch got roped into helping Karen in this issue. He doesn't seem to be that close a friend to Matt. I suppose it makes sense that since he has a public identity, Karen would be able to reach out to him in the Baxter Building, as opposed to Spider-Man who Matt is closer to, but whose secret identity she doesn't know.

The big source of action in this issue is Johnny Storm's fight with a muscle-bound giant of a barfly named Baby Elmo. That whole plot is played for comedy, and, surprisingly, Ann Nocenti does a good job with it. Johnny is trying way to hard to be street, and she works in Karen and Butch's reactions to great effect. But I really don't get how Johnny won the fight. Nobody has ever boxed my ears, so I don't know how debilitating it would be. It just drops Baby Elmo to the floor. Also, Johnny's powers really do free him up from having to use hand-to-hand combat very often. I suppose, being a superhero, he would take the time to train just in case his powers are taken away from him. In the end, though, I liked what he had to say about Daredevil, and the respect he showed to him for being able to deal with this world.

Nothing prepared me for Typhoid's scenes in this issue. Nocenti and Romita Jr. don't hold anything back. Her man-handling of Fisk's security guard, and the thinly-veiled sexual innuendo while doing it. Fisk's extreme physical abuse of Typhoid, and her appearance of enjoying it. Nocenti writes Typhoid as the most demented sexual fantasy version of a woman a man can have. She can take all the abuse a man can dish out, and she'll even like it. However, Nocenti makes it clear that Typhoid is really in control. It's really a fine line Nocenti walks with this character. She seems to write the Typhoid personality as a woman she hates, but I also get the sense that she admires the power that personality wields. I still don't think any other writer has shown as much understanding of Typhoid as Nocenti.

The Typhoid/Fisk dynamic seems to be evolving. It's hard to judge whether Fisk is getting harder for her to control. He seemed to be her plaything for a good long time, but I guess Mary's growing strength due to her love for Matt may be screwing things up for Typhoid. Did Typhoid want Fisk to keep hitting her? Did Typhoid want to have sex with him? Did Fisk choose on his own to have sex with her? After everything, she believes she still controls him, but I don't think Fisk looks owned by any means.

That last page is packed with meaning. A bird tears a strip of red fabric off of Matt's body. As it does so, the narrative caption features the word "hope" in bold letters. The bird flies away with the cloth, and Mary stands on the bridge, her battered face covered in band-aids. She has no memory of who hit her, but she wants to be done with Typhoid.

Typhoid keeps this issue from feeling like an inconsequential fill-in. This was a fascinating look at her character, and how things are breaking down for her. There is a rawness to the violence she experiences that is truly shocking. Violence is nothing new to comic books, as we all know, but this isn't gratuitous. Nocenti and Romita seem to want us to feel how sick this is. They absolutely succeed.

I didn't get too much from Johnny Storm's scenes, but they were well done. All of the Typhoid scenes are fantastic. I give this issue a four out of five.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike Murdock
Underboss


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The focus on the Human Torch this issue is a fun change. Since Daredevil was in such dire straits, it makes sense to create a gap. I love the fact that someone as light-hearted as Johnny Storm gets grim and gritty opening narration just because he's in a Daredevil comic, though. I think Nocenti's narration overall is quite good - especially with her descriptions of the heat and the tension about to boil over. I feel like she captures the spirit of New York City quite well and that is a great example.

I love that the Kingpin is upset by Matt being dead. Typhoid put it best when she suggested that he's in love with him. It's the kind of relationship, at least, where you could buy that he'd keep Matt's identity from others. That being said, Typhoid and Fisk's relationship has a very uncomfortable aspect to it that's violent and flirty and it's hard to know what to think.

Johnny's ineffective attempts at being Daredevil and bullying information out of a bar work as moments of levity, but they also build up Daredevil as a character because he could do things no one else can. Either way, the dialogue is really fun here. The ending is tantalizing with Mary realizing what's up with Typhoid and wanting to end it all as Daredevil lies broken below.

