A little late, I’m back with another review. I was a little torn when it came to thinking of a score for this issue and I’ll be honest and say that I found it anti-climactic after reading it the first time. Had I based my rating on that first impression, it would have stayed around a modest 6.0. It gets better the second time around, and there are some real highlights here, but I find that Daredevil #117 suffers ills that I don’t usually associate with Brubaker’s writing. The art, on the other hand, is stellar as always. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I tend to find Lark’s work to be even better just after he’s had a break with a guest artist on the preceding issue. But let’s get to the details, trying a different format this time:
Strong beginning and end
The Kingpin’s return to a Josie’s bar that has literally gone underground is actually quite amusing and shows the impact of the big man’s return. The ending is strong too, and sets up what is sure to be a very interesting rest of the arc.
Matt not wearing a shirt for much of the issue
Really, I have no literary aspirations as far as these reviews go, and I am a single girl with good taste in superheroes, so I’m just going to put this one out there.
I already mentioned this, but I’m running out of good things to say. Sad, I know. In particular, I want to give two thumbs up to the snow falling outside Matt’s apartment in the last few pages of the issue. It looks great.
General story progression
This will go under “the bad” as well, but there is definitely some chess pieces moving on many fronts here.
This is usually one of Brubaker’s best events, but this issue there were some questionable choices as far as what scenes the writer chose to include. Since it’s in the previews, I don’t think it’s spoiling things to mention that Matt pays a visit to the photographer who snapped pictures of him and Dakota. This event is followed up on later in the issue in a scene that feels like it’s at least twice as long as it should be. DD’s rendez-vous with Master Izo also feels somewhat padded to me, and there were several instances where I just expected more from a scene than what it actually delievered.
General story progression
Many things happen in this, yet they don’t necessarily feel meaningful. Even though they should. Heck, I don’t know how to explain it.
Lady Bullseye’s motivations
This is a pretty serious concern on my part, since I’m not sure how Lady Bullseye’s plans fit with setting the Kingpin on Matt’s trail. On the other hand, I didn’t really get the ending to the last arc either, and that’s the reason I’m concerned. Lady Bullseye risks becoming just another villain with an inexplicable desire to ruin Matt’s life (and she doesn’t even know the guy), and her decision to involve the Kingpin seems like a thinly veiled plot device to get the Kingpin back in town.
Okay, that’s enough complaining for me. And, despite the problems I had with this issue, it was still a good issue overall and I’m anxious to see where this is going. Brubaker is sure to go out with a bang, and I hope he leaves the character in a state that will open him up to new and interesting stories. It will be an interesting few months.