The “Daredevil” title running alongside the Shadowland event has generally created better press than the event title, itself. While the overall story has swept the real Matt Murdock under the rug, we get to see all of his friends and players work within this new scene and it’s interesting business.
The issue opens with a great Dakota North scene where she protects herself and Foggy from a Hand attack. I am certainly pleased to see Dakota written as the ass kicking PI, or the Hand face blowing off one as it would appear, that I know and love. It’s just a shame that during this glorious action set piece we see Foggy gets nothing better to do than to cower and become wallpaper. Why he hasn’t been given a gun is beyond me, unless he’s being saved for the final kill on Murdock. It would be kind of poetic to have Foggy cast the death blow to end this event (though just last week I mentioned my thoughts on it being Elektra, so what do I know?).
My main gripe with this issue is the talking. Matt Murdock is evil now. I think even DC readers get it already so we don’t need another roundtable discussion by his hero friends about how they should do something about it/might do something about it/will find it hard to do something about it. They already stormed the fortress, and had their pride served back to them with a side of kung fu neck kick twists so I don’t know what new plan they have that will make a difference. Maybe they’ll hold a hearing in Shadowland and filibuster until the Beast leaves Murdock’s system and restores the world back to normal.
There’s some awkward exposition in many of these scenes. Everyone is very clear to state exactly what they think and what they’re doing. It drags far too much of the pacing down. It’s quickly explained that Hell’s Kitchen is somehow being infected by the insanity of this whole affair. While the dialogue is on the nose, it does lead to a great scene where Foggy and Dakota are attacked and separated within a looting crowd. The page by Checcheto has a masterful sense of panic and an overwhelming drowning sensation.
Ever notice how it’s always Wolverine who gets put into the situation that would easily kill anyone else? That’s because it’s safe to put Wolvie there. The end of this issue, which feels stronger than it really is, pulls a similar comic trope. It’s a shame, though it should set up a final act for a character that has played far too complicit a role in Shadowland so far.
Despite itself, at times, this issue holds enough to make it more than worth buying and it’s certainly miles above the overblown spectacle that is the Shadowland title. I’ll be happy when/if this segues into a Foggy and Dakota ongoing. Now that I’d buy.