Still alive!

by Sep 10, 2010News & Updates21 comments

Just checking in with you to let you know that I’ll be back to blogging as soon as possible. I have three reviews I need to post – Shadowland: Elektra, Daredevil #510 and Shadowland: Blood on the Streets – but because of the September 19 Swedish elections (I work in politics), I’m going to be insanely busy for about ten more days. We’ll see what I can squeeze out in the mean time.

If you want the short version of what I thought of these three issues, I’m giving both Daredevil #510 and Shadowland: Elektra a score of 6.5/10 while Shadowland: Blood on the Streets gets a 8.0/10. I also want to take the opportunity to let you know how much I appreciate all the debate going on in the comments’ sections. I always read all comments and will try to add my own as time permits.


  1. Mike

    Excited to see your opinion on the Elektra one-shot.

    Dark Reign: Elektra was one of the best mini-series I’ve read in years. But this one-shot, also by Zeb Wells, left me feeling slightly… meh? I like Elektra better separate from Daredevil, I suppose. Just like Rogue is better separate from Gambit.

  2. krakkaboom

    I really dug Daredevil #510. I thought #509 was decent, as well. I think I would be enjoying this event a lot more if I wasn’t reading the main Shadowland mini. The art is poor, and the story doesn’t mesh with the Daredevil title very well. To be honest, I’m glad that they’ve executed it the way they have. Focusing on Dakota, Foggy, and Detective Kurtz in Daredevil has been the best part of the event. The mini is just a bunch of superheroes posing during a faux-battle with a long-winded conversation in the middle. Not my cup of tea.

    This is really cool:

  3. AP

    I agree, I’m still enjoying the main DD title and

  4. AP

    Accidentially posted early, sorry.

    Anyway, I’m really enjoying the main DD title and Blood on the Streets. Power Man and Daughters of the Shadow seem promising. I’m pretending like the event title doesn’t exist. So disappointing, as was the Bullseye one shot. The Moon Knight story has left me feeling meh so far, but I did like the Elektra one shot.

    I feel like since the end of Miller’s first run, Elektra has been a different character and not necessarily a better one. Of course this is Miller’s fault because of the way he characterized her in Man Without Fear. Greg Rucka’s take on her especially rubbed me the wrong way, but I guess he was following Miller’s lead. The “she’s crazy and NEEDS to kill” shtick is insulting to the character and not very clever. Elektra deserves better.

    Luckily things have been improving. Bendis did ok, Elektra: Dark Reign felt more like the Elektra from Miller’s first run and I feel like the one-shot continued that. I’m eager to see what they do with her in the future.

  5. Aaron K

    The treatment of Elektra deserves its own post at some time, but I’ll still add my two cents. I’ve always viewed the “definitive” or “real” Elektra as the woman who desires and aims at achieving real stoicism, permitting her to kill indiscriminately for profit. She wishes to suppress her humanity and cause pain to fill the emotional hole in her own soul, though this is mixed with a creeping apathy. At times, this person cannot deny the inherent humanity of Elektra, leading to her caring whether Matt and Foggy live or die, whether Wolverine manages to take over the world, whether the Beast can become President, etc. When Elektra appears downright emotionally needy though, that seems to be going much too far. I thought DARK REIGN: ELEKTRA was friggin’ awesome.

    @AP – I consider anything Bendis wrote about Elektra to simply not be canonical. Due to Bendis’ setting of the timeline in NEW AVENGERS, the Elektra seen in the pages of Bendis’ DAREDEVIL is simply a Skrull. Indeed, it seems to me that Elektra, despite many, many characters saying otherwise, has never actually led the Hand, with the possible exception of WOLVERINE: ENEMY OF THE STATE, though Tom Brevoort says that Skrull-Elektra might even pre-date that as well. (Accordingly, I’m rather annoyed at how *early* Elektra’s capture was. It eliminated her from countless stories and confused those stories greatly. For example, how did Skrull-Elektra know anything about the Murdock Papers?)

  6. AP

    I agree Aaron K, the treatment of Elektra definitely deserves its own post! Also, I like your description of Elektra. That’s pretty much what I think about her character. I just hate it when they imply that she is crazy. That’s just so boring. She deserves better.

    I’m so glad you brought up the Skrull issue. In my group of friends, I seem to be the only person that sees the problem. Of course most of them have read very little Daredevil or none at all, so they don’t see the timeline issues that I do. Regarding when she became a Skrull, I thought in Dark Reign they established that she was responsible for the destruction of the hellicarrier and that she was abducted by Skrulls afterward. I’ll take what Brevoort says with a grain of salt. After reading his comments on Shadowland and DD fans, I don’t care to hear anything he has to say. Poor Elektra, they’ve really made her history convoluted as hell.

