A.R.P. wrote:So you're open to DD just becoming another galavanting superhero who tackles all the absurdities the MU has to offer and in the process lose his distinctiveness and becoming Spider-Man-lite? Sure, I can sort of get that (no, I honestly can't since you have Spidey himself and the rest of the MU for that and that is essentially what DD was like before Frank Miller resuscitated the character and gave him new, seminal life) but what I liked best and thought worked best and perfectly with DD (and rightfully so did FM, apparently) than most other superheroes is how grounded and real his world is despite being in the MU, and even then when pieces of the MU would leak in it worked.
actually, I am. because I cannot begin to tell you how tired I was by the end of Shadowland of what seemed to be every writer for the last decade plus's attitude of "yeah, Matt's grounded...in other words, let's shit on him and shit on him and shit on him and shit on him with no real wins or signs of light until he fucking cracks like an eggshell, JUST LIKE FRANK DID IT BACK IN THE LATE 70s/EARLY 80s", when none of them seemed to realize that even at the end of Born Again, Frank gave DD a happy fucking ending. reading Bendis's run felt like torture porn to me, to the point where I really just wished Stilt-Man or somebody would luck up and kill him just to put him out of his misery. it's one thing to tear a hero down to build them back up...it's wholly another to just tear them down. if "un-grounding" DD is what it takes to get even a little of the swashbuckler back, then I am all fucking for it.
I don't know how to put it exactly, but there has to be line in the proverbial sand of the MU that DD doesn't and shouldn't cross and the Legion of Monsters, Nocenti's entire run, etc, exemplify that line.
but why should he just be pigeonholed into being "the grounded superhero" ALL THE TIME? variety is the spice of life...mix it up some. I have loved seeing stuff like Hank Pym, Doc Strange, the Surfer, and the LoM in this book b/c it is so far out there from Matt's normal wheelhouse. too much of the same stuff gets repetitive and boring. Matt lives in a big, big world full of strange shit, it's only natural that every once in a while that strangeness intrudes on his world. especially now that he's also palled around with the Avengers. setting a line in the sand is stupid, IMO...these are comic books. they're supposed to be escapism and flights of fancy and weird and trippy and fun and all that. arbitrarily self-limiting yourself in what kind of stories you can or "should" tell is absurd.
SoS works and works well enough. Notice I haven't criticized their inclusion. And notice that I haven't mentioned Waid's run as whole because despite his lighter tone he seemed to get where that line is with the exception of these most recent couple issues where he, unfortunately and surprisingly, completely leapt over it. If you enjoy what Waids been doing these past two issues, I guess it's fine (although it's not). But characters like the LoM don't belong in a DD comic. In a Spidey comic? Sure. DD should remain in the steel canyons of NY fighting cool villains who don't necessarily have to be Kingpin (who is sorely missed, BTW) and Bullseye (who I don't particularly like and should be given a long, long, long, long, long hiatus).
belong, shmelong, the LoM are a 2-issue guest-star. and even then, they flow naturally from the story. you yourself say you have no problem with the SoS. well, Waid's using them in a way that makes total sense (infiltrating NYC politics/administration) to achieve their long-standing ideological goals (race war, etc.) in a way that only DD/Matt would catch on. perfectly logical. Waid then also goes a step further and explores the history/methodology of the SoS in away no one else ever has, adding depth and backstory to the group, likening/linking them to a cult which worships the devil. again, if for thematic/motif purposes only, this also links logically to DD. then you start to explore that idea, in a larger universe which includes monsters and sorcerors supreme and evil tomes like the Darkhold, and it again makes logical sense that the SoS, or at least fringe followers of same, would try to use that tome to increase their power/further their schemes. and from there, since DD's trying to stop them, it makes sense he might run into some of those other Marvel U denizens who inhabit that milieu.
it may not fit your
narrow definition of what a DD story should be, but that doesn't make it bad, or unnecessary, or "over the line". it's a fun story which highlights some of what makes DD DD, and adds new insights to him and his world, all while at heart staying true to what it is he does. just because it is a little more fantastical set of surroundings doesn't make it any less a viable DD tale.