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DD Book Club - Shadowland
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Dimetre
Underboss


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1319
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2022 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I just read the final issue of the proper Shadowland event. This was probably the second time in a dozen years.

So I had forgotten that Foggy didn't get to the roof all on his own, but he got up the wall pretty far for someone without wall-crawling powers. I had forgotten that Ghost Rider had this fight against Daredevil. He just loses the fight, and I don't know if absorbing all of the Rider's hellfire kills him. He doesn't appear in the story again. (I have never read After The Fall before so I could be wrong about that).

Eventually we get to the cliffhanger of Daredevil #511. It's weird because Guru EFX's colours suddenly shift from the Ghost Rider fight. Daredevil's outfit changes to blue, and it's jarring. More consistency would have helped.

For someone as tough as White Tiger has shown herself to be throughout this story, Izo takes her out with a whack to the back of the head. That couldn't be more anti-climactic. I liked the idea of Iron Fist using the last of his chi to heal Matt, and I enjoyed the pages showing Matt's internal struggle. I liked that the "memories" turned out to be the Beast's last attempts to manipulate him.

So, Elektra managed to convince everyone that Matt died, even though Iron Fist detected some life force still. Matt's super-friends seem rather gullible.

This issue, for what it is, isn't awful. I would have liked Matt's friends to be more affected by his demise, instead of looking around and saying "this calls for a drink," and "at least Bullseye's still dead." Also, what's the point of giving Typhoid a fourth personality if it's not going to be distinct from any of her other three?

I didn't enjoy the overly long "Daredevil leads the Hand" story very much, to say the least. If this issue put an end to it, I suppose I should be thankful. It's a satisfying ending in that respect. However, just because an ending feels good doesn't make the preceding story good. "Daredevil leads the Hand" was a very poorly executed story.

I give this issue a three out of five.

I can't believe we're not done with this yet. Two more issues.
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1674

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The start of this issue is sloppy. It repeats a lot of what was in the last Daredevil issue, but it adds that Ghost Rider helped Foggy make it to the top (which feels like a relatively pointless addition that was wisely cut from the other issue). Then a lot of chaos happens that leads to Iron Fist getting one good punch in that saves the day. OK, honestly, I like the little bit that follows in Matt's head. That being said, the whole thing felt rushed to lead to that point and there's very little impact.

There's an aftermath that sets up the pieces for a new status quo (although one with surprisingly little follow through) and then the story ends with Matt going to confession. I'm pretty sure this is the first time we've actually seen him do that (or, at least, since Guardian Devil). Waid and Soule's take was that he stopped being a practicing Catholic after Karen's death. Soule had him go to confession as well as a more regular thing. Arguably, this was the first step in that direction (and one that would certainly continue into modern Daredevil and be a big influence on the Netflix show).

Honestly, it's hard for me to rate this issue. The first time I read it, I had a strong reaction of disappointment. This time, I kind of just feel indifferent to it. I guess Three Stars for that.
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2022 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil Vol. 2 #512

Quote:
A SHADOWLAND TIE-IN: FINAL ISSUE! Years of acting as the Guardian Devil of Hell's Kitchen have taken their toll on The Man Without Fear. Hell's Kitchen lies in ruins, and it is up to the people of New York to start anew and begin rebuilding. In this last chapter of his story, will Matt Murdock at last find final redemption for the events of SHADOWLAND?


Due 3/19
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Dimetre
Underboss


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1319
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2022 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This issue makes me so angry. Andy Diggle consciously chose to have Matt decide to kill Bullseye. That shows a massive misunderstanding of this book's title character. It's hard to believe that Volume 2 ends with this splash page that inflicts eternal damage to Daredevil.

This is why I choose to overlook the existence of Shadowland. It's hard to do that right now because we're reviewing it, and we still have one more issue to go. But I can't have my favourite character feel an entitlement to kill if he sees fit.

Otherwise, for what this issue is, Roberto de la Torre does a fine job this issue. Becky Blake rolls her way out of the series, and I don't think we've seen her come back since, which is a shame. I also think this was the last we ever saw of Dakota as well. I wouldn't mind seeing Becky, Dakota or Black Tarantula reappear.

For a long time this was my most-hated issue of Daredevil. It still might be, but I can't pretend that it's the most incompetent. I think de la Torre is a much better artist than someone like Scott McDaniel, who did that awful "Fall From Grace" issue with Venom. Foggy, Dakota and Becky are true to their characters, and I can tell what's going on, unlike that awful "Fall From Grace" issue. But I have rarely seen an issue of a comic inflict such a deep wound on its title character. This is a decision of such disastrous proportions that I have had to do a mindwipe on myself so I could keep enjoying Daredevil comics.

Pretending that this issue exists, I give it a 1 out of 5. This issue didn't happen though, so what did I just type all that for?


Last edited by Dimetre on Sun Apr 17, 2022 1:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2022 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ Lol, that's a good way of thinking about it.

