DAREDEVIL #27

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From my own personal experience, I can safely say that having bad vision has its own ups and downs. On the one hand, you can deliberately bump into a beautiful lady and blame your poor sight for the mishap. On the other hand, however, you might have a tough time reading the following comic book. It was created by Charles Soule, Ron Garney, and published by Marvel in October, 2017.

TO QUOTE Jackie Chan: Aaaahhhhhhhh’.

THE REVIEW:
At the end of last month's episode, Matt Murdock surprisingly came face to face with his one time sidekick, Samuel Chung, otherwise known as the vigilante-in-training, 'Blindspot'. In doing so, however, he quickly realized that Sam isn’t the same person he was before. He’s powerful now, much more powerful, going so far as to capture Matt and imprison him within a concrete dungeon.

Don’t worry, though, because instead of killing him, he looks over Matt in order to tell him his life story. This includes his humble beginnings being brought up in China, what his mother had to endure so she could send them both to America, and of course, what they actually did when they finally arrived in the land of the free. 

And what was that exactly? Well, to cut a long story short, Daredevil trained Sam to fight crime until his eyes were gouged out by a meta human serial killer, whereas his mother, on the other hand, became a stooge for the now deceased mob boss, named Tenfingers, only to then sell her soul to the devil so she could restore her sons sight.

Thankfully, this worked, and now leads these two men to the here and now; with both of them on the opposite sides of a battle shrouded in mysticism, ninjas, hidden temples, and an escape attempt which eventually leads nowhere. Who wins? Who looses? Plus who’s that person that keeps on screaming in the background?  To find out more please pick up issue 27 of Daredevil today. But before you do that, check out the following three points I’d like to raise.

Point One) TOO MANY QUESTIONS:   Two questions sprung to mind as soon as I finished reading this story. Firstly, has Sam's rebirth caused him to change his behavior, or was this something he always kept hidden inside until this very moment? And secondly, do you think Matt regrets trying to save his friend, and did he suspect that The Hand had something to do with his disappearance? Personally, I like to think he did, and I say this because he’s fought them so many times in the past he must have a pretty good idea if they’re up to something. In addition to this, Matt also knows that Sam’s Mum was a member of the group, via Tenfingers, and factored that in when he realized they both went missing. Maybe that explains the unanswered call that keeps on ringing? Foggy to the rescue? 

Even with all of this to take into consideration, I’m still not a hundred percent certain about what is presently going on. From the looks of it, the Hand wanted Matt and now they have him. But now they do, what are they going to do with him next? Kill him? Sacrifice him to their overweight master? Ask him where he buys his tights? I mean, what’s the point to all this apart from re-establishing Sam's presence on this book? And why Sam? Why his mum? Plus who’s that person that keeps on screaming in the background? Presumably it’s Tenfingers, yet that doesn’t answer why Sam felt the need to tell Matt his own origins? Did he want his sympathy or did he want to put him at ease with a subtle subterfuge? And if so, why so?

Ouch! I ask a lot of questions, don’t I? Thank God Matt came clean about his true identity or that would’ve been another question to add to the list. Next!

Point Two) REAL OR UNREAL:   In the past I’ve often disliked reading stories which mix together surreal elements and realistic elements. To me, combining these two contradictory components can sometimes make the end result feel disjointed and fairly superficial to read, especially if the story being told is meant to be a personal one, which clearly this story is.

In this case, however, I’m happy to say that Charles Soule’s clever writing urged me to give this combination a second chance. Despite the amount of questions it still left up in the air, overall I’d say this was a pretty decent story and I did enjoy how Charles was able to ground it yet elevate it within the confines of a simple origin. After all, that’s precisely what it is, its Sam's origin story, one where he tells a captured Daredevil about being a refugee who ended up getting himself into a situation that was way beyond his control. 

Well, let’s face it; it must have been a right pain in the arse to have your own Mum sell her soul to demonic forces so you could get your sight back. Heck, I’m lucky if mine speaks to me without shouting. But hey, that’s a tale for another day. For the time being let us concentrate on Sam and how he must be feeling after everything he’s gone through. He must be feeling like shit, correct? And the same can also be said about Matt, what with him being captured by the very person he was supposed to save. That is unless they both have something up their collective sleeves which has yet to be revealed. I hope so, I really do, because I did like the two of them being partners and it would be a shame to see them split up. So come on guys. Let’s turn this around for next issue. Ten Fingers crossed. Touch wood.

Something else about this story I thoroughly enjoyed would have to be the inclusion of seeing Sam during his childhood. By and large I thought this additional element added a sense of realism to his recounted origins, and in a strange way was able to work in harmony with those surreal elements he now has to face in the present day, such as the demons, the ninjas, and all that jazz

I particularly got a right kick out of the Jackie Chan reference. Being a big fan of Jackie's I already knew that he spent the majority of his childhood attending a Peking opera school located in China. Yet, it would’ve been nice if they also mentioned some of the names of his now famous classmates, namely, Sammo Hung, Yuen Wah, and Yuen Biao.

Point Three) KISS MY ART:   I’m glad to say that Ron Garney was able to skilfully walk a fine line when it came down to illustrating this book. One part of it was very rustic looking while another part of it was surreal by design. But more importantly than that, the overreaching narrative was fairly earthy in tone and had a style that was pure film-noir.

On occasion, however, I did notice that Ron's art seemed slightly murky, gruff even, especially during those sequences at the end where Matt was trying to make his escape. Having said that, though, more or less his art did work in conjunction with Charles’ script, and generally it did elevate the mood so it could match the plots suspicious intent. Great job guys, and  please keep up the good work.

THE MUSIC:
In no uncertain terms this is a Chinese themed adventure which centers on what one man has to go through in order to accomplish his goals. And to me, nothing says Chinese adventure more than the main man himself, Jackie Chan, who sung the hit song, ‘I Make A Man Out Of You’, which was also sung by Donny Osmond for the movie, ‘Mulan’. 




The main reason I chose Jackie’s version is because his one sounds more authentic.

THE COMPARISON:
While I’m talking about Jackie, why don’t I compare this comic book to one of his old films? Something made in the 1980s, like 'Armour of God' for instance, because that adventure, like this one, also involves someone getting kidnapped, someone trying to save them, as well as a group of malevolent bad-guys who worship a dark overlord. Here, check this out… 




THE CONCLUSION:
At the end of this issue Sam does something to Daredevil that isn’t very nice. So, out of the following eight options, can you guess what he does? Does he...

  • Slap his ass.
  • Punch his face.
  • Knee him in the nuts. 
  • Sell him on eBay.
  • Pretend he’s Bill Cosby. 
  • Double-cross him.
  • Give him a wedgie. 
  • Touch him in a place which he shouldn’t.
Nuff said. 

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