Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
This is the much-hyped 25c issue, and as I've been not buying DD for the last few months in favour of waiting for the trades, I decided to take the plunge and see what I've been missing.
And what a disappointment.
This is also part one of the five part Lowlife storyline, which seems to be devoted to the fall-out from the Kingpin's retirement and the sale of his empire to a number of disparate villains, each of which appears to be under pressure from the Owl (and his associates, at least one of whom really runs the show) to sell up and/or move out, to allow him to become the new Kingpin of Crime.
The setup in this issue involves DD rescuing a blind girl from the path of a lorry, and her seemingly obsessing over him - she's haunted by touching his face (maybe this will form a key part of proving DD to be Matt Murdock later on). There's also a funny section with Stilt-Man hanging up his stilts and dropping them into Murdock's office - which neatly allows Bendis to cover his bases as regards the question "is everyone thinks Matt Murdock is Daredevil, why doesn't someone blow his office up whilst he is in it, and sees what happens?"
Sadly the answer is a little unconvincing - they are scared of him - for such a nationally syndicated story, I can't believe someone who has never been up against DD isn't tempted to try his arm at removing him from the equation - especially with the Kingpin-ship up for grabs as it is.
This time around Maleev's art feels a little murky and maybe rushed - you can make out who everyone is supposed to be, but it just doesn't grab you by the lapels and make you pay attention. OK, so DD's world is supposed to be grim and gritty, but so much endless darkness and depression just gets boring in its monotony...
What isn't boring is Bendis's script - top dialogue as always, even if the plot lacks a little something - and in the final judgement it's worth it (especially at 25c) for the writing alone. The score reflects the price - pick it up at this price, but consider it losing a bullet at the regular $2.99 price.
Oh, and how much did this miss a letters page to talk about Daredevil, hype up the trades and the next issue, and allow Bendis to spout forth on all things DD? Essential for new readers, I would've thought, and a massive missed opportunity for Marvel.
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