Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: N/A
Written by: David Hine
Art by: Michael Gaydos
Colored by: Lee Loughridge
Lettered by: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Jennifer Lee
Publisher: Marvel Comics/Marvel Knights
I know some people were desperate to have Matt back in the DD suit, but I really don’t think that this is what they had in mind: Daredevil hanging out in the trees outside a possible child murderer’s (who also happens to be that child’s father) house in a small dusty town. But we’ll get back to that in a second.
First, the good news. Hine, with art assists from in the incomparable Gaydos, has done quite a nice job of injecting this book with atmosphere. Matt is in a small, secretive Southern Fried town, the kind that we have gotten to know and love in such films as Deliverance and Wrong Turn (hey, they can’t all be winner), and it certainly feels it. There is a darkness to the town, a rotten, spookiness that is never far from the surface, particularly as Matt and his legal aide, Constance, make more and more waves.
However, that feeling is almost too obvious. As I alluded to, this town would not be out of place in any movie about murder in the Deep South and thus the book looks and feels a bit clichÃƒÂ©d from time to time. Of particular note is the fire and brimstone preacher and his book burning initiative. I know that people like that exist and I’m all for a good stereotyping of those who’s opinions are different than mine, but it all becomes a bit much to swallow from time to time.
Back to the good stuff: Constance and Matt have a great chemistry (not of the sexual variety) between one another and the scenes that highlight it are the best in the book. Foggy, via the phone and implication, is actually quite funny. And the lengths that Howard Gideon will go to “best” the Devil are quite impressive and frightening.
Sadly, all this good stuff does not add up to a story or forward momentum. I know real life cases can often move at a snail’s pace, but the rate at which Matt and Co. are putting together their defense is just not suited for a dramatic medium. It might be accurate, but the book feels like it is spinning its wheels to go nowhere fast.
And yes, Matt puts on the red duds to skulk around the Gideons’ house. Which is awful to me on so many levels. First, Matt might occasionally be reckless or headstrong but he’s never been stupid. When you are fighting to keep people from believing that you and Daredevil are one in the same, isn’t the last thing you would do is wear you costume when you are way out of Hell’s Kitchen AND everyone is hyper aware of outsider Matt Murdock being there? I would think that if you did something like that anyone of moderate intelligence might put things together there. But then, apparently, I’d be wrong. The other thing is, what does he even need the costume for? This is one battle where his legal-ese is exactly what will carry the day, not his night job. Perhaps he could be, oh I don’t know, researching the case instead of just skulking about. It would seem to be a more productive use of time.
All that sounds harsher than I intend, no doubt, but the costume thing just bugs me. All I’m asking for is a Matt that shows the brains that got him where he is today. That’s all.