Title: The Universe
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: (oy vey)
Michael Golden, Greg Horn, P. Craig Russell, Phil Hester & Ande Parks, Chris Bachalo & Tim Townsend, Jae Lee, David Finch, Frank Quitely, Alex Maleev
Inkers: (oy vey, part deux)
Justin Ponsor, Greg Horn, Chris Bachalo, Jue Chung, Frank Darmata
Cover: Greg Land & Matt Ryan
Letterer: VC’s Randy Gentile
Longest credits for a single issue… ever.
Bendis likes the idea of having 30 artists each doing a spread for key moments in Daredevil life. I dig the concept too, but it’s been done. Shortly after Matt stopped Kingpin there was a very similar style book. I don’t have the time to go look it up, I’m a busy man dammit! Trust me, he did this already, it’s not as innovative as it was a few months ago.
(Note: Danielle says it’s #50 – and she’s always right when it comes to her bald jewish comic boyfriend.)
This issue really doesn’t have a whole helluva lot of story either. The problem with this entire anniversary shpiel is that it’s covering things that have been covered ad nausium. This entire story is about what other superheroes think of what is going on with Daredevil’s outing, taking over as Kingpin, and possible mental deconstruction.
They even reference the issue that they covered that all.
Some of the two or three page mini-stories are kind of fun, but they would make much more clever as Detective Comic ‘follow up stories’ instead of dedicating a whole issue to them. Everyone is offering to take Murdock away from his current life – and he says no to everyone. Daredevil’s a loner, and a rebel, and… is he anymore? Is he saying no to all of these people because he truly doesn’t need their help – or is he just being a stubborn child?
Then in the last two pages, they give you what is going to move us into the next story. The old Kingpin, pre-Wilson Fisk is out of jail, and that might lead to a butting of heads. We shall see.
As I said earlier, with 11 Pencilers, and 5 inkers, add in Greg Land’s simplistic action cover, and you have a cubic buttload of artists to digest.
Let me first make a point of mentioning that P. Craig Russel’s pages look good, but the lettering gets all jumbled with these huge word balloons. Something went wrong there. I don’t know what.
Greg Horn’s final Spidey looming over Daredevil page is excellent, and I’m a huge Chris Bachalo fan, so the Doctor Strange looked really great too.
It’s hard to judge the art as an overall concept given that this sincerely is a book full of 3 page stories, and one standard Alex Maleev ending. As always, the Maleev stuff stands out, since it’s the voice and vision of Daredevil that we’ve grown accustomed too.
You would think for a man’s 40th anniversary I would have more to say, but the problem is that the concept is rehashed from an older issue. The art is nice to look at, and the different spins are fun reads – but this is not a book that is going to go down as one of Bendis’ best. Wow, look at these reviews of everyone’s golden boy of the last two years. He apparently can do no right. I still think Bendis is an excellent writer, but he is becoming a bit too overexposed – and if he is going to throw out a generic story like this, that only covers everything we know already (and does it in such a ways for it not to be a good jumping on point) – he’s not going to win any fans over again.