Friday, 2 October 2015

Daredevil #16 - Marvel Comics

DAREDEVIL No. 16, August 2015
Considering that this twenty-page periodical is almost completely devoid of any acrobatic action and instead predominantly concerns itself with a lengthy conversation between Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk, it still arguably manages to provide a pulse-pounding, compelling read on account of Mark Waid’s somewhat sinister and seriously-toned narrative. Indeed despite the extensive thirty year-long comic book history between the two arch-antagonists, it is doubtful that their coldly calculating confrontation within the Kingpin’s “shop in the Bay Area” of San Francisco has seldom been better written, so dangerously laced is each and every sentence they contemptuously ‘spit’ at one another; “No one runs me anywhere. If you’ve come to needle me with your alleged wit Mister Murdock, I’m inclined to have you killed on the spot.”

The Eisner Award-winner is equally as enthrallingly inventive with his choice of location for these formidable foes’ tête-à-tête, as the grim-faced Crime Boss insists upon the pair continuing their conversation “in the gallery” as “art relaxes me.” But instead of leading the blind lawyer through a collection of Picassos as the super-hero presumes, because “they’re all blank canvasses to me”, the Kingpin actually parades the sightless Hornhead through a series of paintings which all graphically depict the hapless costumed vigilante being mutilated and murdered in a variety of grisly ways.

Somewhat disappointingly however Waid is far less successful in explaining the fact that the Owl’s daughter has suddenly changed her allegiance and, admittedly begrudgingly, joined forces with the dangerously deranged Shroud. For having fled the shadowy clutches of Maximillian Quincy Coleridge in the previous issue, Jubula’s sudden and unexpected appearance at the disheveled anti-hero’s side comes as something of a disappointing shock, especially when the Hueytown-born writer tries to simply explain it away with the throwaway line “I should never have come back for him without Matt…”

Just as visually gloomy as its storyline is the artwork to Issue Sixteen of “Daredevil” with storyteller Chris Samnee and colorist Matthew Wilson placing the vast majority of this comic’s characters in the shadows, and thus permitting this magazine’s 33,309 readers to see little more than purple-hued countenances and narrow piercing eyes for the best part of the book. In fact even when the script does require a little more light, as Murdock attempts to track down Julia Carpenter at the local airport, the scene is swiftly thrown into a murky deep blue darkness courtesy of the Shroud’s Darkforce Dimension.
The regular cover art of "DAREDEVIL" No. 16 by Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson

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