Saturday, May 24, 2003

Daredevil #85 Review

Ed Brubaker continues his excellent Daredevil run by writing his fourth issue now without a misstep, which is something I think he should be very proud of. Meanwhile, the artwork of Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudino, with colors by Frank D'Armata, continues to support Brubaker at every step.

If I can think of a criticism of this issue, it is that the overall storyline does not progress that much. Each part of the plot steps forward one pace, but not a very large pace. In this, Brubaker reminds me a lot of his Captain America work, in that both projects evoke current TV shows like Lost or Prison Break, whose seasons take place over the span of only a month or so, causing everything to be compressed so that an issue only moves forward a day or so, like how a couple of episodes of Lost can move the story forward only a day or so.

However, the way that you make that not a problem is by depicting that hour or that day with as much well-written story as you can, which Brubaker definitely does in this story.

To set the story up, the feds are essentially trying to get rid of two problems of theirs - Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk. To do so, they have slowly but surely filled a prison with dangerous criminals, all in hope of getting rid of Murdock and Fisk.

In this issue, we see how the "death" (fingers still crossed on that one...hehe) of Foggy has pushed Matt to the point where he might not able to hold himself back from doing just what the feds WANT him to do.

Meanwhile, we see Ben Urich and Dakota North working on the outside to help Matt. There's some awesome scenes with Urich and J. Jonah Jameson - just good newspaper writing (WARNING! RANDOM SHOT AT BENDIS ALERT!), the sort of dialogue Bendis would have taken up half an issue doing, but here, it is kept as an actual subplot. That is probably what I love most about Brubaker's Marvel writing so far, he actually has multiple, fully realized SUB-PLOTS. Until you lose them, you forget how much you miss them.

As an added bonus, there is a neat exchange between Matt and Frank Castle. Good stuff.

So, yeah, great art and a great story. I would recommend this comic without reservation (as the "it doesn't move the plot along much is not big enough to be a reservation when the rest of the story is as good as this one is).

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