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DAREDEVIL #609 & #610

[ DARE TO DEAL
There once was a man from New York, who enjoyed eating copious amounts of steamed pork. But then, one day, to his, dismay, he found out that his pork was made from cork. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Charles Soule, Phil Noto, and published by Marvel Comics in November, 2018.

TO QUOTE Marcus Aurelius: 'It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live'.

THE REVIEW:
Can you guess what Matt Murdock decides to do after being struck down by a delivery truck and taken to a hospital? I mean, does he spend some time recovering from his injuries? As suggested by his old pal, Foggy Nelson. Or should he just follow his own lead? Which is to completely ignore the doctor's orders and continue investigating Wilson Fisk!

Well, as you might have guessed, Matt decides to do his own thing, the silly sod, starting off by quickly discharging himself from hospital and meeting up with the rest of his team. Namely, Frank McGee, Cypher, Reader, and quite recently, Elektra Natchios, the noted Greek assassin, who pitches in so she can help put an end to the Kingpins current political reign.

Now their first order of business is to kidnap Wilson's right-hand man, John Wesley, in order to get him to spill the beans about his corrupt boss. Can they do this though? And if they can’t, what will that mean for New York City and Team-Daredevil? To find out, please pick up issue 609 and 610 today. But before you do that, here, check this out…

Part One) PLOT PLASTER:   Despite his wide range of abilities, I’ve always thought of Matt Murdock as a regular human being with normal hopes, normal dreams, and normal aspirations most of us can generally associate with. Well, let’s face it; he’s a blind lawyer from New York City and not an alien from outer space or a mutant from a gifted school. What’s more, he’s always come across as being a fairly down to earth character that’s somewhat grounded, somewhat flawed, and somewhat relatable, regardless of him being depicted within the comic book medium.

So, with this in mind, can you guess how I felt when I saw how quickly he recovered from his injuries? Was I happy, perhaps, or was I sad? No! I was neither of these things, as I was shocked -- to say the least -- because he doesn't usually heal from his wounds as quickly as someone like Wolverine. Plus, to add insult to injury, I couldn’t really associate with his subsequent actions either!

Well, even though we all know that Matt is a fully fledged superhero who desperately wants to take down Wilson, at the same time, briskly healing from a major wound and then fighting crime afterwards, all within the span of a single day -- I repeat, a single day -- feels kind of fake, apocryphal, and slightly obtuse, especially to those of us who’ve suffered from real injuries involving an automobile accident. In fact, it felt so fake, I couldn’t help but wince every time he seemingly dismissed his fractured body in favor of attacking Fisk.

Although, come to think of it, maybe there’s something else going on here that isn’t very apparent? After all, could Matt’s militant behavior be an indirect side-effect caused by the damage he’s sustained? Or for that matter, hinder his judgement, or the way he behaves around those people he associates with? Because if that’s the case, that would explain why he revealed his secret identity to his colleagues, namely, Frank, Cypher, and Reader! Which, in all fairness, felt fake as well, forced even, largely due to his abrupt and carefree revelation!

Part Two) AND NOW THE END IS DEAR:   Over the years I've been able to gradually admire and appreciate the depiction of Elektra Natchios, the noted Greek assassin. Not only because she’s sexystrong, and as deadly as she is sultry, but in addition to this, she's also a very intresting character in her own right, with a distinctive personality, a distinctive backstory, and a distinctive way of holding herself that isn't usual for a female superhero. So, with this in mind, can someone please tell me what intrinsic value she brought to these two episodes of Daredevil? Apart from popping up at the end of issue 609, ready for some hanky-panky, before strutting her stuff and then sodding off at the end of issue 610! Also, why didn’t she explain to Matt why she wanted to see him in the first place? Is it a secret? Or is it something else that has yet to be revealed? Whatever the case may be, none of these questions were ever answered or even expanded upon, which inadvertently made her inclusion feel as hollow as a plastic ball made from Swiss cheese.

Along similar lines, I wasn’t quite sure about The Vigil’s appearance either. Despite appreciating his sinister edge and being genuinely intrigued to find out what religious order he belongs to, in the same token, he does seem very, very similar to another Daredevil villain -- specifically, Muse -- and I’m not entirely sure why Wilson would want to hire him, considering he’s relatively new, predictable, and there are so many more notable villains to choose from. Well, let's be honest about it! What's the point of including a new no-name villain to a story with such a dramatic title, ‘The Death of Daredevil’, particularly when we know nothing about him, except that he uses blades made from bone, which, yeah, was a nice little touch.

Funnily enough, this point brings me quite nicely onto a more positive aspect associated with these two episodes. Most notably, Phil Noto’s artwork, which was lavishly illustrated in a gaunt watercolor style, that seemed to suit this type of adventure to a tea. So go ahead, take a look at some of the images included, and see for yourself how he is able to clearly compose a scene in a very scholarly fashion, while adjusting the tone to each one to suit its basic ambiance.

Now a good example of this can be seen in the way he contrasts his action scenes compared to his dialogue scenes. On the one hand, most of his action based sequences come across in a fairly bold, dynamic, and vivid manner, whereas, on the other, his dialogue-driven scenes are generally more laid-back and relaxed in their execution. I also have to congratulate Phil for composing a very tasteful love scene between Matt and Elektra, which I personally felt was very elegant and graceful on the page, without it being too sordid or over the top by design.

Oh, and while I’m on the subject of Phil’s artwork, that reminds me, did you notice that this story possessed a fairly foreboding and ominous tone? Too foreboding, if truth be told, as it’s starting to become very obvious how it’s going to end. I mean, is this really going to be Daredevil’s last hurrah? Or will his death be a symbolic one rather than a figurative one? Either way, I’m sure Matt will bounce back sooner or later, because over the years he’s been killed, replaced, updated, and reborn so many, many, times, by now it's becoming formulaic, repetitive, and very, very tiresome.

So what do you think, dear reader? How do you think this storyline is going to end? Are you jaded, like me, and presume that everything will work out in the long run? Or are you slightly more fearful that this may be it for old horn head? Whatever the case, let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. In the meantime, though, so far, so good, yet I'm sure the best is yet to come.

THE MUSIC:
There was a lot of talk in these two episodes about war, death, and destruction, which inadvertently reminded me of the great protest song sung by Edwin Starr, ‘War’. Oh! Good, God! What are you good for! For musical comparisons! Say it again, yo!




THE COMPARISON:
In many ways, these two issues have a melancholy and somewhat impending tone to them, almost as if we’re waiting for someone to eventually pass away. So with that said, I think it best that I compare them both to a hospital bed, because that’s generally where most people eventually pass away. Amen.

THE CONCLUSION:
At the end of issue 610, Elektra Natchios turns to Daredevil and tells him something rather cryptic. So, out of the following eight options, let’s see if you can guess what she says? Could it be…

  • Do you eat hummus?
  • I smell kebabs.
  • Nana Mouskouri is my Grandma.
  • I’ll remember you.
  • Do you want to buy car insurance?
  • Shall we have chicken for dinner?
  • Politics is a Greek word.
  • Let’s Zorba!!!
Nuff said.

DAREDEVIL #609 & #610 DAREDEVIL #609 & #610 Reviewed by David Lee Andrews on November 26, 2018 Rating: 5

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