Filed under: Comic Reviews, Marvel Comics | Tags: Ben Urich, Bill Sienkiewicz, Brian Michael Bendis, Daredevil, David Mack, Klaus Janson, Mapone, Matt Hollingsworth, Matt Murdock, Punisher
As issue #5 ended with Ben Urich left mid-air after being thrown out of a hospital window and a brief glimpse of Daredevil making another appearance……we were left wondering how this title would finish up as the body-count has already been added to from the beginning and the word “Mapone” ringing through our heads as we try to work this out before the mystery unfolds…..but it was never going to be obvious.
Truth be told, as I look back through issues 6 & 7 – it’s jam-packed with further clues that get the reader deeper involved in Ben’s investigations. Old foes appear with their own opinions on the legacy of Daredevil…..and all with the mysterious figure who appears to be taking on the mantle of Daredevil himself. Punisher drops in to help/hinder those investigations in equal measure and poor Ben is caught in the crosshairs as an army of ninja’s descend upon the new Daredevil/Punisher alliance. Army taken care of with more machine gun fire than you can imagine, we get to see the true identity of the all-new Daredevil…..Ben’s adopted son, Timmy. Boom my head just exploded as I try and reprocess that information and the thing is, we ease into the final issue with no idea about “Mapone” – still as lost by what/who/where it is but the momentum of Ben’s investigation and our stubborn need to know the truth has seen us in for the long haul.
We then come to issue #8, bringing us more death as our intrepid investigator succumbs to his injuries but still our intrigue is piqued. Timmy struggles to come to terms with Ben’s drive to solve this latest investigation but it looks like it’s all been for nothing as we seem to be closing out the issue with more details on how Matt was training Timmy. There’s a twist here though as he’s passed a note in the local bar that says “Around Back” – he of course follows the direction and we have another alleyway meeting with Nick Fury. He’s sorry about Timmy’s loss and hands him a file marked “Mapone”…….and that was my cue to scream “OPEN IT” in my inner voice…….and almost fly into a rage when he tosses it into a nearby by burning barrel. Almost getting the answer to Matt Murdock’s mystery and let Ben rest in peace could’ve been a cruel ending but in the last few pages – we’re gifted with the real answers……and it’s with a great deal of satisfaction that I know this but won’t spoil it for anyone.
When it comes to mini/maxi series it can sometimes be rushed and on other occasions be dragged out but there are a few occasions where it peaks or stumbles before finishing well but this title is different again. Writers Brian Michael Bendis & David Mack hit a strong pace from the off and maintain it across every single page and I don’t remember another title with this kind of sustained quality. There’s then the strong mix of art from Mack himself along with Klaus Janson, Bill Sienkiewicz & Matt Hollinsworth combining to steep the mystery in a mix of moody, shadowy alleyways and the bright lights of the big city – where poignant moments and action scenes intermingle with some nearly dream-like sequences and we’re left imagining this all happening for real. A must-read release with a strong emphasis on the MUST as we get a stark reminder that there’s much more to comics than the next blockbuster summer movie – and that story-telling in comic book form can be just as beautiful and engaging as any other form escapism.
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