Monday, September 28, 2015

What I Bought 9/15/2015 - Part 3

A final issue deserves its own post, don't you think?

Daredevil #18, by Chris Samnee and Mark Waid (storytellers), Matthew Wilson (colorist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - If that's the cover they go for on the actual autobiography in the Marvel Universe, they could do worse. I think it's reasonably attention grabbing as it sits on a book shelf.

Matt's plan is to pose as Ikari and deliver the news of Daredevil's demise, mostly as a stall tactic while the Shroud and Jubula convince the Owl to barf all of Fisk's records out into the open for all to see. In the meantime, Matt still needs to free his friends, and not get his skull caved in by a Kingpin who is more than a little happy to see his old foe isn't dead. Matt manages this, he and Julia Carpenter capture the Shroud, but the Owl and Jubula escape (how did she disconnect him from all the fiberoptic cables?), and Ikari's body is missing. Matt's able to clear his name, but his and Kirsten's legal careers are pretty much dead. But Foggy's cancer is in remission, good for him!

I didn't realize Fisk was presumed dead. I assumed he was keeping a low-profile while his attorneys tangled up all the accusations against him in immeasurable red tape, and he'd reemerge when he felt like. I mean, Norman Osborn was publicly outed as the Green Goblin, and somehow still became Boss of All Superheroes, so clearly memories in the Marvel Universe aren't any longer than they are here.

Could be a contrast with Matt faking Foggy's death. Matt is acting to save a friend, but is operating openly despite being the sort of celebrity figure who attracts a lot of eyeballs, which heightens the risk of the ruse being exposed. Whereas Fisk acted only to preserve himself (I'm guessing), and thus stuck to the shadows. His biggest mistake was actually accepting Murdock's request. Better to leave Matt twisting in the wind, cast doubt that perhaps the Kingpin is truly gone.

I don't think I agree with Foggy's argument that secrets are kept only to protect one's self. It's a blanket statement about people's motives, and I tend to find those risky and oversimplifying. Matt keeps the secret that Foggy is still alive. Is that to keep matt from losing his best friend, thus benefiting Matt by sparing him emotional pain? Sure. Is it also protecting Foggy by enabling him to undergo treatments for a life-threatening condition without having to fear super-villain attacks? Yes. But I also don't agree with Foggy (or Waid/Samnee, if this is one of them speaking through Foggy) that people can't operate safely behind masks any longer, so Nelson and I will just have to agree to disagree.

I still feel like the Shroud got a raw deal. Again, contrast for Matt, a character who lost the things close to him, and wasn't able to pull himself out of a toxic mindset, instead essentially embracing it. And the Shroud's toed that line before, pretending to be a crime boss so he can infiltrate the criminal underworld, so it's possible he'd let the line blur too much, decide to many questionable actions were acceptable. Again, not unlike Matt with all the mess he went through pretending not to be Daredevil, then trying to set himself up as new Kingpin, maybe even that Shadowland mess. I can't pretend to be a huge Shroud fan (though I typically enjoy his appearances), but for someone who is, I wonder if this was a little like when Cass Cain showed up in Robin post-Infinite Crisis, and suddenly she's crazy and evil. It seems like it would have to be disconcerting and a bit of a letdown.

I thought it was interesting that Ikari's mask, when Matt wears it, has a crack running through it. I'd assume it was fabric, as Matt's appears to be when he holds it in his hands, but that makes it seem more like some sort of solid helmet. I guess it has to be, since it shattered under Kingpin's fists. I wonder if that's meant to be a statement, that Ikari tries to protect his cranium more than Matt, because he's not "The Man Without Fear", for all that Matt derides that title for himself. It was a nice touch having the noise of the choppers fade in the moments when Fisk is hammering Matt in the face. Just a good contrast between Fisk with a big smile (while there's a "whp whp whp" he can't hear) and then KAK and everything goes red, and it takes Matt a moment to pick up things farther away again. It's a good, if brief fight, since it shows off Fisk's power, and how Matt can't get too fancy. He has to stab Wilson with a fork just to buy a moment, and when he gets the chance, he starts hammering away. It plays up how much Fisk really enjoys being able to get his hands dirty with someone he really hates, and how much Matt hates Fisk as well. He's not holding back, he really wants to pulp Kingpin's head like a melon.

I don't anticipate I'll buy the next volume of Daredevil. Not right off, anyway. This one has been high quality work, though, and the almost constant bright spot of my pull list over the last 4 years

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