One Shot for the week of October 3rd 2012
By Troy-Jeffrey Allen
October 6, 2012 - 16:52
In the early-2000s, Marvel Comics was undergoing a sort of renaissance, a creative boom that saw some of today’s top writers and artists cutting their teeth on the company’s most beloved characters. At the heart of this movement was indie crime writer turned Marvellite Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man, Alias
Pulling influences from screenwriters like David Mamet and Aaron Sorkin, Bendis’ run on Daredevil
took the once unshakable troupes of masked vigilantism to their limits. From Daredevil
#26 to issue #60, the writer forced the book’s title hero to protect his secret identity against a gossip-hungry media culture. For a riveting 34 issues, blind lawyer Matt Murdock denied all accusations that he was the crime-fighter from Hell’s Kitchen. That is, until the legal system turned against him in a heartbreaking bit of irony.
A decade after his initial run on Daredevil, Brian Bendis returns, bringing that same sense of edge to Daredevil: End of Days
. Keeping in step with his previous work, Bendis tests the boundaries of the genre by pushing Murdock to his breaking point. This time, following a series of questionable actions brought on by more media scrutiny, our once noble hero is driven to homicide, murdering his nemesis in a blind rage (pun unintentional).
What happens when a superhero breaks that unspoken agreement between hero and villain? That silent promise to never let things get so out of hand that the good guy becomes the monster and the bad guy becomes the victim? For lawyer Matt Murdock --- a man who claims to believe in the balancing scales of justice --- his actions could possibly lead to another in a long line of personal defeats. Hopefully not. (Personally, I’m kind of rooting for the poor bastard…)
Matt Murdock has never had it easy. As a matter of fact, Daredevil
has tended to read more and more like a cautionary tale for the spandex set. Outside of Frank Miller, no other writer has serviced that point more than Brian Michael Bendis, and it shows here. This isn’t the “company guy” that Bendis has mutated into in recent years, but a writer on a mission. Sure, the talking heads and slow-burn plotting that Bendis is known for are evident, but there is a deliberateness and darkness that we haven’t seen from him in years. It’s obvious that this character’s final fate is incredibly important to the writer, and if Matt Murdock can’t have died with some dignity, at the very least, Brian Michael Bendis will eulogize him like the hero that he tried to be.
Rating: 9 /10
Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25
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