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DD Book Club - Fear is the Key
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Dimetre
Underboss


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1334
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to sneak in a review of #94 before getting to the Man-Bull two-parter.

I have to agree that this comic builds up the sense of dread well. Dran is enormous and impervious to harm. He seems more unstoppable than the Juggernaut. There doesn't seem to be a single thing that Daredevil or the Black Widow can do to stop him.

I have to admit, I lost track of the floating globe throughout this issue. I know that the globe was was the source of his powers, but it seems impractical to have the source of your invulnerability float around in your vicinity, while having it be the only vulnerable thing.

Daredevil and Black Widow are largely ineffective until Danny French destroys the globe. After that both heroes get their hits in, and Dran falls and shrivels up.

As a monster tale, it's pretty good. It got reprinted by a Greek publisher with a title that translates into "Grand Guignol," stressing more the horror elements of the story than heroics. Judging this on a Daredevil message board, it's undoubtedly frustrating that Danny French is the true hero here. I guess I'll give this a 3 out of 5.
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1698

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2022 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The premise of this issue is Man-Bull is in prison and the mere knowledge that Daredevil is now in San Francisco is enough for him to want to break out of prison to get revenge. We're treated to a few scenes of Man-Bull stalking Daredevil and Black Widow and the very briefest of moments of Matt Murdock in his new law firm. I wish there was more than that, but it's what we get. There's a footnote about the "real" Coit Tower. I'm not sure what this is referencing. Did they accidentally refer to some other building as it in a previous issue?

Anyway, after Man-Bull attacks Ivan, Daredevil and Black Widow both go for revenge. We're treated to a nice splash page of them leaping into action. I do like that, so far, both characters seem to get some moments to shine in this shared book. I seemed to remember Natasha getting sidelines a lot, but that might be something that happened when Gerry Conway let and Steve Gerber took over.

It doesn't really make all that much sense that Man-Bull blames Daredevil (although I think Scorpion similarly blames Spider-Man for poor reasons). I think the story even acknowledges that it doesn't make a ton of sense. Regardless, it leads to a final fight that ends surprisingly quickly with Daredevil being knocked unconscious. Honestly, these last few pages are a bit confusing. Still, the ending was a surprise.

Three and a Half Stars. It's a mostly pedestrian issue with a rushed, confusing final fight, but the sudden brutality of the cliffhanger made up for it a bit.
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Dimetre
Underboss


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1334
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2022 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a fine set-up for a Man-Bull story. Mike, I'm impressed with your scheduling talent. Did you know that Man-Bull would show up in the She-Hulk show this week?

I'm also confused with the Coit Tower panel. I have never been to San Francisco, and I don't know if they made a mistake in a previous issue. Sometimes I think the bullpen could get a little to "inside" with their humour.

I was also a little puzzled by the cutaway to a TV newsroom. Is it really that important that the reporter Lucretia got assigned to the jewelry story robbery perpetrated by the Man-Bull? I feel like we could have used some narration boxes explaining the importance of this newsroom scene, and normally in the 70s we would have gotten some, but not here. None.

What I liked about this issue is that both Daredevil and Black Widow are highly effective. Daredevil saves a bunch of people from a speeding car. Black Widow saves Ivan from the Man-Bull. Both of them are giving him a good fight in the jewelry story before the mysterious cliffhanger. We're given no sign as to why Daredevil suddenly collapsed. I'm not overly bothered by that, because the purpose is obviously to make us want to read the next issue. I'll reserve judgement on this plot point after I read the next installment.

This is a pretty good issue. 3.5 stars.
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1698

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2022 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last one of this series of issues!

Daredevil Vol. 1 #96 - The Widow Will Make You Pay

Quote:

While Black Widow takes Daredevil to a hospital to treat his gunshot wound, Man-Bull tampers with the water supply of San Francisco! He adds an ingredient- the same serum that’s transformed him into a Man-Bull! Widow tries to save the day, but fails. Is the entire city doomed?


Due 10/8
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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: 1334
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, we find out at the beginning of this issue that Man-Bull's gun-happy partner Itch shot Matt in the shoulder. At the end of the last issue I couldn't tell what happened -- just that Matt fell over and lost consciousness. I think that artist Gene Colan could have made it more clear what happened on that last page of #95. I also think that Matt's senses, including his radar, are sharp enough that he shouldn't have been shot.

I was hoping that the Widow was going to end up the hero in this issue, and she does put up a good fight against Man-Bull at the beginning, but she ends up knocked out in the middle, and no one even mentions her after that.

Daredevil shows up to fight Man-Bull at the end, and he's in a very weakened state. That's always a thrill, to see how our recuerating hero is going to win the day against a much stronger foe. Colan's panel showing Daredevil lassoing Man-Bull with the anchor rope is a great one. It was a good ending to the story.

Colan's work is inked by Ernie Chua in this issue, giving the art a slightly different feel than when Tom Palmer does the inking. The faces may come off a little more cartoony, but the climactic battle really worked for me, especially the sickly green of the water and the hard grey detail on the anchor.

This two-parter was some of writer Gerry Conway's better work in my opinion. Black Widow was showing some strength for once. I just wish she was allowed to save the day. I give this one a 3.5 out of 5.
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Mike Murdock
King of Hell's Kitchen


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1698

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two-parters that end mid-fight always have to have an awkward moment where the fight has to abruptly end - otherwise the entire issue will be a fight. Here, that moment was a combination of the cops showing up and Daredevil being revealed to still be alive. As far as moments go, it's not terrible, but I'm not sure I understand why Man Bull would stop for anything.

The Daredevil in surgery scenes work really well and there seems to be genuine gladness when he survives. Obviously, I know he didn't die, but I wonder to what extent the audience could have thought it possible given that Black Widow was a co-star who could theoretically take over (or maybe that's just a modern thing).

The story seemed to be setting up a hero moment for Natasha with Matt out of commission. But, instead, she fails and Daredevil has to save the day while injured. Even then, he seems to do it fairly quickly. That was probably the biggest disappointment. Still, I think there's some strong stuff in this issue. 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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