Monday, July 18, 2016

Daredevil #9 Review and **SPOILERS**

Let’s Play “Keep Away”

Written By: Charles Soule
Art By: Goran Sudžuka, Matt Milla
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: July 13, 2016


Falling into an internet hole the other evening, I found myself on eBay looking at action figures—purely for research purposes, mind you. I decided to look at the offerings for my favorite Marvel character, Daredevil, out of curiosity more than anything else. What I saw was pretty lame. They did have a yellow-and-red costumed variant, the classic red costume rendered in fairly good detail, and one or two other versions from over the years (though it’s a wonder why they bothered, since virtually all of them are terrible), but the whole body design was just…yecch. Looked more like He-Man in a Daredevil costume than lawyer-by-day Matt Murdock. Poking around at some other Marvel action figures, I saw that many of them recycled the same body types, and none of them looked much like their comic book counterparts. Take a page from DC on this one, Marvel! They’ve got some fekakta-looking toys themselves, but they do seem to understand individually-sculpting their figures. Uh, I say this for the kids, of course, since I am far too old to play with toys. I’m apparently not too old for comic books, though, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve reviewed Daredevil #9, right here!

Explain It!

Alright! Looks like we’ve got a team-up story here: Daredevil and everyone’s favorite, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man! Who has glowing eyes and a glowing spider crest on his chest for some reason. No, I haven’t been reading Amazing Spider-Man lately, why do you ask? The costume may be different, but he seems to be the same web-thwipping, crook-quipping guy we all know and love, and he reinforces this fact by stating that DD is one of his oldest and most trusted colleagues in the superhero biz…repeatedly. Almost suspiciously so. Also, isn’t it kind of weird to call another superhero your “colleague?” Makes it seem like you’re punching the clock at the same warehouse job. Daredevil explains why he’s asked Spidey to come assist him at a casino in Macau (near China…autonomous, but still connected administratively to China…basically South China, for all intents and purposes): they need to pull a heist. In a penthouse suite at this casino is a briefcase, and in this briefcase is some sensitive stuff about which Daredevil says nothing. The suite is full of armed men and the whole place is heavily-guarded, so the obvious plan is for Daredevil and Spider-Man to sneak over to the suite from the High Roller suite, which Daredevil won in a poker tournament last issue, and then bust in and start fighting everyone because, let’s face it, New Yorkers are animals.

Since this was only a few pages into the story, the guy cuffed to the briefcase takes off, and so the bulk of the middle of this issue is Spider-Man and Daredevil trying to retrieve the case. This is depicted largely through some great artwork by Goran Sudžuka, and though much of the action takes place in confined spaces among groups of people, it’s all very clear and nice to watch. Particularly since a lot of the damage is rendered pretty meticulously. Along the way, they take a hydrofoil to Hong Kong, and Spider-Man and Daredevil wind surf off the back of the boat. Ultimately, surprise, they retrieve the briefcase—specifically, Spider-Man grabs it and scurries up a flagpole. He refuses to give it to Daredevil unless he tells him what is within.

And now there’s some back-and-forth between ol’ Web-Head and the Devilish One, as DD chases Spidey around the lofty rooftops of Hong Kong for a little while, as Spider-Man explains that something is fishy around here—and no, he’s not being racist. It’s unusual, he says, that he knows so little about one of his oldest and most trusted colleagues in the superhero biz, as something in their relationship…changed. After being unable to get the case from Spider-Man, Daredevil explains that yes, something has changed: Daredevil admits that everyone used to know his secret identity, but he did something to change that. And that made Spider-Man’s memories weird. DD further goes on to explain that the case contains Black Cat’s files on everyone in the criminal underworld, which he can use to take them down in one fell swoop. And since Spider-Man clearly has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, he gives Daredevil the case and takes off.

Despite most of this story’s lack of substance, I enjoyed it for the most part and liked seeing Daredevil and Spider-Man in action together. The action was rendered wonderfully and their patter was believable and, mostly thanks to Spidey’s quips, pretty funny at times. I was really frustrated by DD’s admission to having done “something’’ to make his identity a secret again, since it has been nine or more months since that happened and we’re no closer to learning a thing about it. We know it’s going to be stupid, just tell us what it is! Was it a giant MiB flashy-thingy that mindfucked the whole world? Or some kind of fairy dust that’s seeping in along with the creeping Terrigen Mists? Stop being so goddamned coy about it, it’s nine issues and thirty-six bucks later, and we still don’t know squat!

Bits and Pieces:

You won't find a ton of progression in this five-part story, but it is a lot of fun and features Spider-Man, who only increases that fun. Goran Sudžuka's art steals this show in this issue, as he renders cityscapes and interiors and compressed musculature with equal aplomb and a unique style. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for his work in the future, and considering how unique and lively it is, I should have no trouble spotting it going forward.


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