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Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby BlueStreak » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:20 pm

Victorious Squid wrote:
Good, but we should probably spell out mycomicshop.com each time in one o' those fancy hyperlinks.


Maybe we should get MCS to be the Review Group's official sponsor.
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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby Victorian Squid » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:26 pm

BlueStreak wrote:
Maybe we should get MCS to be the Review Group's official sponsor.


Probably, not to be confused with MGS, which is an exclusively charitable not-for-profit organization.
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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby BlueStreak » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:33 pm

Victorious Squid wrote:
Probably, not to be confused with MGS, which is an exclusively charitable not-for-profit organization.


And has no links to the Review Group whatsoever. None. Really. At all.
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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby GHERU » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:35 pm

Daredevil 512
A decent ending to a very bad storyline.

Story - 7
Art - 6
total 6.5
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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby Victorian Squid » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:43 pm

GHERU wrote:Daredevil 512
A decent ending to a very bad storyline.

Story - 7
Art - 6
total 6.5


Even if you've read Shadowland there's not much to say about this comic book, eh?
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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby GHERU » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:14 pm

Victorious Squid wrote:
Even if you've read Shadowland there's not much to say about this comic book, eh?

no, not at all
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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby SilverPhoenix » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:44 am

Victorious Squid wrote:
Even if you've read Shadowland there's not much to say about this comic book, eh?


Oh there's plenty to say about the Comic Book, but not about the content in the book itself.

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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby SilverPhoenix » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:22 am

Daredevil #512

This is what happens when something starts out as a review, and turns into something else entirely. As for what it turns into? Just keep reading

It’s time for me to completely honest. For the past 2 years I have had a love/hate relationship with Superhero Comics. On one hand, I can say that I love most of the stuff that I’ve been following seriously since I got back into reading comics. Since 2008, my pull list has consisted books that span from the character defining epics like The Incredible Hercules and Captain America (especially before Reborn), to epic Space Operas like REBELS, Guardians of the Galaxy and NOVA. It has also included refreshingly well told team dramas like X-Factor and Secret Six, along with epic beginnings to legends in the making like Batwoman and Max Damage (Incorruptible), which show that new heroes deserve to have their stories told. Hell, I’ve even enjoyed such “fun” and “silly” books like the first year of Power Girl and Volume 3 of Exiles, which left a smile on my face each month I picked them up. These books, along with a small stack of others are a significant part of the reason why I enjoy going to my LCS every single week.

Then there is the other side of the coin. The side of the coin I don’t like talking about, but is becoming more prevalent (particularly and mostly with the “Corporate Superheroes” in Marvel and DC) with each passing Comic Book Day that goes by. With the revival of my fandom for this medium, I really began to pay attention of the trends that go into writing this genre (and other genres), and with that enlightenment comes the realization of things I don’t particularly enjoy. Things such as “ Constant Serious Business Shock Tactics (including craploads of blood, rape references, and needless deaths)”, “Endless Event Comics”, “Franchises Expanding to the Point of Ridiculousness”, “Non-Franchise Comics slowly becoming a thing of the past”, “Constant Retcons”, “Downright Disrespect of Continuity”, and “Absolute Decompression due to Trade Writing”. At the same time, however, those things don’t get to me as this set of issues that make up the foundation of the term that I am dubbing “The Absolute Circle to Nowhere.” Symptoms of this issue include the trends just discussed, multiplied by “Character Stagnation/Regression”, “Incessant Nostalgia Pandering” and “An Absolute Refusal to change the Status Quo, to the creative detriment to the franchise.” The result of “The Absolute Circle” to nowhere creates an atmosphere where most comics simply don’t matter, because the characters inside of them will never be allowed to truly change, grow and move on. This isn’t to say that all change is good, or that things like Death, Retcons, Events, Trade Writing, and a looser hand on Continuity are inherently bad things within themselves. It’s when these things or abused or downright ignored, that you begin to create this trap, something that was on sad display with the latest issue of Daredevil , a series that I have grown to love.

Daredevil #512 serves as a bookend to the Shadowland Storyline, which serves as end to the current 12 year storyline, which took Matt Murdock’s pursuit of justice down a road that ended up with everything he worked for after Kingpin ruined his life the first time, totally washed away. In fact, it became so bad that the only thing left for him was the pursuit of Justice and Peace, which took him down a dark road where he became the leader of dark Ninja Clan known as “The Hand”, once one of his sworn enemies. Absolute Power Corrupted, and led to the Construction of the Fortress known as Shadowland, and the murdering of his worst enemy in Bullseye. It seemed like Matt Murdock was heading down a road that could cause his permanent rumination, changing his life forever, except that we learned in “Shadowland” #2 that he was possessed by a Beast that feeds on evil. When you understand the nature of Superhero Comics, and take that in for a second, you realize that Matt Murdock had been given a “It wasn’t me, it was the Yellow Fear Bug” style out, potentially destroying almost all the lasting impact that a story like this could have. After that, it was no surprise to this reviewer that the storyline slowly degenerated, and became a mess by the time It was over, almost as if the creators knew it wouldn’t have any lasting impact in the end. This isn’t to say that the overall event was a complete waste of time, as “Shadowland: Power Man” was a great mini-series from start to finish, and even previous issues of the book being reviewed continued to be worth reading, despite the storyline. I guess it was only a matter of time before the slave fell under the weight of its master.

