Miller brings back the Kingpin and, wow, is it bad.
The Kingpin stuff isn’t terrible–Wilson’s off in Japan, “reformed” thanks to his wife–but the Daredevil stuff is the worst Miller’s written so far.
Whether it’s Matt’s lame thought balloon explanations of how his powers work, which Miller doesn’t stick with when he should, or just the goofy dialogue, this issue has terrible writing.
Even worse, the art’s weak.
It looks like Miller really just sketched it out and let Janson fill in the blanks. Except Janson didn’t work really hard on the inks either. The result is an ugly, blocky issue with a shockingly lack of simple detail.
The “best” part in the story might be when Matt tries to reason with Bullseye. It’s an unfathomable scene.
Miller even tries a sitcom-style joke involving Matt’s blindness. Either Miller lacked confidence or his editor approved the script unread.
The Kingpin Must Die; writer and penciller, Frank Miller; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Glynis Wein; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Denny O’Neil; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Frank Miller sure does write a great Batman comic. Oh, wait, this is Daredevil?
Regardless of Matt acting rather batty, it’s an excellent comic. Bullseye has escaped Arkham, where they discovered he’s actually got a tumor and he’s causing him to misbehave more than usual. He’s on the streets, assaulting people he mistakes for Daredevil–once again, Miller’s got a nice, unexplored inference. Bullseye can’t tell the hallucinated Daredevils from the real one.
There’s a bunch of good action scenes, including a great fight in a movie theater with some nicely layered supporting dialogue and fine use of film stills. Miller and Janson create a style for the urban superhero with Daredevil.
The finish has Batman explaining why he doesn’t kill the Joker… wait, wrong characters. You know who I mean.
There’s also an awesome visualization of how Matt uses his powers to track down Bullseye.
The issue’s quite exceptional.
Devils; writer and penciller, Frank Miller; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Glynis Wein; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Denny O’Neil; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Miller’s first issue as a writer, not to mention the first appearance of Elektra, is nearly an abject misfire. Miller’s handle on Matt Murdock’s history is shaky. He’s retroactively introducing this all important new character, but his backstory for Matt’s awful.
Matt and Foggy are in college. Matt’s never used his powers, except to help the clumsy Foggy, but he’s had them for four years. He’s also a nitwit. When college Matt meets college Elektra, he thinks she rejects him because he’s blind… not because she’s got a bodyguard who makes it impossible for her to have a social life (something Miller never resolves). It’s bad writing.
Matt spends the issue reminiscing, then there’s a big fight scene at the end (against some exceptionally lame villains) and Miller redeems himself. Maybe unintentionally.
Elektra’s bewildered to discover Matt’s new identity. The moment’s devastating; it makes up for all the previous nonsense.
Elektra; writer, Frank Miller; pencillers, Miller and Klaus Janson; inker, Janson; colorist, Dr. Martin; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Denny O’Neil; publisher, Marvel Comics.
This issue opens at a Long Island estate, but there’s no geographic reference so for a minute or two I thought it’d be Daredevil in Beverly Hills. It could be quite easily, since the estate is the center of the issue. When David Michelinie does take the action back to Manhattan, it’s just for a panel or two of a determined Matt Murdock.
Michelinie’s script, and his focus on keeping the action in one general setting, feels “low budget” but it works. He has a compelling enough mystery, a lot of good action opportunities for Frank Miller and Klaus Janson and a creative twist at the end.
The third person narration occasionally goes overboard, but the art–never spectacular, always solid–grounds the issue.
There’s a filler backup showcases Daredevil’s extremely expensive pad and his gizmos. If Matt and Foggy are always broke, how’d he afford the pad? Robbing banks?
…The Mauler!; writer, David Michelinie; penciller, Frank Miller; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Glynis Wein; letterer, Joe Rosen. Dark Secrets; writer, Michelinie; penciller, Miller; inker, Janson; colorist, Wein; letterer, Michael Higgins. Editor, Denny O’Neil; publisher, Marvel Comics.