I'm giving this Five Stars as well, which is three in a row. It's hard to pull off a story without Daredevil - especially with Johnny Storm (a character with basically no involvement before) as the lead, but the dialogue and narration work perfectly. It sells the idea of a world without Daredevil and raises the tension for what's to come.
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike Murdock
Underboss


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil Vol. 1 #262 - Never Disturb a Demon

Quote:

The manhunt for Matt continues! Typhoid returns to finish what she started- but what if Black Widow and Karen find Daredevil first? DD is visited by a figure from his past, but is it enough to ward off death?


Due 3/28
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1147
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never having been an X-Men fan, as well as being away from comics at the time, I was not aware of what "Inferno" was all about. Thanks to wikipedia I have an idea, but I don't think it lessens the whiplash brought on by this issue.

Last issue felt like a fill-in while Daredevil lay unconscious. It's really too bad we have to deal with a crossover event in the very next issue. Black Widow appears by Karen's side out of nowhere, helping her, Butch and Darla get to the police office and to the storefront while the machines try to kill them. Those who were into "Inferno" at the time may have found this entertaining, but in the long run this machine plot appears as a non-sequitor and makes little sense. Not much effort is made by Nocenti to explain how these machines have come alive.

The image of the vacuum with the insect legs has stayed in my head for many years after first reading this story, although it never really made much sense. Daredevil's internal battle with Stick feels too much like a rehash of Frank Miller's similar story from #177. It's unclear how he manages to destroy the vacuum, but he does. He's regained consciousness, but at the issue's end he's very weak and at the end of Typhoid's blade.

I don't know how every creative team reacts to having to incorporate a crossover event into their ongoing narrative. Given that "Inferno" was an X-Men-centric event, and Nocenti had a lot of experience in the mutant side of Marvel, she may have seen this issue coming, but I still think this issue's a bit of a mess. I also think Romita Jr.'s art, which was very strong the past few issues, looks comparatively rushed.

It's not awful. Natasha's cool, and Typhoid Mary's monologues are interesting, but there's just too many different things going on. I wish this story could have continued without "Inferno'"s encroachment. I give this a 3 out of 5.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike Murdock
Underboss


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of these X-Men crossover stories need the greater context. The one thing I like about Nocenti's Daredevil stories is they generally work without that context or they take the overall story and approach it in a different way. This is a supernatural story, which is kind of odd for Daredevil. But I think it's used well to explore the characters and themes.

The basic premise is everything has become possessed and is tormenting people. There's a little bit of Dante poetry thrown in for good measure. There's an unnerving creepiness with it that also feels very New York (especially with the filth of the subway). This was only seven years after Bernie Goetz and that seediness is very much felt. But I think it just feels like the crushing machine of a big city. The doors closing on the kids is exaggerated but not out of place.

The little torments work well. Probably the best example is when a syringe shoots towards Karen. It's basically there to torment her for her past demons. I'm glad that Nocenti makes her a strong character who pushes past these things, but doesn't forget what came before or ignore it. Karen's been shown as strong, but she basically collapses here. On the other hand, we get some great heroic moments from Black Widow to help make up for it.

The weirdness is Matt's story with the vacuum cleaner doesn't work as well for me. That being said, there are some nice moments. For starters, it's nice to see Stick for the first time since Miller's run ended (although Romita draws him as super sexy). Second, Matt's anguish reminds me very much of Waid's run in the Purple Children story. It captures the feelings of depression. Matt doesn't want to do anything. He doesn't want to be healed and doesn't want to be born. The only thing that takes me out of that is when he gets strangled by an inanimate object. His "I want to leave" feels very "It's a Wonderful Life" and not entirely earned, but there's not really space for more.

Four and a Half Stars. I think Karen's story is great. I think Matt's story has merit but, as visually cool as it is, him getting strangled by a vacuum cleaner takes away from the seriousness of the plot.
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike Murdock
Underboss


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil Vol. 1 #263 - In Bitterness Not Far From Death

Quote:
Daredevil may be recovering in a hospital, but he’s not out of the woods yet! Karen discovers Matt’s affair with Mary…in the midst of a demon invasion!


