thing from Marvel that I reviewed was Daredevil:
The Man Without Fear. And the only other thing before
that was Daredevil related, Elektra.
I did not discover this until I went to write this review,
thinking, "Gee, I must have reviewed something else from
Marvel, besides Daredevil
(opens My Documents)
that I hate Marvel or any such thing. I just don't find too
much of interest in the Marvel Universe. X-Men, as
it's being written by Grant Morrison, is just not my particular
brand of vodka, and Chuck Austen is the worst writer that
still receives regular work in the comic book industry. Spider-Man
has some bright spots (I'm fond of J. Michael Stracynski and
anything Romita draws), but like Troy
Benson said, "You have the proportionate strength
of a spider and you're married to a supermodel; life ain't
that bad." Too many Marvel books walk the fine line of
emotional/depressingly suicidal angst for me to be a Marvel
Daredevil seem to hit so well with me? Don't know, but Bendis
is literally a movie on paper, in so much that the "opening
credits" of the comic say, "A Marvel Film Production."
This three issue miniseries came out about two years ago and
faded into Marvel obscurity, among many books in their multi-monikered
trade paperback division (what the hell makes a Marvel Legend
and why is it slapped on the spine of every book they produce?).
It's an interesting little miniseries written by series regular
Brian Michael Bendis, and drawn or "directed" by
Rob Haynes, colored by David Self.
would be nowhere today without the training of his blind,
homeless, pole-wielding sensei, Stick. That sensei taught
Matt how to control his heightened senses and then a thing
or two about beating people into unconsciousness. Stick made
Matt becoming Daredevil a possibility. So imagine how Matt
feels when someone breaks into his home and steals Stick's
stick. Someone does just that, and Daredevil is quickly on
her trail. They meet up on a rooftop and the ninjapalooza
a rounding good fight scene, Matt goes to bed, but wakes up
in Osaka, Japan, surrounded by the remaining disciples of
Stick, who need his help. It seems The Hand, ninja mercenary
group for higher, have been wiping out the disciples left
and right. The reason isn't too clear, but it has something
to do with Ancient Japanese myth, and the birth of child.
Now Matt has to help his sensei's former students, if for
no other reason than to end his having to put up with "all
is the king of good dialogue, and usually very creative when
he writes superheroics. He knows the character well enough
by now that he doesn't have to try that hard to make Matt
Murdock a believable and interesting protagonist, and other
than one or two extra recaps of DD's origin, the writing feels
really fresh. Matt's interaction with Stone is great, and
leave it to Bendis to give the funniest lines in the comic
to the stoic, white-clad ninja. While a lot of the funny scenes
are a fusion of site gag and verbal quip, Bendis alone can
make a scene funny with a well-placed sentence.
Bendis does play this whole story with a serious undertone,
mostly having to do with the destruction of the disciples'
ninja clan, and Matt's feelings of loss concerning Stick.
He balances the somber with the humor very well, and I found
myself wishing the book was longer than only the three issues
worth of comics.
captures the attention of the reader is the artwork by Haynes.
I'm very impressed with the amount of energy in his work.
I'm not sure if it's Haynes playing off of well-written fight
scenes by Bendis, or if it's all him, but Haynes draws spectacular
action. The martial arts movements are beautifully paced and
rendered, and Haynes deserves a lot of credit for creating
the "movie on paper" feel of the comic. The lead
up to one of the Hand ambush scenes was great as it slowly
showed the reader the danger inherent in what was going on,
while keeping the characters in the dark. His line work is
thin, almost wiry, and he inked it himself with a thin line
pen. It gives everything a pale look, and while I miss the
heavy inking that usually accompanies Daredevil, it fits the
"Kung Fu Movie" tone of the book.
probably not like Haynes' work as much if it weren't for the
coloring done by Self. He colors in mostly pastels, but uses
shades and shadows well when depicting night scenes, and his
color scheme stays paler, giving the characters a "weightless"
quality that makes the acrobatics and martial arts action
more believable than if the characters were weighted down
in deep solid colors.
a decent story that mostly involves ninjas getting the crap
beat out of them, which is always a fun time. The catch is
that Marvel is charging $12.95 for three issues of comics,
a cover gallery, pin-ups, and an afterword by the artist himself.
This should have been priced, at the very most, at $9.95.
If you can, pick it up on discount so you'll feel better about
buying it, but buy it anyway. It's like watching a Jackie
Chan movie that wasn't made in the last five years: you know,
a good Jackie Chan movie.