DAREDEVIL #611 & #612

There once was a man called Matt, who refused to dress up as a bat. But then, one night, to his, delight, he had a chat with a cat about a rat. Want to know more? Then please ignore the following adventure created by Charles Soule, Phil Noto, and published by Marvel Comics in December, 2018.

TO QUOTE George Santayana: 'For a man who has done his natural duty, death is as natural as sleep'. 

Once upon a time, in New York City, there was a vigilante, a blind vigilante named Daredevil, who desperately wanted to take down the current corrupt Mayor: Wilson Fisk. So in order for him to do this, he quickly took stock of the situation and did whatever he could to expose Wilson’s numerous crimes, going so far as to recruit a team of heroes to aid him in his quest. 

After a while, though, Wilson grew increasingly tired of Daredevil's persistent machinations. So much so, in fact, that he likewise hired a team to fight back against his visually impaired opponent. A team that included Stilt-Man, Typhoid Mary, Electro, Gladiator, Ikari, Tenfingers, and Klaw, along with two other notable villains: Bullseye, the expert marksman, and Vigil, the religious assassin. 

So, with this in mind, we must now ask ourselves one simple question: Who’s going to win and who’s going to lose? I mean, will Daredevil overpower his adversaries and finally save the day? Or will he eventually fight his last battle and slowly fade away? Either way, I would highly recommend that you pick up issue 611 and 612 today. Otherwise, you will miss out on reading a bold tale full of life, death, heroism, and hope, complemented with a court case that isn’t what it seems. Want to know more? Then please have a look at this…

Part One) A GOOD SLAP:   On the whole, I’ve never really been a big fan of stories constructed from a number of long and drawn-out fight scenes. After all, if you’ve seen one fight, you’ve seen them all, because a punch is a punch, a kick is a kick, and a victor can only be determined by strategy and not physical prowess. Besides, how many wars have been won by a single battle? Not many, that’s for sure, and goes to show that fights are generally better suited to a superficial medium — like an action film — rather than a narrative one — like a book

Please note: I did say ‘book’, and not ‘comic book’. Or to be more specific about it, 'these comic books', issues 611 and 612, which were magnificently illustrated by Phil Noto. Overall, I was very happy to see his bold and scholarly artwork as it was nicely choreographed and flowed in a very stimulating manner. Take a look at issue 611, for instance (see pictures provided), because, throughout this episode, Phil was able to clearly define three specific fights, with each fight coming across like a small self-contained story that then led Matt on to his next opponent. First, it was a chase with Stilt-Man. Then, it was a confrontation with, coff-coff, ‘The Un-Sinister Six’. And finally, we saw a surprisingly quick face-off against Bullseye. As a matter of fact, this face-off against Bullseye was so, so, brief, it indirectly diluted his sinister edge, and made Lester's appearance seem hardly worthwhile! 

Well, as most of us know, he's a scary bad-ass mother-ficker who previously killed Elektra Natchios and Karen Page. In this case, however, no, he’s treated like a last-minute surprise, BANG!, who briefly pops up just before the main event, shows his face, and, well, goes away again. POOF! See you later alligator.

Along similar lines, I wasn't quite sure about Daredevil's fight against 'The Six' either. On the one hand, it heavily relied on his opponents to be stupid, erratic, and lacking in common sense, whereas on the other, it demonstrated how Matt was able to overpower his foes by using their abilities against them. Most notably, how Matt cleverly chose to take down Klaw first, so he could then get him to use his sonic abilities to immobilize the rest of the team. Good stuff, albeit slightly confusing.

Part Two) DON’T READ THIS:   Now before we continue I would just like to warn you that major spoilers lie ahead. So if you haven’t read issue 612 yet, please click away now, or alternatively, here, let me tell you a quick story. 

Many years ago, while I was studying computing at college, one of my tutors set an assignment for me and my class. He told us to write a short story about the follies of technology, which we did, quite wholeheartedly in fact, with me embracing this assignment by writing a ninety-page parable about a man named Max, Max Wilder, who unfortunately became crippled due to an industrial accident. 

Now, from a narrative point of view, the basic structure of this story was very simple to follow. Chapter One, introduced everyone to Max, his friends, and his place of work. Chapter Two, explained the circumstances surrounding his accident. Chapter Three, touched upon Max coping with his medical condition. And Chapter Four, focused on a court-case where I could show off my technological knowledge. 

But, the thing is, I had a problem, one major problem; because I wasn't quite sure how I should end my story. Should Max win his court case and live a happy life? Should Max lose and fall into depression? Or should I try to come up with something more elusive and less predictable? (Keeping in mind that I didn’t want a formulaic story you could second guess from the outset). So, being the creative loon that I am, I eventually came to a decision based on me wanting to get a good grade: So I chose option three -- to create something less predictable -- which involved Max not being able to survive his initial accident, and hallucinate most of the story while lying in a coma (revealed on the very last page). At the time, I thought that this was a really original and fresh idea, and even hoped I could maybe get the story published one day!

But no, that didn’t happen, yet I did get a pretty good grade -- an A- -- as well as a piece of advice from my tutor. He said, ‘David, I really enjoyed reading your story, loved the jokes, and I do appreciate the amount of time and effort you put into setting up the characters and the overall plot. In fact, you did such a good job; I couldn’t help but feel disappointed when I finally read your conclusion. After all, what’s the point of establishing characters, ideas, and concepts, when at the end of the day the final payoff didn’t resolve any of the issues you previously established? In a strange way, it’s almost like painting a picture with a selection of colors that will eventually fade away’. 

Trust me, dear reader, these words were pretty tough to swallow, GULP!, and it took me quite some time to truly understand what they actually meant. I do now though, oh yes, I most definitely do, and in a very clear manner, this is reflected in my opinions towards issue 612 of Daredevil. Well, to be fair, even though the art was amazing and most of the characters made me smile, more or less the final payoff felt weak, like a fragile child, almost as if the actual resolution didn’t want to be resolved. Besides, what's the point of reading the last four issues if the whole thing was nothing more than a dream, a ruse, or a segue between the end of this series and whatever we’re going to be presented with next? Yes, I do know that this was meant to be Charles Soule's Swan Song, and yes, I do know that certain ‘scenarios’ were left open so the next creative team could take them on! But that said, who’s this book supposed to be for? Us, the fans? Or them, the creators? What do you think, dear reader? Did you like this conclusion or were you a bit like me? Unsatisfied, even though I could appreciate the amount of time and effort it took to construct. Either way, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Now without giving too much away, a large portion of this story revolves around faith, persistence, as well as someone having to have a very, very, very long sleep. So with that said, I’m now going to musically match-up these two episodes to the hit song by Faithless, ‘Insomnia’. 

Did you read my previous section? I hope you did, otherwise, you won’t really know why I’m also comparing this adventure to sleeping pills — again, for previously mentioned reasons.

At the end of issue 612, we finally find out the final fate of Daredevil. So, out of the following eight scenarios, let’s see if you can guess what happens to him? Could he…

  • Succumb to his injuries.
  • Live on to fight another day.
  • Fall asleep.
  • Have a sex change.
  • Marry Wilson Fisk.
  • Join DC Comics and pretend to be Dr. Mid-Nite.
  • Emigrate to Canada.
  • Star in his own show on Netflix.

Nuff said. 

DAREDEVIL #611 & #612 DAREDEVIL #611 & #612 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 13, 2018 Rating: 5

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