    I agree with you on Bendis. For me, his work with Elektra was ok. It was better than some of the things Marvel had been doing with the character, but it still didn’t feel right. While we’re on the subject, did anyone notice the faulty logic in the Murdock Papers arc at the time of publication, before we knew the Elektra that appeared wasn’t the real Elektra? Basically, “why does Elektra ‘remember’ helping Fisk obtain the sensitive info on DD if Fisk just made the whole thing up?” I didn’t read The Murdock Papers arc at the time of publication, but I did read the arc before we knew Elektra was a Skrull at the time so it confused the hell out of me! Really, the only way the story sort of works in my mind is if she’s a Skrull.

    Only two other people “knew” of the Murdock Papers “existence”: Bullseye and Elektra. We also know the papers never really existed. So did Fisk receive the information gathered by Elektra and discard it or did he ever even task Elektra with finding such sensitive information? I can’t imagine Fisk obtaining such information and getting rid of it. He didn’t become the Kingpin of Crime by being stupid. He always has a backup plan, so that’s out. So did he ever task Elektra with obtaining sensitive information? Elektra was Fisk’s assassin for a short amount of time before Bullseye killed her. My understanding is she never worked for Fisk again after she died. If she did obtain said information for Fisk, she would have had to have obtained it for him before she died, which was before the events of Born Again. My understanding is Fisk did not know Matt was DD during Miller’s first run on the title. So if she gathered sensitive info for Fisk before Born Again, wouldn’t Fisk know Matt was DD before Karen Page betrayed Matt, therefore making her betrayal not as significant since he already sort of knew Matt was DD? That obviously is not the case so, based on my knowledge, she never gathered sensitive information on Matt for Fisk that would prove he was Daredevil. So perhaps Fisk told Elektra and Bullseye while he employed them that he had a file on DD and exaggerated it contents or they assumed it was sensitive information.

    So how would Skrull-Elektra know about the papers and “remember” obtaining such sensitive information when she clearly never did such a thing? I think Skrull-Elektra was hoping to get DD in a situation where he could be captured and replaced by a Skrull. She saw the headline in the papers, saw her opportunity and met up with DD. She embellished about the papers contents hoping to trap Matt and replace him with a Skrull but Black Widow and Bullseye got in the way. So why did she take him to the Night Nurse when Paladin shot him? Perfect opportunity to replace DD with a Skrull, right? Right now, I’m stuck so I don’t know. My head hurts and I don’t want to think about this anymore! If anyone has any better ideas let me know because this has been driving me crazy!

    One other thing Bendis did that annoyed me: in the Murdock Papers arc, Ben talks about being traumatized after being stabbed in the movie theater by Elektra. Movie theater?! I remember Ben getting a sai in the back as he was running away at the end of #179 after he witnessed the battle between DD and Elektra. I remember Ben sitting next to an informant in a movie theater that was stabbed in the back through his seat by Elektra, but Ben was never stabbed in the theater. I understand people make mistakes, but seriously, how could editorial miss such a glaring continuity screw up? That theater death was one of the best parts of #179! C’mon Marvel!

    Damn, I’ve written a novel. If anyone bothers to read this, I’m sorry about the length.

  7. Christine

    So, who wants to be the one to write a guest post about Elektra? 😉 This is a very hectic month for me (only four days to go though!), and I need all the help I can get.

    Regarding The Murdock Papers (the arc for which this site is named, sort of), I loved the last issue of the arc, but the rest was a complete mess. The logical flaws you’ve pointed out were very apparent to me, and absolutely brought the whole story down several notches. Elektra presumably being a Skrull really helps this story in retrospect. That’s the only way you can explain how Elektra could remember something that turned out to be a fabrication.

  8. krakkaboom

    I, for one, am glad that Black Panther is the new Man Without Fear, but I’d rather see him on an Avengers team. I’m sure that if no one buys the Black Panther book that he won’t be part of the Avengers for a long time. I’m guessing they’re using this to gauge people’s interest of the character. It’s a double-edged sword.

  9. Aaron K

    I doubt very much that failure to sustain one’s own book is a requirement of entry into an Avengers team. Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman, Iron Fist, Nova, and Moon Knight have all (relatively) recently had their solo titles cancelled, yet remain members of Avengers teams. I think team membership is determined primarily, and overwhelmingly, by author interest in a character tempered by ability to tell a compelling story with that character (assuming that the character has been left in an appropriate situation to allow him to join up, e.g., he’s not dead or on a distant planet).

    Of all the available candidates though, I think T’Challa is one of the top choices. Certainly among those with teaser images, he is my favorite by far. He would also be a fun choice to join Steve Rogers in SECRET AVENGERS.