This is definitely a picking up the pieces issue. It starts focusing on Detective Kurtz, the aftermath, and the cleanup. The big thing is the NYPD have decided to arrest Daredevil. You see a shot of what appears to be Daredevil in his black suit from behind, almost like he's mocking New York and pretending everything is normal. From our perspective, it's frustrating that they want to do this since we know he was possessed by the Hand (although, as we find out, he isn't exactly absolved from all his sins. The Bullseye thing happened first). Still, the police don't know any of that.

There's a Foggy side plot. It's definitely very tragic. He's standing by Matt and hoping he returns, but Becky has no patience for that so she leaves. I'd have to double check, but is this the last time we see her? Either way, Foggy is left alone. I like how Foggy was the hero that goes to Shadowland last issue (I don't quite think he saved the day, but he contributed to it). But this makes it feel more like a cycle of abuse. He probably should leave Matt, all things considered.

Probably the best thing in the issue is the reveal that who we think is Daredevil is actually Black Panther. I think that's well-handled. Probably the worst is the reveal that he wasn't possessed when he killed Bullseye. Don't get me wrong, it's good for them to commit to their convictions and not walk it back, but it does undermine the character. During Zdarsky's run, he'll choose to go to jail for the accidental killing to stop a burglary (something that would likely have been a justifiable homicide). But there's no attempt for him to be punished for this deliberate killing (unless you count all this as his punishment, which means that many people got it much worse than he did). The closest justification I can think of is that Bullseye is no longer dead, so it's as if Matt didn't murder him? If that were the case, they could definitely stop blaming Bullseye for killing Elektra, but that still pops up all the time. Either way, definitely leaves a bad taste.

Three and a Half Stars. I do like the Kurtz, Foggy, etc. stories and the art is good. But it's not a really substantive issue and the last revelation definitely leaves a bad taste.
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2022 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have one more issue to read of Shadowland and I have to figure out what to do next. I have an odd suggestion if you're interested. I'd love to go with Moon Knight Volume 1 #13 as a quick issue. It's not a Daredevil issue, but he does guest star and feature prominently. The villain is the Jester. It's available on Marvel Unlimited if you want to try it. But, since it's pretty far afield, I'm happy to not go in that direction.
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Dimetre
Underboss


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1319
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2022 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, another idea could be "Wake Up." I think we've somehow missed that.
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2022 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK. No worries. I can do that next.

Shadowland: After the Fall

Quote:

SHADOWLAND ENDS - BUT WHO IS THE VICTOR? After the senses-shattering conclusion of Shadowland, can the people of Hell's Kitchen rebuild without a champion to guide them? The future of Marvel's street heroes begins here!


Due 3/26
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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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Dimetre
Underboss


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1319
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a bad epilogue for an incredibly flawed crossover event. I have never read this issue before. I suppose after the end of Shadowland and #512 I wanted nothing more to do with the event.

This issue focuses on Detective Kurtz and Ben Urich, both who narrate throughout. Also front and centre is Foggy, who is portrayed as a loyal friend who is eternally optimistic. I wish Dakota and Becky were also here, and it feels like a lost opportunity to give them an appropriate exit. Neither of these woman were ever used by Mark Waid, Charles Soule or Chip Zdarsky, as far as I can remember.

I really like the way Antony Johnston writes Kurtz and Urich's narration. It's very stylish and clever. As far as I know this is Marco Checchetto's first artwork for a Daredevil comic. (Even though it's arguable that this is a Daredevil comic.) I feel that Checchetto is kind of aping Alex Maleev's style here, and I don't think this is as strong as his current work. But both Johnston and Checchetto do a good job establishing a noir mood.

I suppose it's heartening to hear Matt admit how much of an idiot he was to think he could take over the Hand and wield them as a force for good. That's been my major objection from the very moment Lady Bullseye first pitched the idea at Matt, way back when Ed Brubaker was still writing the series.

I could have used a more terrified reaction on Urich's part to Elektra's appearance, given how close she came in the past to killing him. But I guess he's a professional, and he's survived many near death experiences since then.

If I didn't dislike Shadowland so much overall, I'd have warmer feelings about this issue, because, for what it is, it's well made. As it is though, I give it a 3.5 out of 5.
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ Checchetto did the Devil's Hand story earlier (which I quite enjoyed the art in) so it's not his first work, but it's still very early for him with Daredevil.

This story follows the two everyman characters established. The first is Ben Urich. The second is Detective Kurtz. They're both looking for Daredevil. The story bounces back and forth between them in ways that can get very confusing (although there are at least visual cues that help). They both go to Foggy who is very upset and kicks them out.

Ben gets a message from Matt. Matt is self-pitying but clearly contrite. I do think it works as an apology, which is a good first step to moving past this story. Maybe an apology from the author rather than Matt would be nice (kidding, I think). Ben also meets Elektra, which has me wondering whether they've actually met since she stabbed him. Either way, it's not addressed here.

There's a nice scene with Kurtz and a bunch of officers. They all defend Daredevil and the good he's done. I do appreciate that. With the bitterness of where the character is, it's good to recognize him as a hero.

It's a solid ending to this story. It's not a great epilogue, but it's at least enough to wash a bit of the bitter taste out of our mouths. 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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