Matt has to run out on Foggy’s wedding because the Gladiator (I guess DC’s not the only company with idiotic villains) is holding a bunch of kids hostage–underprivileged kids, no less.
There’s enough going on McKenzie’s weaker writing habits don’t glare like usual and the issue’s pretty good until it’s obvious the kids aren’t in any actual danger. And setting the big fight in a museum of supervillains is a little goofy. Sure, there’s supposed to be other stuff at the museum, but it’s just bad guys.
Miller and Janson do phenomenal on the action art and pretty well on the rest. McKenzie’s writing of Foggy’s family and Matt and his latest girlfriend is all so trite, it’s hard to think any art could stand out in those scenes.
McKenzie’s biggest problem is his inability to make Matt (or anyone else) into an actual person instead of a caricature.
Daredevil versus Dr. Octopus should be entertaining, right? McKenzie and (now co-plotter) Miller fail to make it entertaining.
The big problem, besides McKenzie’s now routinely silly dialogue and narration, is the Black Widow. She’s in Matt’s apartment, helping him do investigative work, but she’s not important to the issue whatsoever. She’s around to be jealous and to run off when he hurts her feelings.
McKenzie’s incapable of writing these troubled romance scenes. At best, they’re awkward. At worst, they’re laughable.
As for Doc Ock and Daredevil? It feels like Spidey and Doc Ock. Daredevil’s banter immediately drifts into Parker territory and McKenzie fixates on Spider-Man in Otto’s thought balloons. The issue’s another great cover without any story inside it.
Miller’s pencils also make a change this issue. With the exception of action scenes, everything is more static. He doesn’t have the compositional sense to make that approach worthwhile.
I have two big problems with this issue. First, Ben Urich–as a character–was never going to out Matt as Daredevil. Wait, three problems. Okay, continuing. Urich was never going to out Matt, so why use him instead of another reporter who might actually do it.
Second problem, why do another Daredevil origin? Sure, Miller and Janson draw a great comic and even make the yellow costume look good, but it’s kind of pointless. The retelling gives no new information.
The third problem, which is related to the second, is all the “devil” stuff. Apparently the Marvel Universe is a place where people are afraid of devils a lot because everyone calls Daredevil one. Because of the horns? It’s just stupid. Along with Matt’s childhood nickname being Daredevil because he ran away from fights.
The utterly fantastic art makes up for a lot of McKeznie’s stupid script details though.
The cover, with Daredevil looking at an out-of-frame Hulk, is probably the best thing about this comic. Bruce Banner’s in New York and Matt’s the only one who can help him. Sadly, there’s no help for the creative team. Between McKenzie’s lame script, which gives the Hulk origin in expository thought balloons at least twice, and the tepid art, this issue’s a drag.
Miller’s got Joe Rubinstein assisting Janson on the inks, but one can’t blame the inkers here. Miller doesn’t know how to draw the Hulk. The body and musculature is all off. Worse is the city. After all his careful New York art, Miller turns in a generic cityscape for the big fight with Daredevil.
The best thing in the issue is Banner hulking out in the subway, but only because of the potential. McKenzie and company fail to realize it.
The issue is depressingly lame.
This issue, from Michael Fleisher and Steve Dikto, is definitely a strange one. It feels like a Batman comic, but a fifties Batman comic. After saving the city from a radiation leak (fifties atomic scare), Matt loses his memory and lives through, basically, what his dad lived through with the crooked fight promoters.
Even the end feels like a Batman comic.
Dikto’s art feels half like Steve Ditko from Marvel’s Silver Age and half like someone doing an imitation. To works out in Ditko’s favor though and the art’s relatively charming.
Fleisher does such a good job with the comic’s mood, one can overlook the huge plot holes–like where does Matt Murdock sleep when he doesn’t know his identity. Or how does he know he’s wearing a costume under his clothes and not long underwear? And does his costume get dirty?
Still, it works, mostly because of Fleisher’s sincerity.
