Monday, December 19, 2016

Daredevil #14 Review

"The Dark Art, Part 5"

Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Ron Garney
Color Artist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 14, 2016
Review by: Deron Murphree

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I wasn't sure what to expect when this story arc first began. Upon my first impression, I thought this was just going to be all filler until the next big event for ol' hornhead. It started out kind of slow as there didn't seem to be that much in terms of action and the standard superhero combat stuff. 

We got to see Daredevil interact with the group that seems to be taking the place of the X-Men, The Inhumans, to a small degree. Until the last issue, I was almost convinced that this story was going nowhere until the last few panels. Blindspot is about to learn a costly lesson in failing to listen to his mentor Daredevil. We last saw Blindspot ignoring Daredevil's advice by pursuing the serial killer, Muse, through the sewers of New York. Last issue ended with Blindspot almost eluding capture from Muse, only to be pulled down the manhole in one of the last panels. Let's see how this story arc concludes.

Summary (Spoilers):

The issue opens up right away with Daredevil and the Attilan appointed cop, Frank McGhee, investigating the scene where Blindspot was kidnapped. Daredevil is able to locate Blindspot's phone and immediately begins to block out the sound of Frank McGhee's voice. With his radar sense, he is eventually able to pinpoint Blindspot's location. We are then taken to Muse's hideaway, where he reveals his artwork to a bound Blindspot. Muse begins to explain to Blindspot his reasons for his craft. He sees what he does as art and his disconnect with human empathy is revealed here. Muse is completely devoid of understanding the value of human life and this is evidenced with the bodies and human body parts on display in his macabre studio.

One of the more interesting moments in this issue was the use of story arc continuity by writer, Charles Soule. We find out what happened to Daredevil's nemesis, Ten Fingers, during the first arc of this series. Muse apparently intercepted him at some point and the thirty-digit fellow met his end by becoming of the artist's pieces. At that moment, the Devil of Hell's Kitchen makes a dramatic appearance by crashing through a window in spectacular superhero fashion. Daredevil throws his billy club, which is promptly caught with relative ease by Blindspot's captor.

It is here where Muse starts to feel inspired and a pivotal moment in this issue occurs when both of Blindspot's eyeballs are forcibly removed by Muse's two fingers. Right away I'm thinking, well this is a big time game changer! As Blindspot lies helpless and now sightless in Daredevil's arms, Blindspot tells our hero that some of Muse's victims may still be alive. Daredevil gives chase to Muse through the darkness. 

There is a series of great noir-esque panels where artist Ron Garney is able to tell a riveting story without the use of words. At one point, Daredevil is led unceremoniously by Muse into a room where Muse's victims are bleeding and strung up by their ankles. As Daredevil remains transfixed by this horrific turn of events, Muse attempts to make his escape by cutting the line that leaves the victims suspended in the air above.  Daredevil is able to stop most of the bodies from falling as Muse escapes through a backdoor to a roof.

On the roof, Muse finds that he's surrounded by Frank McGhee and the Attilan authorities. Daredevil joins them seconds later. While Frank swears that Muse will be punished for what he has done, Daredevil remarks that Muse took Blindspot's eyes. Muse appears to be unmoved by all of this and breaks his own fingers on his hand in his attempt to make up for the carnage he has wrought. The issue ends with Muse led away by the Attilan authorities. Blindspot is being evacuated by Inhiman medical technicians with the assurance from Frank McGhee that they will do the best that they can to help Blindspot out. As Blindspot is rolled away on a medical gurney, Blindspot is relieved to hear that Daredevil was able save the victims. That alone makes him feel the whole ordeal was worth it.

This issue does an excellent job in tying the plot threads laid by writer, Charles Soule. Ron Garney's artwork has gotten consistently better in the last couple of issues. The black suit worn by Daredevil is now starting to grow on me a little. Blindspot takes his place as one of Marvel's newest heroes by sacrificing his physical well being, though at a terrible cost. Personally, I hope we will get to see more of Muse in the future. He has the potential to make Daredevil's life both difficult and interesting. Overall, I think Charles Soule and Ron Garney are doing an excellent job of introducing new concepts and there's certainly the hope for some serious Daredevil world building here. 

Bits and Pieces:

If the February solicitations are any indication as to what the future holds for this little sub-universe, I'm thinking that there's going to be some good times ahead for the Daredevil side of the house. If you've dropped off from reading Daredevil lately, I think now would be a great time to jump back on the trolley!


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