  10. Bee Clayton

    I wonder if the Avengers will have any say in T’Challa being in Hell’s Kitchen as in “We’re not going to let something like Shadowland happen again by putting one of our members in the area.”

    This is an odd choice. I don’t follow Black Panther so I have no idea why he needs to ‘rebuild his life’.

    But I’d definitely take him over Gambit.

  11. Aaron K

    Another topic worthy of – and soon to be in need of – its own post: T’Challa, the Black Panther! Christine is going to be busier AFTER the elections than she is now! (I’d volunteer to try a Black Panther (or Elektra) primer, but I fear my knowledge to be insufficient. Note: this didn’t stop me from writing up a Snakeroot primer. Maybe my arrogance is finally being checked by my higher reason.)

    As a very short summary, T’Challa was seriously wounded in an attack by Dr. Doom. While recuperating, his younger sister, Shuri, took up the mantle of the Black Panther and served as regent of Wakanda. In the very recent DOOMWAR, Dr. Doom usurped the entire content of Wakandan vibranium – the mineral that powers advanced Wakandan technology. As a last resort to stop Doom from employing vibranium for disastrous effect, T’Challa used complex and controversial “shadow physics” to somehow de-power all the processed vibranium in the world. Thereby, Doom was rendered powerless at the cost of Wakanda sacrificing its technological advantage in the world economy. Wakanda is now trying to recover from this upheaval; Shuri retains the title and garb of Black Panther in the upcoming KLAWS OF THE PANTHER mini; it remains unclear when or if T’Challa will reclaim his throne.

    The entire DOOMWAR event was wonderfully done and really (and unfortunately) puts SHADOWLAND (and SIEGE) to shame. It included a whole host of characters (T’Challa, Shuri, Storm, Dr. Doom, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Deadpool), yet never felt forced or spilled into other titles. I highly recommend it to anyone who just likes a good Dr. Doom story mixed with international intrigue, government coups, a little magic, and appropriate superhero carnage.

  12. krakkaboom

    @Aaron K: While typically I would agree with you, I feel like Bendis doesn’t care for Black Panther (since he’s never been included in any of his teams…left off in favor of popular non-Avengers), and Brevoort feels like T’Challa’s inclusion on an Avengers team would ruin the sales figures if it meant leaving off a character such as Wolverine.

    So the Daredevil title is going to be re-named to Black Panther: The Man Without Fear and continue with the numbering, beginning with #513. They’re doing what they did with Herc and Hulk recently with this title. The fact that they are keeping the numbering makes me think they’ll hand the numbering back to “Daredevil” when the time is right.

    Doomwar was enjoyable, I didn’t love it or hate it, but I will definitely agree with you that it was better than Siege and better than the Shadowland mini (thus far). Though I thought Siege was a complete waste of time. The result was a massive failure. It’s as if they just wanted to end the story that began in Secret Invasion #8 when Osborn was crowned, and kill the Sentry since no one could figure out how to properly utilize him. How cool would Dark Reign have been if the Skrulls had maintained control of Earth and the heroes had to band together to take it back? That would have made sense, instead, we were presented a universe-spanning story that was so outlandish, convoluted, and disjointed that it would have made for a laughable “What If?” one-shot.

    Did anyone buy the Thunderbolts tie-in? It’s a title I pick up monthly. It was decent. No revelations, not that I expected any.

  13. Robert

    Either Daredevil will eventually restart with a new overpriced #1 less than two years after returning to the vol 1 numbering.
    It will return to its regular title after the BP story is over and many people’s Daredevil collections will now go from 512 to 520 or whatever the number is after it becomes Daredevil again.

    Black Panther is a great character, but I’ve got a feeling a lot of people, like me, don’t really care about or follow Panther and certainly don’t want him taking over DD’s main book. And certainly won’t be buying Black Panther: The Man without Fear. There are many characters that would have fit this idea so much better who have a history with Matt Murdock. Elektra, Echo, Iron Fist, hell Tarantula would be an interesting choice after the set up Brubaker gave him. But no, lets put Black Panther cause he has a rich history with Murdock, what with those couple of issues in the freakin silver age he guest starred in.

    Yeah, f*** everyone at Marvel involved in this.

  14. krakkaboom

    Black Panther is a great character, one of the best Avengers of all. That said, I want to see him on the Avengers, not as a substitute for Daredevil.

  15. Two-Bit Specialist

    Christine – Have you been checking out Shadowland: Power Man? I’ve heard very good things about #2. Same with Shadowland: Ghost Rider. Why are the tie-ins turning out better than the main series?

  16. Marc

    this may turn me off marvel comics forever, or at least until I hear about something interesting, which this does not seem.

  17. AP

    I like the artwork too. It reminds me of David Mazzucchelli’s work on Batman: Year One.


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