“She’s alive!” That I am, though just barely. 😉 But enough about me and how about we get to this review already, it’s overdue as it is.
For me, Daredevil #8 didn’t quite reach the heights of Amazing Spider-Man #677, the first part of the cross-over, but it is still a very good issue. Frankly, we’ve come to expect nothing less from Mark Waid and his team and, so far, every single issue has delivered in spades.
Waid makes the smart choice of having this issue start far away from the suspense of Daredevil and Spidey’s predicament from last issue. True, we may be eager to pick up where the cliff-hanger left off, but there are sub-plots brewing and seeds that need to be planted and tended to that we don’t want to miss. Putting them front and center here gives those who didn’t read ASM #677 some satisfying clues regarding the events on the final page of Daredevil #7. The case of the missing dead, which is revisited at the end of the issue will take us straight into the Mole-Man story of issues #9 and #10.
Once we join Daredevil, Spider-Man and the Black Cat somewhere below the city, the little “misunderstanding” (well, Peter didn’t actually lead the NYPD to Felicia’s door by tagging her with one his tracers, someone set both of them up) is quickly resolved and the three team up to get to the bottom of who stole the holographic device and why Felicia was framed for it. The pursuit takes them to the home of the inventor of the device, himself an accomplice in the act though not savvy enough to stay ahead of the more seasoned criminals trying to trick him. Waid is consistently good at using Daredevil’s senses and does so yet again when he has Matt detect a peculiar scent in the man’s sweat. With Spider-Man rushing the rapidly deteriorating inventor to a nearby hospital, most of the rest of the issue is devoted to Daredevil and the Black Cat.
Sparks fly between Matt and Felicia as the story goes in the direction of Mr and Mrs Smith meets spy thriller. In the process, the story takes another twist when the two split up and Black Cat is persuaded to go after Matt for reasons other than plain ol’ carnal lust (though there is quite a bit of that too) in a way that ties this story to Matt’s possession of the Omega drive he acquired in Daredevil #6. Spider-Man, who spent much of Amazing Spider-Man #677 pining for Felicia finds himself out of luck again when he encounters his team-up buddies locking lips after successfully stealing back the holographic device.
At the end of the issue, we see Matt and Felicia decide to go way beyond kissing, only to be interrupted by a phone call from Foggy. I would imagine that some might find this direction to be a bit of a stretch for a character like Daredevil, even despite his (in my opinion, exaggerated) reputation as a horny little hornhead. However, I’d argue that throwing himself at Felicia Hardy is exactly the kind of thing someone might do when trying to escape all their problems by adopting an overly hedonistic approach to life. These days, Matt is all about desperately wanting to feel good, and sex generally does the trick.
Kano does a good job filling in for Paolo Rivera and has a style that stays close to the established look of the book. However, I have to admit to being partial to Emma Rios’s work on the first part of the cross-over and there are certain poses that look overly contorted to me (at what bizarre angle is Daredevil holding Black Cat’s arm when he grabs her on the third page?).
On the whole though, this issue represents a job well done by all parties involved and I am so psyched for Daredevil #9. I bet Daredevil versus Mole-Man is going to be the best battle ever featuring a blind guy fighting an almost blind guy. 😉 And, since I was so late in posting this review, we don’t even have to wait very much longer for it now.