DAREDEVIL #28

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[ BARGAIN BEAST
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Daredevil ever faced off against a real, live, devil? Well, wonder no more, because now you can see how this scenario will play out by reading the following story created by Charles Soule, Ron Garney, and published by Marvel Comics. It’s November, 2017, and it’s time for Daredevil in review.

TO QUOTE Thomas Merton: 'Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul'. 

THE REVIEW:
Daredevil has recently traveled to China in order to save his friend, Samuel (Blindspot) Chung, from the evil organisation known as the Hand. Well, that’s what he intended to do. But instead of saving Sam, Sam beats Matt up, locks him away in a dungeon, before having the audacity to bequeath his soul to the Beast in exchange for someone else’s. 

You see, during last months episode, Sam told Matt that his Mum gave her soul to the Beast with the intention of magically restoring Sam’s sight. So now that he’s done that, Sam wants to pay them both back, even if he has to hurt Daredevil in the process.

Whatever next? Will Sam feel guilty for betraying his friend and attempt to save him? Will his Mum get in his way or will she aid him with his plight? Plus, what about the bad guys, The Hand and the Beast? As I seriously can’t see either of them allowing anyone to spoil their plans! Not even Tenfingers, who they’re currently torturing for his past transgressions. Now to find out the answers to some of these questions, please, pick up issue 28 of Daredevil today. In the meantime, though, why not check out my opinions on it by reading the following three points. 

Point One) I CHANGED MY MIND:   First off, please allow me to say that I did enjoy reading this issue. Not only was the artwork very bold and very expressive, but I also liked the way the adventure eventually resolved itself in a no nonsense fashion. That said, however, on a narrative level it did suffer from one major flaw, and that flaw was firmly focused on Sam's motives.

It has previously been established that Samuel Chung was somehow under the control of the Hand. Now in all fairness, to what extent that control took hold of him wasn't very clearly defined. Although, what we can say for certain, is that Sam was following another drummers beat. After all, why else would he beat up Matt and torture him for an undefined period of time? Did he go mad? No, I don’t think so. Was he charged with a secret burden? No, I don’t think that happened either. So with that said; I have to ask myself, after screwing Matt up, what compelled him to suddenly change his mind and decide to save his mentor? Seriously, within the span of three pages, Sam goes from Matt's betrayer to Matt's salvation, locking him up in a dungeon one minute, and then helping him break free the next. Are we supposed to believe that Sam had some sort of attack of conscious at exactly the same time he and his mother were going home? Personally, I'm not buying that one myself, Sam's guilt, even if Charles Soule’s script would like us to believe otherwise.

Then again, maybe a portion of the blame should fall on the actual script? I mean, the overall adventure was structured in a very blunt four act fashion, with each act jolting from one scenario to the next like an express train speeding towards its final destination: (Act One) Matt gets tortured. (Act Two) Sam changes his mind. (Act Three) People fight. And (Act Four) The aftermath has its time in the spotlight.

Yeah. It’s as simple as that, really, and does sound fairly pedestrian for an adventure that spent a large chunk of its time dedicated to making Sam seem detached and aloof from those around him. I personally feel that if the previous two chapters insinuated some sort of hesitancy on Sam's behalf, in turn this would then make his act of valor appear more pertinent somehow, more realistic even, and not just a quick fix to finish the story. 

Point Two) I’M A GRUNT:   Being a world traveler and a child of two foreign-immigrants, I know from my own experience how hard it can be for someone to acclimatize into a different environment. One side of you may feel like you’re betraying your ancestral heritage by embracing a brand new culture. Another part may feel the need to fit in and be accepted by those you interact with. Where as another part is just confused by the whole damn thing; and you can’t help but keep on questioning yourself with every single move you make.

Now, the main reason why I want to bring up this point, is because that’s what I think Sam was trying to say at the end of this story. Being an immigrant isn’t easy, no matter where you are, who you are, or when you are. First you need to learn the language or local dialect. Then you need to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly of the country you’ve moved to. And to top it all off, you finally have to live life to the best of your ability and not let the b@stards grind you down. I know that this is hard and takes a fairly long time, but with a little luck, a little support, and a lot of grit and determination, hopefully the move will be well worth the effort in the long run. 

Point Three) GRUESOME ART:   The last thing I would like to mention about this adventure would have to be the awesome artwork provided by Ron Garney. Please, take a quick look at some of the pictures provided, and see first hand how Ron’s art is both moody and atmospheric while being clean, expressive, and easy to follow. 

On some occasions his illustrations remind me of Frank Miller’s work from the 1980s. Franks style of art, just like Ron’s, is usually known for being very bold and expressive while sporting a scratchy quality that isn’t too distracting. Now in this instance a good example can be seen during most of the action sequences or double-page spreads, where certain characters have to omit certain emotions in order to express themselves in a certain way. Yes, I do know that all of this sounds fairly vague. But then again, how else can I tell you that my favorite scene in the entire book was the one where coff-coff ate and digested gulp-gulp in a very psychedelic and gruesome fashion? Heck, for a moment there, this sequence reminded me of the 1986 musical horror comedy, 'Little Shop of Horrors', what with the size of coff-coff and how he vividly put gulp-gulp into his mouth. Anyway, I don’t want to say any more than that or else I may spoil the surprise. So on the whole this was a fine adventure with great art and a suspenseful future. Wink-wink! 

THE MUSIC:
Would it be too obvious if I musically matched up this adventure with the Blues Brothers classic, 'Soul Man'? Yeah. It probably would. But hey, what the hell! It’s a great song and thematically suits this issue perfectly.




THE COMPARISON:
Now I know this may sound somewhat strange, but with all this talk about exchanging souls, paying the price, and making a deal, a part of me feels compelled to compare this comic book to the act of shopping. You know, like shopping on eBay. Ka-Ching!

THE CONCLUSION:
At the very end of this issue Matt Murdock picks up the newspaper and notices something surprising. So, out of the following eight options, can you guess what this something is? Could it be that...

  • Donald Trump’s hair is real.
  • All the air has been stolen from space.
  • A group of monkeys have declared war on Scotland.
  • There’s a half price sale going on at eBay.
  • A transgender man is suing himself for rape. 
  • Wilson Fisk has become the new mayor of New York City.
  • Kim Kardashian has talent.
  • Newspapers still exist.
Nuff said.

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