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DD Book Club: Reborn

 
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2022 6:23 am    Post subject: DD Book Club: Reborn Reply with quote

Sorry for the delay in posting this. We're finishing up Andy Diggle's run.

Daredevil: Reborn #1

Quote:
The apocalyptic events of SHADOWLAND have left the once-proud legacy of Daredevil in tatters. Now, far from the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen, a new evil is rising, and the only man crazy enough to face it is a man with nothing left to lose. The road to Hell was paved with good intentions, but the long road to redemption is the far harder path…


Due 5/28
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Dimetre
Underboss


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1313
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2022 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shadowland left such a bad taste in my mouth, I remember reading this mini-series out a sense of obligation to Matt Murdock and then putting the issues away in a longbox, only returning to them now. This first issue is surprisingly good, if not the most original story.

Right on the opening splash page, Andy Diggle writes, "But out here in the badlands there's nothing." Long-time Daredevil fans will no doubt be reminded of #219, entitled "Badlands" which had Matt wandering into a small rural town with a dark secret, which is exactly the plot of this mini-series. It's not that big a problem, though, since Diggle and artist Davide Gianfelice do a good job bringing us this story.

Diggle doesn't dwell on the events of the just-finished Shadowland. (Small mercies.) Matt is simply getting away from everything, walking as far away from his old life as he can. He's gotten all the way to New Mexico, and the proprietor of the Busy Bee Cafe is immediately rubbed the wrong way by his presence. There is some great character work here. There's a small blind boy who keeps flipping a coin without catching it, and that draws Matt's empathy. Gianfelice gives the cafe worker some great facial expressions as they grow more and more suspicious of Matt's motivations. The sheriff also takes an instant dislike to Matt, and seems to have a prejudice against all lawyers, which is a nice character trait to put in a rural sheriff.

I really like what Diggle does with Matt here. I like how he's finding peace listening to the wind blowing through the needlegrass. I like that the laminated menu is an obstacle. I like how he points out the gun laws in New Mexico, and asks the sheriff if he just took his photo. The one thing I'm unsure how to take is his internal monologue when facing down a thug.
Quote:
I could take all four of them out before they even knew they'd started a fight.
I could kill them.

Of course, we know that right before this story, Matt murdered Bullseye. We know he's capable of killing (as much as I hate that and want to pretend it never happened). I'm just not sure what Diggle is going for by pointing this out, and having Matt take the punishment of the thugs. Is this Matt taking a punishment he thinks he deserves? I'd like to think so, but I'm not sure if that's Diggle's intention.

Matt stumbles across a secret the local cops are trying to suppress. Again, it's not the most original idea for a story, but I think Diggle and Gianfelice are telling it well. I'm giving this issue a four out of five.
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2022 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, sorry for the delay. I've been really busy with my birthday week. If it's OK, I'll get my review today and I'll post the next issue next week.
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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
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2022 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After the events of Inferno, Daredevil left town and journeyed to upstate New York. This feels like a similar vibe. Matt feels guilt over Shadowland and is just walking. He ends up in some small town that clearly has something going on. Before the drama starts, there's a couple nice moments. The first is a good use of his senses as a limitation - he can't read laminated menus. The second is he teaches a blind kid to flip a coin. The two next to each other work really well to explore how he's a hero defined by his limitations.

It becomes very obvious that this town has secrets of its own and, to protect them, they act as obviously as possible that they have secrets. I didn't expect the mass grave with the sheriff's badge, though.

Solid start. I'll give it Four Stars.
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Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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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
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2022 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil: Reborn #2

Quote:
He thought he had left his crime-fighting days behind him. Guilt-ridden and alone, the man who would be Daredevil turned his back on the life he once knew, and fled into the New Mexico desert. But when he stumbles across small-town corruption that threatens to erupt into something altogether more deadly, he finds that he cannot deny the hero within...