Now this isn’t to say that “Daredevil #512” was a completely bad book, not by a long shot. On the surface, the writing and art are still pretty strong in this issue, continuing the trend that was established since the storyline began. By taking the direction of focusing on how people in Matt’s life were affected by Shadowland’s effects on Hell’s Kitchen, it gave grounding to an event that made less and less sense as time went on. From the recap page, however, it’s very apparent that the Issue was never meant to have its own identity, as its sole purpose is to serve as clean up for the mess that Shadowland had left. As a result, most of the issue is spent spinning its wheels, wondering what happened to Matt Murdock and sending people off on goose chases that most likely won’t mean much of anything in the end. The only events in this book that could have a larger impact on the overall storyline is The Kingpin Assuming Control of “The Hand” and the “Black Panthers” arrival to Hell’s Kitchen, with the latter being a wasted opportunity, as he could’ve played a hand in the preceding storyline, making this transition seem more natural. Instead he’s just dropped there without any explanation , something that I hope is rectified, very soon. March Cheehtto’s drawings are also very strong, he and Matt Hollingsworth create a world that is both dark and grim, with excellent character detail and life in each picture. The Black Panther pages stand out especially, as T’Challa is drawn in all of his majesty , as he makes an immediate impact on the neighborhood.

When it’s all said and done, it’s just a shame that Shadowland went down the road it went. Everything that built up to it was well written and illustrated, as we got a logical scenario where Matt Murdock would seize the opportunity to turn “The Hand” into a force for good, without realizing that such power cannot be manipulated in such a manner. Instead we got a storyline that was mostly released in a creatively cynical manner, serving as a tool to solely increase sales volume, without any thought to how it would impact the overall mythos. In conclusion it is my hope that Marvel proves my speculative cynicism about this wrong, and makes this story matter for something. At the same time, it is also my hope that the upcoming shift to this being Black Panther’s book will not only serve a lasting impact in T’Challa’s storyline, but as a way to solidify his rise to the “A-List” of the Comic Book Character Hierarchy. Should both of these missions be accomplished, then this book would’ve had some positive creative merit, instead of being a symbol of wasted potential, as it spirals in the “Absolute Circle to Nowhere”

The Verdict:

Story: 5
Art: 8
Accessibility: 2

Final Judgment: 5.5

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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby Flynn the Pirate » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:07 am

Daredevil #512
Writer:
Andy Diggle and Anthony Johnston
Art: Marco Checchetto and Matt Hollingsworth

Alright, let me get this one right out of the way. The absolute highest that this book can possibly score is an eight out of ten. You can call me biased. You can call me vindictive. You can call me me anything you want, but the "Shadowland" tag automatically gets it two whole points deducted. This crossover, which had such a strong beginning and a great build-up, deteriorated very, very quickly into something that, by and large, contaminated every title it happened to spill over into. And while of all the tie-ins, the actual Daredevil title has been generally the best of the comics with the Shadowland banner taped to them, a lot of the slack that it would otherwise receive is removed by the fact that this book is largely part one of a two-part epilogue to the aforementioned event.

This comic is really just a series of vignettes. There's Detective Kurtz, whose attempt to retire after the trauma of dealing with Shadowland is derailed by a final assignment. There's Foggy and Becky arguing over the future of the law firm and whether or not the now-missing Matt Murdock will have any place in that future. There's The Kingpin establishing control over his new army. There's Luke Cage and Iron Fist hunting for signs of Daredevil and making an interesting discovery. There's Dakota North confronting a recuperating Black Tarantula about his involvement in the Shadowland fiasco. And finally there's Matt Murdock himself, who has fled New York for somewhere in the Southwest in hopes of finding redemption.

Now, I appreciate that Andy Diggle is trying to tie a nice bow on this steaming pile of mediocre-to-utterly-disappointing drivel, but he falls very quickly into a lot of the same problems that many epilogue issues do. Specifically, this issue does little more than a lot of characters standing around saying, "Man, didn't whatever just happened really suck?", followed by a set-up for whatever status quo change or event is coming next. This really isn't so much a story as it is an attempt to give Shadowland and ending on top of the one that Shadowland #5 got unto itself. Even the much-lauded revelation on the last page does little to add to the story writ large. And like so much of this crossover, this is undermined by the knowledge that ANOTHER epilogue comes out next week, written by the co-writer of this issue Anthony Johnston.

The artwork, on the other hand, is and has been one of the strongest qualities of the Daredevil title. Checchetto and Hollingsworth do an admirable job on that front, though I still think De La Torre was the stronger of the two pencilers working on this title. Still, the book has a very gritty look that feels entirely appropriate to the tenor of the story being told. A good showing.

