Sunday, 9 August 2015

Daredevil #12 - Marvel Comics

DAREDEVIL No. 12, March 2015
Having spent a considerable amount of time in the previous edition building up a sentimentally sympathetic backstory to the plight of the original Stunt-Master, and accruing almost a thousand new readers as a result, Issue Twelve of “Daredevil” proves a somewhat disappointingly choppy concluding instalment. Indeed it is hard to imagine a more contrived and convoluted narrative than Mark Waid’s premise of George Smith faking his own suicide in order to ‘mastermind’ a triumphant return to the public spotlight as “the ultimate Man Without Fear.”

Such unnecessary plot twists, like the television actor having to consume a supposedly fatal concoction of drugs in order to prevent Hornhead from detecting his lies or the costly head-scratching lengths the elderly stuntman goes to just to create a false history of “poverty… lawsuits and countersuits”, makes little actual sense. Especially when it’s revealed that Smith spent his entire lifetime's fortune funding the scheme simply in order to attain the title of “The Greatest Death-Cheater of All Time!”; “It’s not about the money! It’s about showmanship!”

Arguably it would appear that the Eisner Award-winning author wasn’t necessarily all that convinced with this periodical’s twenty-page script either, as Daredevil’s heart-pounding motorcycle race “seven hundred feet above the Golden Gate Strait” is cut dishearteningly short by the crimefighter throwing himself and his ride off of the bridge moments before the ‘new’ Stunt-Master impetuously self-destructs the superhero’s bike. This all-too sudden climax to a ‘set-piece’ which promised plenty of thrills, is instead replaced with the visionless lawyer ludicrously chasing down the ‘villain of the piece’ in a convertible whilst using his extendible batons to both steer and push the car’s throttle… The resultant pursuit of the motorcyclist, through rush hour traffic, is as preposterous-looking as it is impossible, and it is little wonder that the Alabama-born writer turns a blind eye to the fact that a Cadillac-sized automobile somehow manages to outpace a motorbike through the heavily congested streets of San Francisco.

Fortunately regular artist Chris Samnee provides plenty of dynamic, lively panels for such a somewhat relentless action-packed comic book. Fortuitously forgetting the ‘laws of physics’ the former pizza cook pencils Daredevil in some truly outlandish poses, and even somehow manages to illustrate, through the titular character’s body language, just how increasingly angry he is becoming as his ‘prey’ continuously eludes him.
Storytellers: Mark Waid & Chris Samnee, and Colorist: Matthew Wilson

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