Due 4/4
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1147
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This "Inferno" event is just weird.

I haven't read this issue in decades. It has to be one of the strangest issues in the character's entire history. It's certainly ambitious, and John Romita Jr. pulls off some wild art to be sure, but it's still very strange.

Coming off of the last issue, Black Widow has vanished into thin air. She was helping Karen, Butch and Darla, but no mention is made of her at all here. Karen appears at the hospital where Matt is recuperating, and she comes face to face with Mary, who convinces her that she is actually Matt's true love, causing Karen to run from the hospital and, presumably, back to her drug habit.

But then the hospital equipment becomes possessed by demons, just like the vacuum from the previous issue. Daredevil seems to wake up in time to fight them. Then he gets up, runs into the subway system and saves a bunch of New Yorkers from a subway train bound for hell.

That is so strange that you would think it happened all in his head, but no. At the issue's end he is surrounded by the people he saved. "Inferno" is just that crazy.

Although the main demon isn't actually named here, it's clearly Mephisto as Romita Jr. redesigned him around this time. Daredevil would very soon tangle with Mephisto again, so "Inferno" clearly had an influence on Daredevil beyond the event.

However, it's suggested that Typhoid is a partner of Mephisto. That just seems weird to me. One of Mary's personalities is a minion of Satan? That just seems a step too far.

And I guess that's my big problem with "Inferno" -- it just seems to have jerked the story in a unnatural direction. As much of a ball Romita Jr. seems to be having drawing all of this devilish stuff, it's hard for me to process. This demonic stuff just came out of nowhere. The train to hell -- what? Why is there suddenly a train to hell?

Nocenti's poetic flair is almost enough to make this work. She does a nice job introducing the theme of "Can one man change the course of evil?" The fact that he saved this train of people from the bowels of hell makes this probably still the most heroic thing he ever did. Because this didn't just take place in his head while he was laying in the hospital. Literal demons took over New York City, and he ran out and stopped a subway train bound for hell. He actually did that. That can't be topped.

This is really hard to digest. I can't decide if Nocenti actually planned to write these things into her Typhoid story, or if she was forced to by editorial because of "Inferno." Romita Jr. certainly made the most of it, and kudos to him for that. But I don't think Daredevil should be this strange. Could you imagine if this was a kid's first Daredevil comic? What would they have made of it?

I think I'll give it a three. I think Nocenti and Romita Jr. rose to and met a big challenge, but I still don't think it works. Yet as much of a mess as I think this issue may be, I can't help but admire it. So yeah... a three.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike Murdock
Underboss


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The opening of the issue is very dramatic. It's a great synergy of art and narration - especially the moment of the Kingpin in shadow while it describes evil. That being said, it's somewhat confusing. The Typhoid thing never gets fully developed or explained.

The scene with Karen is very crushing. It is Typhoid's plan finally prevailing. In Matt's broken state, he calls out Mary's name and confirms everything she's been saying. As she runs in despair, she faces all the temptation she managed to run from. The Kingpin, however, just seems to take it in stride, although he's wallowing in self-pity.

That being said, I feel like the issue falls apart after Matt wakes up. Everything becomes so incredibly abstract. It's just pink jagged lines and nothing else. Typhoid and the demons is just confusing. It also looks like the redesign of Mephisto, which is technically unrelated to this Limbo story. Also, it's a little weird that he's really not identifiable as Daredevil right now and has bright red hair but everyone calls him Daredevil. That being said, as confusing as it is, I like that it sort of wraps everything up in defeat. This arguably ends the Typhoid Mary Saga. It's just a shame the Inferno plot has made things so confusing and convoluted.

I thought the issue started decently strong. It's a shame it ends so confusingly. Three and a Half Stars.
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Daredevil Message Board Forum Index -> The comics All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group