Matt Murdock is a terrible person and that is exactly what makes him so interesting. I’ve said it before but I actually find him way more compelling than his super hero counterpart. As the storyline started way back by Bendis draws close to the end, the line between Daredevil and Murdock begins to blur again even further.
Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark begin the last act of their run together picking up where the previous installment ended. Milla is in the Insane Asylum thanks to Mr. Fear who Daredevil violently brought to justice. Yet, the crime has already been perpetrated and can’t be undone. Murdock seems to finally realize (and it’s about time) that anyone he loves ends up in harm’s way or worse dead.
Summer always seems to be a hot bed for the comics industry releasing trade paperbacks and this year is certainly no exception. I did my best to compile a list to the ones I feel are worth noting. Please realize though that all issue content and artwork are subject to change and shouldn’t be deemed as official. The dates also reflect online retailer likes Amazon (brick and mortar comic shops tend to get their hands on these a few weeks ahead of time). So think of this as more of a guideline.
Sledgehammer 44 Vol. 1
Release Date: June 10
Collects Sledgehammer 44 #1-2 and Lightning War #1-3
I’m not as well versed in the Mignolaverse as I’d like to be, but I try not to miss anything that takes place further back in its history. Mainly Lobster Johnson and any of the B.P.R.D. secret origin stories that occur in the 1940’s. This trade collects two miniseries, Sledgehammer 44 by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi and art by Jason Latour and Lightning War by the same writing team with Laurence Campbell art.
What about the story you say? I don’t know the finer details but I can tell you it involves a man in iron suit dropped into the front lines of WWII to decimate Nazis. Do you really need to know anymore? It seems like Mignola’s twist on Iron Man and I’m more than ok with that.
Daredevil, why can’t I quit you? It seems like I can never quite get my fill. This time however, we’re back for Ed Brubaker and Mike Lark’s middle chapter of their run. Their first portion detailed Murdock’s escape from jail and his subsequent adventure in Europe to clear his name and find out who set up Foggy. Now he’s back in Hell’s Kitchen and things have gone terrible there in his absence.
Another Daredevil review? Well you know old Biff doesn’t joke around when it comes to Matt Murdock. We’re moving in chronological order and when we last left off Bendis & Maleev had wrapped up there lengthy and critically acclaimed run on the character that defined him for a modern audience. Bendis spent a lot of time on the idea of identity and what it means to be a superhero almost foreshadowing what was to come in Civil War.
They put Murdock through the ringer (again) making his life as Matt Murdock both personally and professionally a living hell as well as Daredevil. In fact, Daredevil was really a minor character in their 50+ issue run; it was Murdock that took center stage. They brought their storyline to one of few logical conclusions; both Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk are sent to jail. This is where Brubaker picks up.
I like Batman, but I don’t care about him and I never have. I realized this as I recently read through Scott Snyder’s first work on Batman, 2011’s “The Black Mirror”. While I devoured the trade and certainly enjoyed it, I was more drawn to the back up, secondary story ‘Skeleton Cases’. This involved the return of James Gordon Jr. to Gotham (who was barely mentioned in 24 years since 1987’s Year One storyline) and the possibility that he could be a psychotic killer. It’s an excellent story aided by the art of the great Francesco Francavilla that really probes Commissioner Gordon’s psyche.
I’ve always loved Gordon, in an insane and outrageous place like Gotham he’s the reader’s link to the “real world” and the common man. I did some research and found there was scarce little material or series that followed Gordon as the main character. Which in my opinion is pretty shameful on DC’s part. Between Batman and the Batman family there’s a billion titles, are you telling me one can’t go to Gordon? (Detective Comics, I’m looking at you…it could be a perfect fit). I digress. However, I was able to find the next best thing, Gotham Central.