Shadowland #5

With his soul in turmoil, it is only fitting that the city he worked so hard to defend - the city that defined Daredevil as much as he defined it - is engulfed in flame. As Matt Murdock battles to control his own body, the denizens of New York battle against one another. The Shadowland story that has rocked "Daredevil" for the past few months draws to a close, promising a landscape forever changed by the conclusion of the events in the "Shadowland" series and, more specifically, in this issue. Diggle draws this series to a very logical conclusion. Unfortunately, much of that conclusion has been spoiled by the solicited tales of months to come that Marvel has been strongly promoting, including the last five pages of this book.

The story at hand (yeah, pun intended) offers some fun moments, such as Ghost Rider's encounter with Daredevil. Diggle's Ghost Rider is definitely a character that intrigues me, much more so than some of the other characters in this tale. Fisk's role in "Shadowland" is not surprising, but does offer the promise of returning the Kingpin to his rightful position in the Marvel Universe. "Shadowland" wraps with a bow, but Diggle offers signs of stories to come, both here and elsewhere.

Tan's art is decent, but largely unspectacular. The highlights are the fight sequences, specifically (again) Daredevil dancing in the pale moonlight with Ghost Rider. Tan employs some nice choices of camera angle and some exciting panel layouts, but some of his figure work, like the peach-sized noggin on Wilson Fisk during Fisk's last appearance, undermines the strengths that Tan brings to these pages. Guru eFx helps Tan out with a significant amount of detail and pattern added onto the page via the coloring process. In addition to the patterns and depth added by the colors, Guru's color choices play up the emotion, pain, and distress flowing between and around the characters in "Shadowland."

"Shadowland" was an almost intimate event, compared to some of the massive, sprawling events of the recent (and current) past, and its story was intimate as well. At the heart of "Shadowland," Diggle gave us a story of one man's struggle for self, a story we've seen in comics time and again. This time, however the story disappointed me with its predictability. Closing the back cover left me with a story that is largely forgettable, save for some minor conflicts and passing character bits. Truly, with the conclusion of this issue, it feels as though Daredevil has run its course, and I find myself quite apathetic regarding what might be in the immediate future of this little corner of the comic book world.

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