Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Billy Tan
Look, if Thor says “no good shall come of this,” you should probably listen.
Daredevil now leads the Hand, the evil group of mystic necromancing ninjas who have plagued him for years. Deciding he’s had enough of simply trying to pick up the legal system’s slack by night, he takes matters into his own hands by turning the Hand into essentially a military force and declaring Hell’s Kitchen (now called “Shadowland”) to be under martial law. Obviously, this doesn’t sit well with some of his superhero colleagues, especially after Bullseye enters the fray.
Shadowland is about the street-level heroes in New York City, the guys with some to no superpowers who typically stick to defending the city streets instead of gallivanting around the world (or galaxy) to save the day. This first issue concentrates mostly on Daredevil and Bullseye, and their fight serves as a launching board for the next four issues (and several tie ins). And it’s a nice and satisfying fight. Daredevil means business, while Bullseye is the psychotic dick we all expect. There’s a little bit of Luke Cage and Iron Fist learning how far Daredevil has gone, which in a way serves as an audience surrogate as we see what happens at the same time.
Matt Murdock has been through a lot these past few years. His identity being outed, a rocky marriage, going to prison, Bullseye murdering over a hundred people in front of him. Him crossing that line from traditional hero to local dictator doesn’t seem that farfetched, and it’s actually nice to occasionally see these typical (to borrow a role playing term) lawful good superheroes challenged in such a way that basically breaks their moral resolve as opposed to steadfast “I’m never going to be bad ever because I’m the good guy.”
This issue starts the story in a dark place, and seeing how everyone deals with Daredevil and his eventual karma catch-up makes checking out the next issue worth it. The variety of reactions, from the very moral Spider-Man to the kill-‘em-all Punisher, are going to be very interesting. Seeing how Kingpin and others manipulate the situation and try to overthrow ol’ hornhead is equally exciting. Good first issue on its own and in making the reader interested in following up.
Generally well done and detailed. Daredevil’s new black look is a neat design, with razor blades on the forearms while still staying simple. Not like armored Daredevil of the ‘90s. Still, I can’t help but be reminded of Dr. Horrible’s new red costume at the end of Dr. Horrible’s Sing -ALong Blog. Also, if Daredevil is now mostly black, why don’t the red Daredevil-themed Hand ninjas follow in the palette swap?
There are some oddities though. Tiny heads in a couple of examples. Iron Man’s helmet looks way too small for it to have a normal-sized head in there, let alone the massively huge head Tony Stark would need for his brain and ego. And then there are some occasional coloring issues with Iron Fist’s yellow costume parts being green and Luke Cage’s eyes being black. They seem to be implying they’re in low lighting, but the coloring is already dark enough, so the colors just look wrong.
Overall (Not an Average)
It’s nice to have a story that won’t probably massively change the status quo of the entire Marvel Universe…again. Daredevil has reached this point in a natural fashion, and I’m looking forward to how everyone takes it. Good start.
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10