I may have gained three pounds or more in as many days, but I think my fingers are still nimble enough to put together a review of Daredevil #114. While most of the holiday crowd probably spend their days in or near a couch (or at a table full of more food than any sane person would care to eat), the last issue of Daredevil, which hit stores on Christmas Eve, is decidedly more eventful. If jogging off those extra pounds won’t get your heart racing, this chapter of the Lady Bullseye story arc certainly will.

Okay, enough with the holiday references. Let’s get down to business, shall we? First of all, when this arc began, I don’t think anyone realized that the two subplots would both be given as much panel space as they have. I thought that the slight hiccup in Matt’s personal life would be pushed to the side, an annoying and unsightly pimple on Matt’s already plagued psyche (yeah, weird metaphor, I know), to be dealt with at a later date. No such luck. The pimple explodes in this issue (eh, I need a better metaphor, yuck…).

Okay, since I realize can’t review this issue further without getting into the details, I’m putting the rest of this review under a cut. Proceed at your own risk. If you haven’t read this issue yet, what are you waiting for. Go buy! Now!

— SPOILERS AHEAD —

With the Black Tarantula, Master Izo and Iron Fist on Hands watch, Matt has another encounter with Lady Bullseye, though it’s not the one you would think. In fact, the “must see costume” crowd may be a little annoyed with this issue, even though it’s so full of action, albeit of a different kind, I don’t understand why anyone would care. I’ve seen some reviewers out there who have said that this issue reads like an interlude and that it has a “middle of the arc lull,” but I would say that it advances the story much more extensively than the last issue did. Especially if you view Matt’s personal dilemmas as central to the story.

While the developments that concern the kung fu ninja aspect of the story are all exciting, leading up to a double cliffhanger where we are lead to both fear for Matt’s safety and wonder about Lady Bullseye’s true intentions, most of the drama concerns Matt’s personal life. His latest misstep comes back to slap him in the face when Milla’s parents walk right into his law office with two lawyers in toe – one of whom is a woman of Japanese descent – to get permanent custody of their daughter. Matt is his typical unyielding self, but things take a bad turn when his and Milla’s old (unfiled) divorce papers surface, along with some compromising photographs of him and Dakota. The Donovans promise to destroy the evidence of his and Dakota’s affair and give him an alibi for the murder, if Matt goes ahead and finalizes the divorce.

This issue isn’t resolved during the heated meeting, but has Foggy asking some pretty tough questions. If Matt has already moved on, what is he hanging on to? This is a good question and I think that Matt will cut Milla loose next issue and let her parents have their way. That would most likely mean the permanent end of Matt’s and Milla’s relationship and is probably what Brubaker wanted from the start. At least it’s more exciting, and dare I say realistic, than just having Bullseye take a stab at her.

Speaking of Foggy, I loved to see him back this issue. I do wish he could have shown a little more outrage at Matt’s behavior though. Foggy is sometimes like the good friend who is so good he’d let you get away with murder. On the other hand, he also knows what a jam Matt is in and probably realizes that he can deal with the tough love later.

The indentity of the Donovans’ female attorney is revealed in the last few pages, and Matt’s hunch turns out to be right. This revelation leads to more and quite exciting questions. What is her agenda, what does she want with Matt and is she someone we know from his past?

I guess I should end this unusually meandering review with some comments about the art. It continues to be very good (though I can think of at least one panel that looks quite odd) and is of the same high caliber we’ve seen previously in this arc. I can’t wait another month for the conclusion to this arc. There are many questions I want to see answered and I believe most of those answers will come a short thirty days from now.

Christine Hanefalk

Christine Hanefalk

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Christine is a die-hard Daredevil fan who launched The Other Murdock Papers in 2007 to share her passion for Matt Murdock and his friends with other fans.

4 comments

  1. I ‘m loving this arc and agree that in regards to plot this one did a very nice job in progressing the story. I have similar thoughts about the end of Matt and Milla’s relationship, but am hoping that Lady Bullseye sticks around for a while, depending on her agenda.

    Either way next issue is gonna be GREAT! and I’m REALLY looking forward to the return of the Kingpin next!

  2. Well, Christine, I love ya, but I have a completely different view point on this issue and again have opened my big mouth!

    Agree to disagree?

  3. The veiled reference to needing a “Matt cave” in the opening pages cracked me up. Nice nod to the Distinguished Competition there.

    I certainly hope that if those were brailled pages Matt scattered off his desk, that he didn’t step on them in his rage. Heh.

    I much prefer to see Matt and Milla split up by her parents taking her away than by Bullseye killing her. I do like the irony of Lady Bullseye having a hand in the matter. So much more “real world” to me than directly having the villian do a gory demise on the girl. The overall effect on Matt will be just as devastating. And way better than calling in a “Mephisto” style divorce a la Spidey.

    Foggy has to be elevated to the level of sainthood after all this he’s put up with from Matt. Good to see the Fogster keep his wits about him when Matt is losing his in the office.

    One word of advice to Mr. Murdock: curtains. Just because YOU can’t see out, doesn’t mean people can’t see in. I don’t know what Dakota’s excuse might be, unless she’s an exhibitionist at heart.

    At last, we see some scenes where Matt has a white mobility cane that could actually be useful, although it tends to change up a bit throughout the issue. Now, if he could only remember to stay “in step” with it, he’d keep his ruse (if you believe it to be that, which I don’t exactly) intact.

    Loved the art, and especially the coloring this issue. Good going, team!

  4. I think that Foggy was outraged, but he’s not the type of guy who thinks that screaming things out will solve anything. Actually, he’s quite good here pointing to Matt the situation in an “Iron hand in silk glove” manner.

    I think Brubaker defined how his Foggy was going to be in #88 and #93: and this means Fog feels like a brother to Matt, and is going to stick to Matt whatever happens… He’s not the angry, I’m-tired-of-this-situation Nelson he used to be in the Bendis run, but he’s not above pointing to Murdock the relative positions of a) the ground and b) Matt’s feet.

    I’d like to have another Foggy-focused issue in DD in the near future… and, hum, isn’t Liz Allen supposed to be still a free woman (even if now she’s a divorcee, and not a widower)? Darn, Matt gets all the chicks! he would probably have a bit less trouble if he left something for the Fogster, huh?

    BTW, I’d love to see Becky’s further reaction to the Matt-Dakota innuendo: My guess is that she’s not going to be as understanding

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