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DD Book Club - To the Devil, His Due
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Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1176
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to enjoy anything Ed Brubaker writes, and this issue proves no different, but this latest reread exposed a problem I didn't notice the first time around.

My main issue is with Milla. Issue #98 exposed an admirable level of compassion and self-control. Even after Melvin abducted her and dropped her off a rooftop, she still showed concern for his well-being, and that was remarkable to see. That's gone in this issue. She shows up and immediately delivers a stream of invective Lily's way. I suppose it's somewhat understandable, since that one-shot issue focusing on Milla showed how insecure she is when it comes to her marriage, and Lily has demonstrated her ability to bend men to her will. But I think it's fair of me to expect Milla to recognize a victim when she encounters one.

But wait, I can feel you typing, she's under Cranston's influence. Obviously he did something to her in her therapist's waiting room. Then, I reply to you, why was she able to empathize with Melvin, even at his most violent? There is a lot of inconsistency with Milla's character since Matt returned to New York.

Also, a lot of the choices the characters are making seem designed to put them into position for the plot to unfold the way Brubaker designed it, and it comes off somewhat inorganic. It is incredibly stupid for Foggy and Dakota to allow Lily to accompany Milla back home. Yes, Foggy is clearly being manipulated by Lily's power, but why doesn't Dakota stop it? She knows how much Lily's presence is upsetting Milla. She could have, at the very least, suggested that Lily hang back for 15 minutes. But then the plot wouldn't have unfolded the way it did. I just think that Brubaker could have found a way to make it happen that seemed less forced.

Brubaker does seem overly comfortable having Matt get beaten unconscious. I would have preferred seeing him put up some kind of fight under the influence of the gas and against the Enforcers. I don't see why he had to be unconscious for the reveal of Cranston.

Otherwise, I enjoyed Foggy, Dakota and Becky. They're a fantastic supporting cast. I liked how the cops called out to Matt to tell him about murders, but that just emphasizes for me how the strings Vanessa pulled didn't really put the genie back in the bottle. Clearly Brubaker wasn't interested in putting a tidy bow on the secret identity crisis Bendis set in motion. It remained in a very wishy-washy place until Charles Soule came a long and pressed his reset button.

I liked how Vanessa has a link to Cranston. That's something I forgot. I enjoyed watching Matt tear around town questioning people, especially the way Michael Lark drew him punching Merv in the head.

I'm enjoying the story, and I love the characters. I just find it a shame that Milla had such a character shift in the space of a single issue, and that all the pieces that were needed to set the subway scene in motion seemed so forced to be there. I would expect anyone else would enjoy this issue just fine.

I give this a four out of five.
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Mike Murdock
Lowlife


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1435

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In many ways, this issue feels like things are rapidly approaching a conclusion. The Gladiator story is essentially wrapped up, but Matt needs to find out who is responsible. At the same time, we see Lilly back and Milla is not thrilled with what's going on. Just like Gladiator's connection to the firm seemed inevitable either way (if it wasn't for Becky, they would have found something else), everything has a sense of inevitability. Even Matt's actions as Daredevil feel rehersed and unimportant (the fact that he's fighting Chico and Merv kind of reinforce this).

As soon as Matt breaks into that warehouse, things take a dramatic turn. It's like I'm breathing the fear gas. There's a scary tension that builds in each story. The ending is unexpected. The whole thing makes sense if Milla's being manipulated by Cranston, but I certainly didn't think things would go this far. It's a strong ending to a strong story.

Five Stars.

Dimetre wrote:

My main issue is with Milla. Issue #98 exposed an admirable level of compassion and self-control. Even after Melvin abducted her and dropped her off a rooftop, she still showed concern for his well-being, and that was remarkable to see. That's gone in this issue. She shows up and immediately delivers a stream of invective Lily's way. I suppose it's somewhat understandable, since that one-shot issue focusing on Milla showed how insecure she is when it comes to her marriage, and Lily has demonstrated her ability to bend men to her will. But I think it's fair of me to expect Milla to recognize a victim when she encounters one.

But wait, I can feel you typing, she's under Cranston's influence. Obviously he did something to her in her therapist's waiting room. Then, I reply to you, why was she able to empathize with Melvin, even at his most violent? There is a lot of inconsistency with Milla's character since Matt returned to New York.


My take is the manipulation is specifically tied both with her insecurities over Matt and the perfume Lilly has on. It normally only affects men but it's also affecting Milla in a different way. Milla had reason to be afraid of Mevlin, but not to feel insecure in front of him. That's why she reacted differently.

Quote:
Also, a lot of the choices the characters are making seem designed to put them into position for the plot to unfold the way Brubaker designed it, and it comes off somewhat inorganic. It is incredibly stupid for Foggy and Dakota to allow Lily to accompany Milla back home. Yes, Foggy is clearly being manipulated by Lily's power, but why doesn't Dakota stop it? She knows how much Lily's presence is upsetting Milla. She could have, at the very least, suggested that Lily hang back for 15 minutes. But then the plot wouldn't have unfolded the way it did. I just think that Brubaker could have found a way to make it happen that seemed less forced.


I do agree about Dakota. It seemed to me that she was just too engrossed in her work, but that's a pretty weak excuse given the obvious stakes. Foggy makes sense, but she should have recognized the toxic situation. In fairness, she's been pretty nonchalant about Lilly - laughing about Foggy's infatuation when he went to talk to her, but that's not much of an explanation. I guess Dakota wasn't in the room when Milla confronted Lilly, so it's possible she wasn't aware of the problems.
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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