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Dimetre
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Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1271
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee Weeks returns with this issue, and I found his art strong for the most part, except for some odd facial expressions, especially one panel of J. Jonah Jameson exclaiming that he hates superheroes.

Ann Nocenti has some excellent writing in this issue. I love her description of boxing and Joe Louis. It's top-notch poetry. I was shook up by Nyla's realization that Matt doesn't know she's black. I enjoyed how Foggy no longer refers to Matt as a friend, but works to the ends of his abilities to help him. I was touched by Matt's emphasis on being a compassionate fighter.

However, there are some choices Nocenti made that I don't understand. I don't think Wilson Fisk would deign to set foot in a grimy place like Fogwell's gym, so I didn't buy his presence here. I don't know why Bullseye's lady-friend visited an anonymous Bugle reporter and not Ben Urich. (Also, does anyone know if around this time Robbie Robertson left the Bugle and Urich rose to the editor position? I was not aware this happened.) I was a little surprised that Nocenti wrote a scene implying Bullseye forced himself on this woman, and that later she would tell the reporter that he's "not much of a man." I'm surprised she went there. I didn't think Marvel went so blue in 1990.

This was a good issue for Matt. He's getting more hints about who he really is, and he's applying the lessons accordingly. I think this story, so far, contains some of Nocenti's best social commentary, and it's very thoughtfully inserted into the narrative. I personally think the dream sequence could have been shortened by a page, but that's a small complaint.

I'm enjoying this. I give this issue a four out of five.
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Mike Murdock
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Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil #288 - The Student

Quote:

With echoes of Elektra and Stick in his mind, Matt starts to piece together his identity. Meanwhile, Bullseye gets a new gig, courtesy of Kingpin.


Due 10/23
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Dimetre
Wake Up


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1271
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another strong issue.

Ben Urich played a very limited role during Ann Nocenti's tenure on Daredevil, but his inclusion here, along with the Kingpin and Bullseye, really gives this story a classic Daredevil feeling.

Nocenti peppers the examination of what it means to be a hero throughout the issue. I felt there was a bit too much of the dream with Stick and Elektra for my tastes, but I always like dream sequences to be used sparingly. That's just me.

Lee Weeks' art in this issue really reminds me of some of Marvel's all-time classic artists, like John Buscema, John Romita Sr. or Gil Kane. Maybe its just the way he draws fisk with the white suit and the ascot. He really is excellent.

I feel like Nyla should have been given more to do than be jealous of a woman in Matt's dreams. She was very inactive in this issue. Either make her more active or have her appear less.

Other than that, this was very good. I give it a four out of five.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ann Nocenti's run of Daredevil is noteworthy to me because it doesn't try too hard to mirror Frank Miller's run. This last arc comes the closest. Part of this is because Bullseye is in it. I think the biggest part is Matt's dreams. We see him dreaming about Elektra and Stick - two of the biggest contributions Miller had to Daredevil's mythos. Stick gets to be her narrator for her philosophy, which I think is fun because he still does it in his Stick tough guy voice. I've read this story a couple times before, but I just noticed that he's dressed in the original Daredevil costume. I like the final panel after the dream sequence where it talks about Nyla and how she knows what's going on in his dreams and how jealous that makes her. To her, Matt regaining his memories could mean that he leaves her entirely.

In the meantime, Bullseye shows up to talk to the Kingpin and gets chewed out because his crime spree just made Daredevil more popular. There's almost a dark comedy effect as he commits even more crimes to make up for it, but, at the same time, it's very unsettling. Fisk's plan to reenact Jack Murdock's death seems like it will have a predictable result but there's something comfortingly nostalgic about everything.

Four and a Half Stars.
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil Vol. 1 #289 - The Hero

Quote:
Matt is ordered to throw a fight… but no one keeps a Murdock down! With Ben Urich’s help, Daredevil sorts his memories and become whole again.


Due 10/30
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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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Dimetre
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Joined: 16 Feb 2006
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Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee Weeks takes another issue off, and Kieron Dwyer fills in on pencils. I think he did a good job. Some of the layouts in this issue are great. The boxing match makes this issue action-packed, but when Matt figures out who he is and goes after the thugs who are trying to kill him, Dwyer shows a great talent for making motion flow from panel to panel.

There isn't that much dialogue this issue since it's very action-heavy, but Ann Nocenti shows a great understanding of how the Daredevil/Kingpin relationship best works. "I wrote the whole script that led up to this. I even wrote the words you're saying now!" boils the Kingpin's talent for manipulation down to its essence.

I wish Matt didn't tell Nyla to shut up. That seemed very coarse and rude for Matt, especially now that he knows who he is. It's also very sad, since Nyla has admitted her love for Matt, and now we can see that ending.

I can't remember how the next issue pans out, so I don't know where Nyla ends up. I hope it's nothing too grisly.