McKenzie opens the issue writing a black guy like Stepin Fetchit. I guess Marvel didn’t worry about appealing to black readers.
The art from Miller and Janson make up for a lot of McKenzie’s bad writing. There’s some great action stuff at Coney Island, which all looks amazing. One double page spread in particular is wonderful.
The finale, though, disappoints. There’s a lot of Black Widow and McKenzie writes her poorly. Maybe if he didn’t entirely rely on her thought balloons it would be better.
He also writes Bullseye bad, which closes the issue off on a bad footing. Miller and Janson’s final fight scene is okay, but the setting’s boring and Bullseye’s whining is so dumb, it doesn’t matter if the art’s good.
McKenzie avoids giving Daredevil any significant time. Almost everything is from someone else’s perspective, like McKenzie lacks confidence… except when writing the issue’s rather lame dialogue.
I think I’m unappreciative of a narrative cuteness from McKenzie. The issue opens “Epilogue” and closes with “Prologue.” I think McKenzie means it to be “prologue” to the next issue while the opening is “epilogue” to the previous issue.
If the above is right, it’s dumb. If it’s wrong and no one caught the mixup, it’s worse. I can’t decide between the two. I mean, McKenzie forgets Matt Murdock’s blind here for a bit.
Miller and Janson still turn in strong art, but there’s nothing spectacular about it. McKenzie has a lot going on in the issue–Bullseye and Black Widow, Matt and friends, Daredevil at the Daily Bugle, then the big finish. Plus Daredevil discovering Bullseye has kidnapped Black Widow.
All of the scenes are perfunctory, especially when Matt and his girlfriend break up. The flashback to Bullseye’s last few days might be the best written stuff. McKeznie’s boring.
It’s a good thing Miller and Janson’s art is so strong, because there’s not much else to recommend this issue. Their New York rooftops are just fantastic.
Anyway, McKenzie shows an inclination to decompression here. A mystery bad guy hires an assassin to take out Daredevil. There’s some lead-up to the big fight with the assassin’s henchmen threatening Matt and Foggy, but most of the issue is just the fight.
While Daredevil’s outnumbered and even ends up in the water during the fight, there’s no contest. There’s no real struggle for him and it’s boring. The art’s good throughout the fight, which keeps it engaging, but the entire issue’s just a setup for the next issue’s guest villain.
There’s a disconnect between the art and writing. Miller and Janson create something special, while McKenzie’s just filling narration boxes. A fine example of the Marvel writing style at its worst.
Frank Miller’s first issue of Daredevil–he’s the new penciller–gets off to a rocky start. Roger McKenzie follows Black Widow through the Unholy Three kidnapping Matt. It’s a lot of Natasha whining about her place in the world, how she’s a curse on everything around her. She’s very annoying. And Miller and inker Klaus Janson draw her funny on the first page.
But once McKenzie’s following Matt through his kidnapping, the issue gets good. The revelation of the bad guy–the Death-Stalker (who’s really ugly, which is entirely for the reader’s benefit, not Matt’s) and the resolution are excellent.
Miller does a great job with fight scene; lots and lots of movement. But the most impressive work he does is at the end. Matt’s back at the office and they’re all cleaning up. The art’s just glorious in that scene.
It’s a good comic, something I wasn’t expecting.
I really like this issue, but seriously… is Waid going to soft relaunch the title every arc?
Once again, he changes the entire Daredevil landscape, adding Daredevil being hunted by all the Marvel Universe terrorist organizations to the already full plate. It’s like he’s shifting A plots to B plots and vice versa; he hasn’t given Daredevil a chance to breath and get comfortable. Who knows… it might be a good approach to make a modern mainstream comic accessible from issue to issue.
Waid also solves his big Daredevil problem here. This issue is all Daredevil (well, okay, Matt’s in his suit for the epilogue) and Waid handles it. The fight scene with Bruiser is fantastic, though the character’s motivation and, especially, his costume are weak.
Oh, and the cliffhanger resolution from last issue is pat.
But it’s an excellent issue, even with my complaining. Probably the best so far.