Review: Daredevil #115 (6.5/10)

Feb 1, 2009

Review: Daredevil #115 (6.5/10)

Feb 1, 2009
Well, the longtime reader of this blog will see a dip in my ratings for Daredevil #115 compared to the high grades I usually award Brubaker’s work on this book. This issue didn’t quite live up to what I’ve come to expect. It wasn’t a bad issue by any means, but slightly underwhelming. Before going on, I will give two thumbs up to the art team, however. The action, and this issue is full of it, is nicely rendered and easy to follow and it all looks pretty darn good.

This issue will be hard to review without getting into the details, but I’ll do my best before getting to the spoilers below the cut. What I definitely liked about the issue was the nice interaction between the characters, the possibility that we’ll be seeing much more of Master Izo, a rather intriguing setup for the next arc as well as both of the choices Matt makes for himself this issue. They speak well of the character and at least the less dramatic of the two show Bru’s knack for misleading the reader in ways the reader might actually appreciate.

What I didn’t like was the hype in the solicits suggesting that Matt would have to make “one of the most difficult decisions in his life” when the decision in question was so incredibly obvious that any hint of it being difficult would have been out of character. What the Hand seem to have in mind for Daredevil also makes very little sense to me. That’s about as far as I can go without giving away the details, so follow me under the cut (or dashed line if you reached this page directly)

I think the clues have been there all along that the Hand are on recruitment campaign. They’ve been testing Matt’s friends, and “turning” the Black Tarantula and the White Tiger. While I was somewhat surprised that the big twist consisted of offering Daredevil the leadership of the Hand, my surprise wasn’t so much that it went counter to what we’ve seen before, but that the Hand would actually do that. Or rather, that Brubaker would write a story in which the Hand do that. Granted, this may all make sense further down the line, but right now I have to wonder what strange recruitment strategies they employ or why Daredevil of all people would fit their job description. And, if they bothered doing their research on this guy, they would also know that he would never accept that offer. I can see Lady Bullseye believing that Matt might want relief from his painful life, but her offer would only make sense in light of her being a complete psycho.

On a positive note, Matt shows some chutzpah in both the way he dismisses Lady Bullseye’s offer and the way he refuses to be blackmailed into giving up custody of Milla. I still believe that we will still see her being written out of the book eventually, but when he lets her go (unless she recovers, which is unlikely in the short term) it might be for the right reasons and not because anyone is forcing his hand.

I also like the idea of Master Izo sticking around for a bit. Matt needs some guidance and a mentor with a sense of humor might be just what he the doctor ordered. I also have to pat myself on the back for guessing that he’s had ties to the Hand. Not that that ended up being integral to the story in any way, but I’ll take what I can get.

Ultimately, I’m looking forward to what lies ahead. Daredevil #115 didn’t really do it for me in every respect, but I look at it as a temporary glitch. On the other hand, most of the reviews I’ve read have been quite positive and the fanboys on CBR seemed to like it fine. Maybe it’s just me. Either way, I’m sure we have a great year of Daredevil to look forward to.


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