This week 16 posters reviewed Daringd's choice of Daredevil #512! How did it do? Read on and find out!
For the 252nd Week of The Outhouse Review Group, Daringd picked Daredevil #512, the final issue of Andy Diggle's...interesting run on the book about a blind lawyer who fights crime. After 16 reviews (the most in three months!), the decision was that the title was overwhelmingly mediocre with a score of 5.94, just under the commonly considered passing line. Reviewers were largely critical of the tie-in to Shadowland, disparaging the mini-event and largely largely considered Marco Checcheto's art as the book's saving grace.
Review by fieldy snuts
I'm torn as to how to sum up Daredevil #512.
You see, the Daredevil book during Shadowland remained very good despite it only being there to support the event itself...an event that went horribly off the rails with that Beast subplot. As much as I liked how it started that event got too stupid with the introduction of that plot device and irreparably damaged the core of the story surrounding Daredevil after he'd killed Bullseye. I'd go as far as to say that it's Marvel's equivalent of Parallax.
This issue itself felt more like an epilogue. Hell, it was...and showed where everyone goes from here: Foggy left to rebuild the firm on his own, Black Panther makes Hell's Kitchen his hunting grounds after vague hints that Daredevil was back before we saw T'Challa, Kingpin wants to take over the Hand (that just seems totally off for me), Black Tarantula is alive thanks to his healing factor as I anticipated and finally Matt Murdock gets off the bus at some desert in a piece of inner monologue that redeems a big part of Shadowland for me: Matt killing Bullseye was 100% Matt, not the Beast.
Small comfort, knowing how bad the Daredevil dialogue in the mini got once the Beast was revealed but knowing that Matt Murdock went that far on his own free will rather than being absolved Hal Jordan style was a good move for me.
Everything flowed very well from one moment to the next and cementing a future for the characters, and this SHOULD have been a great book but the stink of Shadowland will knock my rating of this book down a point or 2.
Art: I preferred Delatorre's art over Checchetto's in this arc. The latter's art isnt bad, but it lacks the distinctive noir feel I got from previous DD artists like Maleev, Lark, Delatorre etc.
Review by Greg
I'm not entirely too sure how to review this issue. I've yet to read any issues of this event though I have been interested in it. I do know the main jist of the event, Matt Murdock leading the Hand to crack down on crime, but has turned to the dark side through a possession by a demonic entity, the latter in my opinion being a bit of a cop-out as it would have been a lot more dramatic if it were all Matt, but whatever. As I said, I don't feel like I've the right information to really review this issue but it did seem like a solid story and an interesting aftermath. I'm usually a fan of Andy Diggle and I love the Daredevil character/mythos, so I know I'll be sure checking out this event once collected. What did turn me off from the event initially was the promise that it would be self-contained in one/two books only for a crap load of tie-ins to be presented.
But anywho, the writing itself seem solid and the art was very well nice to look at. The line works and the moody coloring added a great tone and texture to the book and the people inhabiting this world. You did get the sense that everyone in fact did pull from an exhausting battle while they're struggling to get back up and pull themselves together. The main thing I was more concerned about, though, was the introduction of T'Challa, the Black Panther. He's already making himself right at home and telling me to pick up the next issue when it comes out.
Review by Victorious Squid
This was everything I thought it would be, which was very little. However, who can review the epilogue to a story they haven't read and find much more to talk about? Totally needed the Bruce Banner music from the old Hulk TV show at the end there, when Matt gets on the bus in the middle of nowhere.
Andy Diggle was initially marketed as a Vertigo writer in the same vein as Mark Millar's and Grant Morrison's early stuff there, but I've never been blown away by anything I've read that he's written. Happy to say the art was a different story, the reason my score stays above a flat 5 is that I very much liked what I saw!
Review by God-Man
As an epilogue to the Shadowland event, Daredevil #512 was perfectly serviceable. I read the Daredevil books leading into the event, and this issue was in line quality wise with those stories. It was a lot of setup for the new status quo for next month and beyond. Black Panther makes his presence known, The Kingpin finally takes control of the Hand, and everyone wonders where the hell Daredevil is. But two moments stood out to me.
One was when Foggy decided to still stand by Matt in the ruins of their law office. I think its nice that in the midst of all this turmoil that he's still willing to give Matt a chance and to help him despite all he did. I mean, Matt was possessed by The Beast so he can't be responsible for what he did right? Well, not exactly, which leads me to the other standout moment: Matt Murdock getting off a bus and walking away from his old life.
I was struck by how he took responsibility for killing Bullseye as he walked towards an unknown future. It's good that everything he did won't be swept under the rug, but it also fits his personality. He's been tortured so long, and this is yet another burden he'll have to carry. Now, while he's owning up to that murder, it's not like he's turning himself in for his crimes. Matt's still running away, refusing to face the friends and allies he betrayed and to submit himself to the justice system he fought so hard to uphold. That will come later. But for now: Roadtrip!!
Review by Zero
I haven't read Daredevil since Brubaker wrapped up Bendis' plot threads but Shadowland seemed like an interesting idea so I've been toying with grabbing trades when it's all over. I probably won't be doing that now. Not because this was a bad comic, but with Bendis' definitive run on the title still warm in my longbox Daredevil writers have so much more work to do to impress than anyone else and nothing in this issue amazed me or made me want to backtrack and see what had brought about this new status quo.