Yet no matter how nice the book looks, I cannot overlook the flaws in this book. Moreover, as the bookend (sorry, the first part of the bookend) to a thoroughly underwhelming event story, it has the responsibility to trying to bring closure to the story and to validate the time and energy devoted to it. It doesn't. At all. In fact, the only closure to be found here is that Shadowland is finally over. Except that it's not.

Art: 6.5
Story: 3
Overall Score: 4.75 of 10

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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby Daringd » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:35 am

Thought it was an Okay issue nothing great but better than Shadowland #5 was for sure. The art was really nice besides that eh. Andy Diggle really dropped the ball.

5/10

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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby Punchy » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:10 pm

Daredevil #512 - 'Shadowland' - Diggle, Johnston, Checchetto & Hollingsworth

Story - Perhaps the most disheartening thing about Shadowland is the fact that after 10 straight years, the reader was for once outside Matt Murdock's head, throughout all of recent 'Golden Age Of Daredevil', under the pens of Kevin Smith, Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker, Matt Murdock was front and centre, we were getting his thoughts, the book was about him. But then Shadowland rolled around, and suddenly we're not getting any of that internal story, we're all external, and as Daredevil went around doing crazy shit like killing Bullseye and taking over New York, we weren't getting something we were used to, which was Matt Murdock's voice and motivation, and it just didn't feel right.

Of course there was a reason for this, in that internally, Matt wasn't really himself, and had been in fact possessed by 'The Beast', so this externalisation probably did serve a purpose, but it robbed Shadowland of the most important part of any Daredevil, which isn't Ninjas or Lawyering, but character. This is why Daredevil #512 is partly a return to form as much as an ending, and it's also why despite Shadowland being so lacklustre, I am cautiously optimistic about what the future holds.

This issue serves as a coda to the big throwdowns in Shadowland #5, with Diggle and Antony Johnston setting up where the Daredevil cast will be from now on. We get Detective Kurtz, we get Foggy and Becky, we get Dakota North and Black Tarantula and we get the Kingpin. These are fairly quiet vignettes, heavy on dialogue and light on action, and that character focus even on characters who aren't Matt Murdock is welcome, the Daredevil book has done a good job of making the human characters shine during the ridiculous events of Shadowland and that looks set to continue.

But where will it continue? As we all know, starting next issue, Daredevil is being renamed to 'Black Panther: The Man Without Fear' as T'Challa steps into the Hell's Kitchen breach. Diggle and Johnston, along with Checchetto do a good job at playing coy with whoever it is Luke Cage and Iron Fist spot, and it's a shame the Black Panther reveal was spoiled by the solicitations such a while back, because it would have been a great surprise to read this with no prior knowledge.

I started this review by talking about how important Matt Murdock is to any Daredevil story, and he has been conspicuous by his absence in this issue so far, but the characters have noticed it to, every character, whether it's Iron Fist or Detective Kurtz, is asking the same question, 'Where is Matt Murdock?' and in the last two pages of this issue we get our answer.

Lettering is one of the most underlooked aspects of comics, without it, comics would be nothing, and this issue provided one of the most obvious examples of that fact, the final scene with Matt puts us right back inside the head we missed throughout the 5 long months of Shadowland, and crucially, it uses the exact same caption boxes used for Matt throughout Ed Brubaker's run. I don't know who is to thank for this, did Diggle and Johnston request it? Or was it letterer Joe Caramagna by himself? Maybe it was the editor? But either way it was an effective way of bringing the feel of a proper Daredevil story back, I can't deny it, I missed those boxes and I missed being inside Matt Murdock's thoughts, those last 2 pages were a brilliant moment, and almost despite myself I am excited for Daredevil: Reborn. Diggle has shook things up, now it's time for him to really do the hard stuff and get to grips with Daredevil himself.

Art - Marco Checchetto has done a good job on Daredevil for a while, alternating arcs and issues with Roberto De La Torre, and while their two styles are not particularly similar, credit must go to colourist Matt Hollingsworth for providing a uniform palette, Hollingsworth has been on Daredevil for ages now, and is an integral part of the book for me.

Best Line - I really liked this exchange between Luke Cage and Black Panther; 'Hell's Kitchen ain't your Neighbourhood, Brother' 'It is now. Spread The Word'. BP:MWF is going to be awesome.

7/10

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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:13 pm

I find it difficult to review this book after SIlverPhoenix's review, which really said it all.
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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby BlueStreak » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:21 pm

This page of Review Group will be known as the Detailed Analysis Page, sponsored (not really) by MCS and MGS.
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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby Zero » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:21 pm

Jude Terror wrote:I find it difficult to review this book after SIlverPhoenix's review, which really said it all.


This is usually true every week.

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Re: Review Group Week #251: DAREDEVIL #512

Postby Starlord » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:07 pm

Daredevil #512

This particular issue was actually quite enjoyable. If I haven't heard so much negative about this arc, this particular issue would intrigue me enough to have wanted to read it. I didn't need to know much of anything to appreciate this bookend for what it was.

The ending was a big "Hulkish" but I found nothing wrong with these twenty some pages. GREAT ART!

Story: 8
Art: 10
My Score: 8.75
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