This story has been very strong so far, and this issue follows the pattern for quality set by its predecessors. I give this a 4.5 out of 5.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The parallels to Matt's origin story are fun. Everything is sort of coming together with him being asked to throw the fight. Of course, there's much better reasons here with threats on the lives of his loved ones (I know some retellings of Battlin' Jack's story have them threaten Matt, which, imo, makes it almost selfish of him to win the fight). To me, it becomes clear that it's more important to save Nyla's life than to win the fight. But I'm not much of a boxing fan either way. I love that Ben Urich is in the crowd and, when Matt gets knocked into the stands, he gets to talk to him. This arguably makes him crazier since now he's reliving his memories but as his own dad. The results are that he follows the same path and starts winning the fight instead of throwing it.

That being said, I like the takeaway at the end. If Matt Murdock had seen his dad throw the fight, he would have lost respect for him and wouldn't have become Daredevil. Likewise, of course, if his dad had lived, he wouldn't have become Daredevil. So, obviously, the decision to win that fight has saved countless lives over the years (even if, from a rational perspective, it still seems selfish to me).

The action scenes that follow are pretty good. Kieron Dwyer does a good job of drawing them and Nocenti lets them breathe. It looks like Matt ends up killing the guys that dive into the water after him (it at least looks that way, although it's not commented on). This story predates The Man Without Fear but, if I hadn't known better, I would have thought it was an allusion to it.

My only real complaint is that the ending is very rushed. Matt confronts the Kingpin and rescues Nyla. The Kingpin says nothing. Then he all but says he's Daredevil and he has to go and that's the end of the story. Also, the reprint from the Epic Collection has some issues where the colors seem to bleed into the conversation bubbles and it makes it hard to read (I assume this is true of the original, but I don't know). Either way, it's a confusing ending to an otherwise very good issue.

I'm giving it Four Stars since I think the ending could have had a little more room to breathe, but it's still a really good issue to a very underrated story.
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Dimetre
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Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1271
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:
Also, the reprint from the Epic Collection has some issues where the colors seem to bleed into the conversation bubbles and it makes it hard to read (I assume this is true of the original, but I don't know).

I got out my original issue to read for this, and on page 27 it looks as though the horizontal blinds in Wilson Fisk's office are drawn over the word bubbles, and in the bottom panel there are some far away buildings drawn over them. In all cases it's blue ink. It seems like these blinds and buildings were added at the last minute, so I don't know if this is Keiron Dwyer's doing, or maybe it's the inkers (Al Williamson and Fred Fredricks) or the colourist (Christie 'Max' Scheele). I don't know how it happened, but it doesn't look like it's the fault of the printers because Fisk's white jacket is immaculate.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil Vol. 1 #290 - Bullseye

Quote:
Costume swap! Matt Murdock goes on the hunt for Bullseye, who’s now wearing Daredevil’s suit. Which means Murdock is slipping into Bullseye’s duds!


Due 11/6
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons


Last edited by Mike Murdock on Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dimetre
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Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1271
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is kind of a heady issue. Writer Ann Nocenti and artist Kieron Dwyer explore who Daredevil and Bullseye are deep down in the cores of the their beings. By this time Bullseye has spent quite a long time in Daredevil's costume. Matt goes to Bullseye's hideout and, turnabout being fair play, goes out in his outfit. Given the length of time Bullseye has spent as Daredevil, along with his shaky mental state, I can kind of buy into the idea of him losing his sense of identity. I suppose Matt has just emerged from a long amnesiac spell, but he just put on the Bullseye outfit. I'm not sure I'm believing too much in this sudden identity crisis.

On page 29 of the original issue, there is a nine-panel grid of Daredevil and Bullseye beating each other senseless. The following phrases are in dialogue bubbles, but there is no indication of which character is speaking them.
Quote:
Bullseye!
I understand you, I know the pain you're in.
That's it -- Hit me!
I understand.
I'll let you go, Bullseye!
Daredevil! I trust you to do the right thing!
Argh! Yes!
Aggk! Yes!

Nocenti's experiment is a neat one. Most of us think that Daredevil and Bullseye couldn't be more different as characters, but she has really blurred the line between them by wreaking havoc on their mental states. And in the end Matt is distraught with the knowledge that the two of them are the same.

The other scenes include a monologue by Foggy which I think could have been seriously trimmed. It occupies two pages, and I think it could have easily been pared down to one. There are also two scenes with Wilson Fisk, and the second is all about him setting up a news network. Reading it now, in 2021, it's eerie how Nocenti predicted the ascent of Fox News, which wouldn't launch for another five and a half years.

It's an interesting issue which is hampered by some unnatural feeling character turns and a blabbering Foggy. But I respect what this issue is trying, and mostly succeeding, to do. I give it a four out of five.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the opening of this issue with the Kingpin. His desire for legitimacy but his cruelty when humaliated fits the character well. There are actually strong parallels to Zdarsky's run with Mayor Fisk.

There's a quick interlude with Foggy about how he needs Matt. I love that moment. They've been apart an incredibly long time and he's basically been out of the book. It ends on such an optimistic note for Nelson and Murdock to be back again.

The main plot is Daredevil vs. Bullseye, but obviously flipped. I love that it starts with Bullseye being bored and deciding to be a hero, but quickly turns surreal. It doesn't make a ton of sense except with Bullseye losing his mind, but it feels very poetic. And you know what? It somehow works!

Four 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
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