So it's come to this....a bad issue of Ed Brubaker's Daredevil. Ah well, I guess the streak couldn't last forever, but it's really too bad, because I thought Brubaker was doing such a great job on this title, so to see him hit such a glaring pot hole, it is pretty disappointing. Why couldn't this at least have a fill-in arist? Why waste Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano's excellent (as always) artwork on this story?
I probably shouldn't be too hard on this issue. I mean, if your favorite part of watching Columbo is just the scene at the end when Columbo describes, in detail, how the bad guy did the murder, then this is the comic book for you! For this issue is essentially entirely that - Brubaker putting all the pieces back together to set up the new status quo for Daredevil. I am not even really saying that this sort of thing doesn't have its use, especially if it sets up future good stories (which I am confident that it will), but for the time being, the issue itself is not a good one.
Perhaps, when read as a collected tale, this issue will read as a really good epilogue. That certainly makes sense, but an epilogue isn't really enough to sustain a full issue on its own, is it? I don't believe so, and that's what really hurts this issue the most.
It is short scenes of "here's how Matt gets back," "here's how Matt clears his name," "here's how Matt reunites with Foggy," handled sort of like the ending of the last Lord of the Rings film, a series of endings, one after the other.
Brubaker handles the characters very well in each of the scenes, especially their interactions with each other (Foggy's life in witness protection, in particular, was great), but it really reads more like going through the motions.
Last issue's confrontation with Vanessa Fisk - THAT was the real climax to this arc. This is all just cleaning up the loose ends.
I do enjoy the work Brubaker is doing with Karen Page's memory. I like how he is finally giving that the credit it deserves. Bendis had a great idea with Matt's handling of Karen's death, but never really got a chance to follow up on it, and now Brubaker is doing so, and it works quite well (and should make next issue's Milla spotlight quite interesting).
The ending of the book also promises to bring us some interesting future tales as well, and I love the new lawyer set-up. But otherwise, this was like reading an issue of the Official Marvel Handbook to Daredevil, just with some nice character moments mixed in here and there.
But hey, one false step isn't a big deal. I look forward to the next storyline, if it is as good as the previous issues before this one, then Daredevil will continue to be one of the best books Marvel has going for them.