Due 6/11
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Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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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
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think issue two does a good job of balancing the Matt Murdock who doesn't want to get involved with the one who is compassionate and needs to help. He threatens the police officers, but it's toothless because they're more afraid of someone else and he doesn't want them to die. He asks to be left alone after that, but warns the people who he believes are going to be killed. Unfortunately, they're in on the conspiracy (despite being about to be betrayed) and they capture him.

The story of the side characters lacks all subtlety, but we do at least learn a little more background, which is nice. I'm a sucker for a small blind child in a Daredevil story.

The ending had a nice "hell yeah" moment when you realize he's in there with all the guns and is about to be the hero. That being said, there's something a little odd about it. Maybe it goes on just slightly too long so the impact isn't really felt. I'm not sure. Either way, the hell yeah moment to me was when the bad guys pointed out the problem as opposed to the final shot of him jumping out of the vehicle.

Either way, Four Stars. It's not the greatest Daredevil story in the world, but it's being told competently and I like the direction so far. The big bad is only told in mysterious terms at this point so we're looking forward to that.
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Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

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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: 1313
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2022 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Mike. It's not the greatest Daredevil story in the world, but Andy Diggle is telling it competently.

I like the characters in this town, and how broken everyone is. I liked how Matt got the better of everyone at the top of the issue, and how he had the police cruiser strung up on a frayed metal cable. It was intense.

The weakest part of the issue for me was when Matt stopped that truck with the police cruiser. Matt tells the gun runners why he's stopping them, and they simply volunteer to open up the back and show him their cargo. Then one of them hits him in the back of the head. None of that is believable. I think, in reality, one of them would tell him to go to hell, and the other would try to hit him from behind. Matt would dodge, then counter, and commandeer the truck somehow. That actually sounds like it would have been cool.

Still, I'm kind of surprised at how much I'm enjoying this so far. I have to dock the issue for that nonsensical scene with the truck, but I'm still giving it 3.5 out of 5.


Last edited by Dimetre on Wed Jul 27, 2022 2:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2022 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil: Reborn #3

Quote:
He thought he was unworthy to wear the mantle of hero. But now, trapped between a corrupt police department and a ruthless gang of killers. Matt Murdock learns that the legacy of Daredevil cannot be denied. One man can make a difference...


Due 6/18
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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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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2022 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The opening scene has Matt be pretty badass. The "where's the grenade" line made me laugh out loud. I don't like Matt driving, that's the one activity that generally breaks my suspension of disbelief. I have to concede he did it in Born Again, though, and I appreciate that this take on radar sense has the windshield be an obstacle to his "sight," which is generally consistent with my take on his powers.

Then we finally get to meet Calavera. He has a cold, icy quality that works. He isn't emotional at all. I don't think the story needed a supernatural element. That being said, it seems to work thematically in this issue. The premise was stated pretty clearly here - Matt thought he could walk away, but he can't not help people. Calavera's power is also a good opportunity to explore the guilt of Shadowland. That being said, a single splash page isn't enough, so it feels like they need to return to the topic next issue. Matt is always full of guilt and, while he arguably has a lot he has to actually atone for, the premise seems to be that he needs to overcome the guilt he feels first and foremost.

It's a pretty solid continuation, imo. It doesn't really fall into the issue three doldrums where it's spinning its wheels thanks to us finally meeting Calavera. Four Stars.
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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!
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Dimetre
Underboss


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1313
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2022 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This mini-series is actually making me feel bad for the negative thoughts I've been harbouring about Andy Diggle for the last decade. Shadowland is actually awful, but this guy could actually write a decent comic. It's starting to feel like he and artist Davide Gianfelice actually had this story locked down and ready to roll, while Shadowland was the chaos it was.

I'm also impressed by the windshield line.
Quote:
Radar sense just throws the inside of the windshield right back at me.

That actually shows that Diggle has spent some time thinking about Matt. It makes me wonder that if he has such a strong grasp of how his powers work, why not his morality?

