Tuesday, February 19, 2008

  'Gasp...gasp...gasp'?  I know, I'm surprised when I miss conditioning, too.
Back when Marvel super-heroes used to fight villains a good twelve months a year, sometimes the writer has to mix it up a bit. After all, a hero like Daredevil can't just fight the Kingpin, Bullseye, and Elektra three months a piece, right? You would think, anyway...so, the writer can either come up with new villains (cue agonized groan) or steal established villains from other books. Sometimes, an interesting matchup will come out of this saw, like the Hulk fighting Doc Ock, or Captain America versus Bullseye, or Spider-Man against the Red Skull. This would eventually lead to Acts of Vengence, which had a great Daredevil issue with Ultron.

Then again, sometimes this trick fails miserably, with lopsided matchups that have to be dragged out over the course of an issue. Like today's issue! From Daredevil #352, "Smoky Mirrors" Written by Ben Raab, pencils and inks by Shawn McManus. DD is trying to protect his partner Foggy, who is currently cheesed off at DD since he only recently, finally, learned Matt's secret ID. Like three-hundred and forty issues in. At an abandoned carnival, DD is nearly killed by...a souped-up carousel and little bitey cherub robots? Wait, how do the cherubs bite you with their holographic heads? And Daredevil knows he shouldn't be able to see them, so why isn't he more weirded out? Or less? Or something, I guess.
That just raises more questions!
This whole mess was the new Mastermind, Martinique Jason, testing out Arcade's Murderworld equipment, using a combo of his robots and her illusion powers. Which shouldn't work on Matt at all, since he'd either be able to see them and know they were fake since he can't see anything else, or he'd outright not be able to see them. And it's long been established robot-things would be noisy and smelly to DD's senses. This should've been a cakewalk victory for Hornhead, but it looks like he's dogging it out. Like the creative staff.

Still, there's probably other examples of this, and I may have to keep my eyes open for more, but that's enough for this issue. This was pretty obviously a fill-in issue, with Bullseye on the cover to pull in readers, even though he's just an illusion. The next month, Karl Kesel and Cary Nord started their run, which was an attempt to bring Daredevil back a little to the title's swashbuckling, fun roots. All right, you know how that turned out, but they did a nice bunch of comics.


The Fortress Keeper said...

I loved the Kesel/Nord Daredevil, but that's not the way people wanted to see DD I guess.

Gloria said...

Oh I love the Kesel Nord era myself! mind you, I'm also loving the late Bendis and Brubaker renditions of the character, but I believe Matt & Co. should catch a break every then and now!

An excess of Grim n' Grittiness cannot be good... give matt a bit of swashbucling action in the sunny side!