The art is serviceable noirish stuff, but it fails to blow me away and two artists on a single issue is a particular pet hate of mine so there's nothing to raise this above a comic that, for me, isn't as good as it needed to be
Review by John Lewis Hawk
I couldn't remember what the pick was when I went to the comic shop so here's a review of Daredevil #512 that's really a review of Heroes for Hire #1:
First off, I love seeing the characters on the cover. Seeing Iron Fist, Moon Knight, Elektra, and the rest on Daredevil #512 actually made me somewhat excited for this series.
As for the issue itself, Daredevil #512 was decent. I enjoyed Marco Checchetto's somewhat realistic, somewhat cartoonish art. It's definitely improved since the last time I've seen his art. The story was alright with some good guest stars/possible stars but, overall, I'll need to see more. I like the last page reveal but I don't think it's gonna last longer than an arc (if Daredevil survives past that).
I like this concept being applied to Daredevil and the creative team ain't too bad but I'll need to check out the trade when it comes out to see if I want to read this series beyond Daredevil #512.
Review by GLX
God, I've reviewed most of the Shadowland tie-in issues of this comic so I'll just give my score and call it a day.
7.5* out of 10*
Review by BlueStreak
I've been doing a lot of comic cataloging over the last few weeks. It's been sort this, catalog that. Put these into the active boxes and move these to the inactives. The cool thing about doing this is that you get a chance to see what exactly you've been pissing your money away on over the last few years. Sometimes, it's well worth the money spent. Annihilation and Captain Britain and MI13 are all examples of books that I had no problem spending money on even though the likelihood of me ever seeing a return on my "investment" (bear with the banker speak, it's become second nature). Then there's the shit books that I wish I could take a time machine and either take out of my pull box before it ever got there or somehow convince the writers as a teen that it was a poor idea. Luckily, there exists online buyers to shockingly buy this crap so I can at least reduce some of the bulk that's accumulating in my apartment before the misses kills me due to all the junk.
Daredevil #512 falls into the latter category. It's not that this was the worst book I've read by any means. Compared to some of the turds in my "collection", this is practically a Picasso. However, it's not exactly good either. It's a bookend to a terrible event that showed promise before it took a Hancock-esque left turn. The art was okay in spots, but terrible in others. The only bright spot was the arrival of Black Panther. If this is what every issue of Daredevil's been like, then it's probably a good thing that T'Challa is about to show up and kick some ass. So, goodbye Daredevil #512. Have fun at your new home in Texas.
Review by GHERU
A decent ending to a very bad storyline.
Story - 7
Art - 6
Review by Silver Phoenix
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"
Final Judgment: 5.5
Review by Duck Punch
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.
Overall Score: 4.75 of 10
Review by Daringd
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.
Review by Punchy
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.
Review by Starlord
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!
My Score: 8.75
Review by guitarsmashley
Daredevil? More like shit devil. This was a seriously dumb comic. Granted I walked into in the last 10 minutes of what sounds like a dumb movie but the whole thing just sounds bad and the art is still bad fake Maleev.
Review by John Snow
"You must read Shadowland #5 before reading this issue."
After Bru left Daredevil, I read Diggle's first couple of issues and promptly abandoned ship. After reading the recap in this issue, clearly skipping Shadowland and it's multitude of tie-ins and spin-offs was the right call.
Seeing as this was an epilogue for something I hadn't read, this was straight up boring. Sure there were lots of great characters in it, but apart from tinges of nostalgia from Bru's run it didn't do anything to make me interested or care. Yes, yes, in the dark Daredevil and Black Panther have similar costumes, very clever. Yawn. Somebody wake me when they reboot Daredevil and retcon Diggle out of existence. Also as a courtesy could I get a warning before I have to read another Antony Johnston scripted comic? That dude made even Queen and Country boring.
Marco Checchetto's art in this was pretty awesome. I don't think I had seen any of his stuff and I was pleasantly surprised. Had it been uncolored art I probably would have scored it somewhere in the 9 area. Mostly Matt Hollingsworth's colors in this were good, but there are panels that just took me right out of the book. (i.e. anytime there was smoke or the lighting effects on BP)
Review by Jude Terror
I read Shadowland, and also the delightfully awful Shadowland: Moon Knight book (which would have been a much better book for us to review), so I didn't go into this with any handicap.
What struck me most about this book was how uninterested I was in any of the storylines. I could have read none of Shadowland, and I didn't read any of Diggle's run other than it, or Brubaker's run, or Bendis's, or Smith's. Yet, I had no problem following what was going on with all of these characters. Why? Because they've gone through no fundamental changes since I was a kid, or if they have, they've come full circle. DC Comics would call this "iconic," but I call it lack of progress.
The only storyline I'm interested in here is Black Panther's, and that has nothing to do with Daredevil. I gave this book a shot with the big event, and was unimpressed. However, please more from the creative team of Shadowland: Moon Knight.
Absolutely Average. 5/10
That's it for this week. If you want to join the Review Group (we've had five new members join over the last three weeks!), just stop by the News Stand and look for the newest Review Group thread. This week, the pick is Booster Gold #39 and for the week of December 15th, the pick will be Suicide Forest! So stop on by and say hi! We're always looking for more opinions!
Written or Contributed by: BlueStreak
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About the Author - Christian Hoffer
Christian Hoffer is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Hoffer is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.
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