This month, “The Omega Effect” has run through “Avenging Spider-Man,” “The Punisher” and “Daredevil” as it detailed the attempts of everyone to get ahold of the Omega Drive, a hard drive containing all the secrets of every major crime organization in the Marvel Universe. On the surface it sounded full of possibility with everyone scrambling for the device and the entire crossover helmed by the regular writers of “The Punisher” (Greg Rucka) and “Daredevil” (Mark Waid) and the regular artist for “The Punisher” (Marco Checchetto). But now that we’re at the end, I find myself questioning why we needed this in the first place.
The biggest problem with “The Omega Effect” and “Daredevil” #11 in particular is that it makes the reader feel like they didn’t need to read the story in the first place. If readers of either regular series had decided that they hated crossovers and would skip their favorite title this month, I don’t think they’d be lost when they came back for May’s new issues. It’s all a large runaround, one that manages to maintain status quos even while broadly hinting that this story is important. That’s the worst kind of crossover, one that asks readers of one title to buy the other two, only to discover that it was entirely unnecessary.
It’s a shame, because there are lots of little moments in “Daredevil” (and the other two, previous chapters) that are strong. The confrontation between Daredevil and Cole, for example, is well-written and manages to be somewhat tense. Waid also shows us that he can write the correct balance between joking and serious for Spider-Man, proving to be entertaining without annoying. But while these pieces of the script are fun, it’s touching up the fact that “The Omega Effect” as a whole feels like a bit of a failure.
Not a failure, though, is Checchetto’s art. Having a consistent artist for all three chapters of the story was a nice touch, but it’s doubly so when it’s Checchetto, whose work on “The Punisher” has been excellent. Checchetto uses the new “Daredevil” house style of seeing through Daredevil’s senses to great effect and the way that Checchetto draws Daredevil’s billy clubs reminds me of Joe Quesada’s brief run on the title many years ago. Checchetto hits the mob scene fights with grace and elegance as well; he’s able to make it feel both overwhelming for the characters but easy to follow for the reader, a skill not many super-hero artists can manage. It’s a good-looking book that understands when to pack in the detail and when to open things up a bit.
“Daredevil” #11 is a frustrating comic. It’s drawn beautifully and the scripting is strong. The problem is the plotting itself and that’s what drags the book (and overall story) down a great deal. The strengths of “Daredevil” #11 are from the window dressing, but it’s hard to ignore that the core itself is weak at best. It’s a pity, because I expect much more from both “Daredevil” and “The Punisher” these days. Not this book’s finest moment.