Friday, 20 May 2016

Daredevil [2016] #3 - Marvel Comics

DAREDEVIL No. 3, March 2016
There can surely be little doubt that Charles Soule's combination of fast-paced frantic-fighting action, along with plenty of plot development for the titular character, didn’t fail to entertain the majority of this twenty-page periodical's 45,885 strong audience when it was first published in January 2016. Indeed the narrative for Issue Three of "Daredevil" contains the massive draw of depicting "the career crime-fighter" battling his old adversaries The Hand, as well as uncomfortably siding with the deadly enforcers of the "crime lord turned cult leader" Tenfingers, in a genuinely thrilling attempt to avoid a bloodbath; "This is the very definition of not my fight… On the other hand, the Hand's here to kill. There's no doubt about it. That's what they do."

Sadly however, it is hard to shake the impression that the Brooklyn-born writer has somehow frustratingly underused "the evil Order of Ninjas" potential with this storyline, especially as he has them "doing their disappearing act" mid-way through their fight with the Church Of The Sheltering Hands congregation for no apparent reason whatsoever? It certainly seems illogical that having introduced the "supernaturally enhanced ninjutsu murder cult" with such dramatic aplomb at the climax of this comic's previous edition, and then gone to such lengths as to have the Man Without Fear implore the Chinatown-based "thief" to "get your people out of here" because "it's their only hope", that the New Yorker subsequently has the mysterious martial artists abruptly depart the mêlée when, at least according to the punch-up panels' illustrations, they're seemingly well-ahead?

Equally as perplexing though, is Tenfingers' stance once the fighting has finished and "the Hand has fled". The "villain" proudly boasts that "everyone is safe, just as I foresaw" and claims that "I knew there was no danger. I protected my people. As I promised them I would." Yet during the conflict Soule clearly pens for several members of the aspiring crime boss' church to be brutally butchered by their opponents via a steel blade through the throat or a raking gash across the chest? Admittedly the Chinaman somehow has the ability to "influence the actions of people and make them do things they'd never ordinarily do." But that still doesn’t explain why the magic-user's men don't realise he's so evidently manipulating them, especially after Daredevil points out that "he's lying to you" whilst stood amongst the corpses.

Fortunately for a script which is so overly-reliant upon the artwork to do its storytelling, Ron Garney's breakdowns are convincingly up to the task in hand. Somewhat reminiscent of John Romita Junior's pencilling in places, the American certainly imbues the lengthy combat sequence with plenty of claustrophobic physicality. Whilst his innovative viewpoints of the more sedentary scenes, such as Matt Murdock's grilling in the office of the Manhattan District Attorney makes even the comic's dialogue-heavy moments engagingly entertaining.
The variant cover art of "DAREDEVIL" No. 3 by Paolo Rivera

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