DAREDEVIL #19

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[ DIVE INTO THOSE BARGAINS
How low will Matt go to conceal his secret identity? Will he go as low as Charles Soule? The World Champion Limbo Dancer, circa 2001 to 2003! Or for that matter, will he go as low as Marc Laming? Who, I must say, is a very good deep sea diver! It's May, 2017, and it's time for us to take another plunge into a Daredevil review. Marvel, beware, this one may sink.

TO QUOTE John Boorman: 'It's so easy to manipulate an audience, but it's nearly always clear that you are being manipulated'.

THE REVIEW:
Last month the Purple Man, also known as Zebediah Killgrave, managed to capture Daredevil before he could do anything to stop him. Therefore, in this month's episode -- yep, you guessed it -- we finally find out how this all gradually pans out. 

Now it's pretty common knowledge that The Purple Man has the ability to control people's minds, and when I say control, what I actually mean by this is to 'manipulate them' into doing his bidding. In comic book terms -- or should that be, metaphysical terms? -- what this entails involves him entering his victim's dream-scape and then attempting to make them see things his way.

For instance, in this very issue of Daredevil, issue 19, we are presented with a story which takes place within a dream sequence set in a bar. For some peculiar reason this bar is meant to represent Matt's mind, whereas the many people populating it, namely, the many different versions of Daredevil himself, act as a physical representation of the varying parts of Matt's own psyche. 

So in order for the Purple Man to do what he does best, manipulate-manipulate-manipulate, what he decides to do is to ask Matt one simple question: What's the one thing that terrifies you the most? 

But instead of Matt, or at least, our version of Matt, directly answering this question, what ends up happening is that his other versions take it upon themselves to answer it on his behalf. This begins with the Frank Miller inspired version who sardonically reply's to the Purple one in a fairly grim and gruff fashion. The Mark Waid version, on the other hand, then adversely counteracts what Franks version says, and this results in the two of them getting into a fist fight together.

Now this goes on, back and forth, back and forth, between the numerous versions of Daredevil, with each of them giving their own opinions on certain scenarios that could possibly lead to the truth. After a while Matt, that's our Matt, is able to turn the tables upon his purple hued archenemy, doing so by getting him to instigate mass chaos throughout the entire planet with the use of his evil looking machine.

Don't worry though, because Matt and The Purple Children eventually subdue this situation -- kind of -- and with that said, I think it best that I stop myself there, as I think I've said too much already.

Well, if truth be told, this is one of those issues which is basically people talking about probability, possibility, and hypothetical scenarios, all of which is embedded within a story that should tell us how Matt got the world to forget about him being his alter ego. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you. As I did like seeing the different versions of Daredevil and reading what they had to say about their collective lives. On top of that, Marc Laming, who filled in as guest artist, did manage to enhance the overall concept behind this scenario with a steady flow of clean and expressive looking visuals.

But in the same breath, at the end of the day talking is what talking does -- bides your time until a resolution finally presents itself. And to me, despite liking the general concept surrounding this story -- i.e. Self analysis within a life or death situation -- at the same time parts of it felt disposable on the page, almost as if their inclusion was meant to fill out the story with some additional girth, without expanding upon the general plot.

It was a good story though, and I don't want to take anything away from Charles Soule's writing. I would also like to mention how I found the narrative very intriguing and suspenseful, especially when the different Daredevils gave their different takes on Matt's life (minus that scene with Kirsten McDuffie, which I'm not quite sure was real or not). So all in all, let's just say that this issue had some great artwork and it does act as a fairly decent segue into next months final chapter of PURPLE

So how does Matt make the world forget who he is? We don't have long to wait to find out the answer.

THE MUSIC:
I feel compelled to musically match-up this issue with the theme tune played at the start of the popular 80s TV show, Cheers, simply because most of it is set in a bar.




THE COMPARISON:
On a purely aesthetic level this adventure involves one man trying to influence the behavior of another. So with that said, how could I not compare it to a, wink-wink, dependent relationship? You know, like you might find in a cult, a political setting, or, dare I say it, certain religious environments.

THE CONCLUSION:
Overall this was a pretty good issue of Daredevil, even though most of it was dedicated to Matt telling the Purple Man his deepest, darkest, fears. So, for the sake of curiosity, do you think you can guess what he tells him out of the following eight options? Could he be scared of...

  • Walking naked through the center of Time Square. 
  • Being seen in a sex tape with Kim Kardashian, Forrest Gump, and Popeye.
  • Doing nothing while the world around him erupts into chaos.
  • Changing his costume for the sake of product placement.
  • Marrying a sheep.
  • Being caught masturbating in church.
  • Appearing on his own reality show.
  • Killing a mockingbird.
Nuff said.

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