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Daredevil #49

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
When Matt heads off into the night to see if he can do something about the Kingpin's recent attacks against him we see Matt's new lady friend is paid a visit by Bullseye. However, before Bullseye can add another one of Matt's loves to his resume, Daredevil returns, and the two longtime adversaries have it out, with Daredevil's rage allowing him to achieve a fairly decisive victory.

Comments:
Bullseye versus Daredevil! Normally this is enough to earn the issue a hearty recommendation, as the storied history these two share would seem to insure we're going to see one heck of a show. However, this issue's encounter fails to deliver the one element that I feel is key to a good fight, and that is making the villain into a dangerous threat to our hero. Now the encounter certainly starts off with some promise, as the scene where Bullseye taunts Matt's new lady friend is full of tension, and it perfectly draws upon the sadistic glee that Bullseye finds in his work. However once Daredevil arrives on the scene, and the fight moves down to the street, the only real display of Bullseye's throwing skill is a single attack that Matt is able to bat aside with his billy club. Now sure there's a certain appeal to seeing Daredevil finally allowed to vent his grief on the villain who is largely responsible for it, but for the most part this battle isn't a particularly memorable encounter, as Bullseye is only afforded one opportunity to look like he has the upper hand in this encounter, and even this moment isn't all that convincing as us readers are able to spot that Daredevil was ready to lash out as Bullseye advanced toward him. I mean this is the same villain who went toe to toe with Elektra & won, but in this issue he's beaten so handily, he might as well have been a common street thug.

As for the art, I do have to say that Alex Maleev isn't exactly the most impressive artist when it comes to delivering action, as his work has an almost static quality to it that doesn't really capture motion all that well. I mean the impact shots certainly look painful, and the action is relatively easy to follow, but the action never really jumps off the page, or leads the reader's eye over to the next panel/action. The art does a wonderful job conveying the creepy mood when Bullseye in alone with Milla though, and this issue's cover was one of the best yet.

Final Word:
For those of you who entered this issue looking for a Bullseye versus Daredevil fight, you can relax as the two do go at it in a fight that last for well over half the issue. However, one's enjoyment of this fight is entirely dependent on what you went into this encounter hoping to find. On one hand we do see Matt is allowed to finally attain some measure of revenge for Bullseye's murder of Karen. On the other side of the equation though, if you're a Bullseye fan than be prepared for one of his poorest showings ever in the pages of this book, as the only other time I can recall Daredevil having this convincing an edge over Bullseye, was the classic issue where Daredevil showed up in Bullseye's hospital room with a gun, and even that encounter had an element of real danger to it, as Matt proceeded to play a game of Russian Roulette with the immobile villain. This issue's fight was a real disappointment, as Bullseye isn't allowed to come across as a real threat once Daredevil enters the scene.



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