Monday, October 12, 2009

Wait, is that a devourer OF virgins, or a devourer THAT IS a virgin?

A little from column A...
Over at Again With The Comics, was a recent post on Marvel's Superstars of Tomorrow, circa 1993, taking the piss out of that year's twenty-six (!) annuals and the crappy new characters introduced in each one. A couple of months ago, we hit the first appearance of one, the Raptor in Avengers West Coast Annual #8, which was probably not the worst of the lot, but still isn't any good. So, let's hit another one! The first (and doubtless only) appearance of...the Devourer! From Daredevil Annual #9, "Devouring Madness" Written by Greg Wright, pencils by John Heebink, inks by Fred Fredericks.

The issue opens as Daredevil is in the middle of thwarting a museum heist; something that I've often wondered, does that ever happen in real life? Comic books make museums seem far more dangerous and intriguing, like hotspots of cat-burglars, psychotic ancient entities, and dead security guards. Oh, and evil collectors willing to do anything to swipe some doohickey for their personal collection, a cliche even a recent episode of Warehouse 13 wasn't above. We don't have an evil collector this time, just wanted to throw that in.

Anyway, the security guards in this one rush to the scene, just in time for Daredevil to bounce his billy club off a burglar's face...into the guard's.
Ooh, that's a lawsuit.
How hard did DD throw that thing? Admittedly, we see Captain America and others do this sort of thing all the time, but not as often do we see friendly fire hits, or actual blood. And attention, Mythbusters: this would be a fun-as-hell test, building ballistic gelatin dummies and rigging a billy-club throwing device, to see if hitting a target in the jaw hard enough to do that kind of damage on the second bounce, wouldn't outright kill the first target. Really, DD's first hit is probably so devastating, it would be more humane to merely get shot in the face, which really puts all those Punisher/Daredevil fights in a different light.

More mumbo-jumbo, legal and otherwise, after the break!

Daredevil offers to pay the medical expenses of the guard, and wants to keep it out of court: man, when a lawyer like Matt Murdock wants to keep it out of court, he knows he's in deep, doesn't he? But, as DD and the other guard take in the captured crooks, the bloodied guard bleeds on an ancient artifact, which puts him in contact with the Lords of Death from Xibalba. As happens...

Entered into a sacrificial blood pact, the guard is "remade" as the Devourer, and tasked to "consume the flesh of humanity," and prepare the world for the Lords' arrival. You know, by setting up hotel reservations, buying tickets to the local shows, eating the other security guard when he comes back...Daredevil doesn't hear the Devourer's transformation, but to be fair, the cops and sirens probably blocked it out.
Please, oh please, use that in a sentence today...
The next day is a rough one for Matt. He loses a case in which he knows his client is innocent, but since Daredevil's evidence isn't admissible, he's going to have to appeal and fight it out again. Then, Foggy points out the Bugle headline for the dead guard. Matt is surprisingly snippy with Foggy, but also guilt-ridden that someone's dead because Daredevil went home to bed. As DD, he follows up on the story with Ben Urich, who is aimlessly walking the streets like all reporters. Next, DD hits the museum for info; while the Devourer gets a pep talk and history lesson from the Lords, and eats a couple people.

Daredevil's hypersenses pick up the Devourer's, I really would not want DD's powers. Like, at all. They meet in the park for fighty time, and DD gets all EXTREME on him:
First person to say 'Radical!' gets it...
Man, I would love for DD to run over Bullseye's skull like that. That would be equivalent to pantsing him on the Times Square Jumbotron.

After a brief fight, the Devourer returns to human form to escape, just like about a billion movies. Even with a concert going on, and a ton of people, it doesn't quite work, since Daredevil's still able to pick up the scent, chasing the Devourer into the sewers. There, the busy little monster has set up a really good-sized altar and a bunch of flaming braziers. It's very old school D&D, Lair of the Cannon-Fodder Monster.

Following still more fighty time, DD's on the ropes, so he stabs the Devourer with the statue that he rather unwisely wore around his neck. "Only one thing can defeat me! Oh, no, how did you find it?" Yeah, not smart. The monster bursts into flames, and DD puts him out in the sewer water. Blah. The Devourer reverts back to the guard, whose nose appears fixed, so, um, all's well that ends well, right? Except for the four or five people that got eaten, I guess. And the lingering trauma of being controlled by an ancient entity, blood on your hands, etc.

On the last page of the story, Matt wins his appeal, which seems like a non sequitur. The legal scenes take up a whopping two pages, and seemed like they were shoehorned in because, well, Daredevil's a lawyer and yeah. Later, we may take a look at another story from this issue, that's promised by the cover but not so much delivered on...

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