This story is enjoyable enough, and enough time has passed that when I'm reading this in 2022 I can forget Matt's choice to murder Bullseye. I can now stand back and admire him for letting the truck full of guns plunge over the cliff.
Quote:
Those guns would be used to kill innocent people. I thought I could turn my back, walk away, but...
I guess that's just not who I am.

While I agree with Mike Murdock that this story didn't need a supernatural element, and I can imagine myself being disappointed about that at the time, Calavera is a very interesting villain. He's very smart, and has Matt sized up immediately. I like that he equates Matt's nobility with vanity.

The ending is shocking. I have no recollection of how Matt survived this issue. I have to find out.

This is very good. I give it a four out of five.
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2022 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil: Reborn #4

Quote:
Is this the final end for Daredevil…? For years he was known as the Man Without Fear. But now, trapped in his own very personal hell, Matt Murdock must confront the darkness within himself – and what he finds there terrifies him to the core.


Due 6/25
_________________
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: 1313
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2022 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The beginning is a little bit of a cheap move. The previous issue's cliffhanger certainly made it look like Calavera shot Matt in the head, but I guess I buy it that Daredevil is so skilled that he twisted at the last possible moment, and that the bullet only grazed his skull, and that he was able to control his fall so it wasn't fatal.

Otherwise I thought this issue was great!

The conversation with the young boy was quite moving. Matt had briefly inspired this kid to hope for better, because he was a hero. But he had also witnessed Matt take the cops' abuse, and the lesson he took from that was being a hero just gets you killed. This boy had lost his father, who was the only good example in his life. I love that Matt tells the boy his father was right, and that he's going to prove it. And I love that the boy shows concern about Matt's wounded hands and how much the fight will hurt. Matt replies, "It's supposed to hurt." That's fantastic.

Matt is amazing throughout the fight, although kicking someone in the groin isn't the classiest move. It's also appropriate that, after everything Matt has endured throughout Volume 2, that he declares that he has faced all his fears and that he's come out the other side. Calavera has nothing on him.

It was great to see Matt return to New York, and to talk to Foggy about getting the law firm back.

This is a great way to end this mini-series. I give this issue a four and a half out of five, and the entire event a four. I didn't expect to enjoy this story so much. I remember a few years ago we reviewed Redemption, and were all surprised to remember how good it was. Rereading Reborn is kind of like that. I have to tip my hat to Diggle. Shadowland may have been a disaster, but he can write a good story when he wants to.
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1659

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issue starts with Matt Murdock swimming to shore. So, obviously, I knew that he wouldn't die. That being said, his survival was too easy. I missed last issue that his hands were shot through. I kind of found that to be annoying. First off, the stigmata injuries makes any Jesus Christ resurrection parallel a little too on the nose (and, while I can now see the parallels throughout the story, I'm not entirely sure they are intentional). Second, that type of injury feels like something that would leave permanent hand damage and I don't think either this story or any future story does that justice.

Matt goes to the blind kid's house. The dialogue is solid as far as a turning point speech. Arguably, Matt had already turned around, but it's good to say that he's doing it for the right reasons. He goes to confront Cole and Calvera. The Calvera confrontation is a little bit anticlimactic. I do like that Matt is stronger for facing his fears and coming out the other side but it did happen fairly quickly.

We're treated to two scenes after. I actually like the first one better. That being said, I remember the second one having a greater impact previously. The story doesn't dwell on the confrontation and just makes it a happy moment. I'm not sure it would make sense for it to be the case and Foggy quickly forgiving Matt isn't great. I would have at least appreciated Matt trying to apologize first or something. That being said, it is a happy victorious moment and maybe that's wiser. If anything, Matt's sunny attitude feels like a preview of Mark Waid's run to come.

This final issue is better than I remembered it being the first time I read it. It has flaws, but I'm still giving it Four Stars.
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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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