Comic Book Review: Daredevil #88

Ed Brubaker dropped a huge bomb on the readers with the end of last issue. The return of Foggy Nelson. Needless to say, I’m thrilled that Foggy is still alive. It just isn’t Daredevil with out Foggy around. Brubaker always delivers a solid read on Daredevil. I fully expect Daredevil #88 to be another good read. This issue is a spotlight issue on Foggy filling us in with what has happened to him since we saw him “die.” Let’s do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: David Aja

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: This issue starts with Foggy calling Ben Urich. Foggy tells Ben that he isn’t dead. Unfortunately, Ben can’t hear Foggy. An FBI agent then enters the room and tells Foggy that they have blocked his phone call to Ben. The FBI agent tells Foggy that he is in protective custody for a reason and that Foggy isn’t getting killed on his watch. The agent says they are working on finding out who tried to kill Foggy. That they are working on trying to find Matt. As long as Matt is on the run, Foggy is a target.

Foggy then has a long introspective narrative thinking about his past with Matt. Foggy admits that he is not a coward, but isn’t very brave. Not like Matt. And how, no matter what crazy incident was going on, that Foggy always felt safe with Matt around. He never worried about dying. Even though Foggy knows that Matt can’t protect everyone. Foggy thinks of Elektra and Karen Page who were both killed by Bullseye.

Foggy said the cold truth hit him when he got stabbed in the jail. That Matt can’t always protect him. Foggy was rushed to the emergency room and while on the operating table, the FBI asked him if he wanted to be placed into protective custody. Foggy was scared and panicked and agreed. Foggy then thinks that Matt is going to continue his reckless mission of revenge for Foggy’s death unless Foggy can let him know that he is actually alive. Foggy decides he needs to escape from protective custody and go on the run and get work to Matt that he is alive.

We cut to the FBI agent training Foggy on his new identity and background. Foggy is now Everett Williams from Jersey.

We shift to a couple of thugs in a car outside where Foggy is. They mention that they have a man planted in the FBI who managed to get Foggy into the witness relocation plan without tipping off the higher-ups in the FBI. Their boss talked to some lawyer about this plan. They thugs were instructed to sit and wait until they get word from their boss.

We then cut to Agent Pullman entering the house and talking to the FBI agent guarding Foggy. Pullman mentions that they tracked Matt flying out of America headed to London, but he was not on the plane when it landed and no one can remember Matt getting up from his seat prior to landing.

Foggy then decides that he can’t continue to let Matt act recklessly in his mission for revenge. Foggy slips out of the house and makes his escape. He hops into a cab down the street from his house. The cabbie turns out to be working for the thugs we saw earlier. The cab arrives at a junkyard where the rest of the thugs are waiting. Suddenly, the thugs are attacked by Hand ninjas. The Hand makes short work of the thugs and save Foggy. One of the ninjas tells Foggy that their mistress (Electra) wants Foggy to go back to the FBI protective custody. That it is safe there. That agent Pullman was the inside man working for the thugs. The Hand have taken him out. There is nothing left for Foggy to fear. Also, that the Hand will be carefully watching and guarding Foggy.

We cut to the next day with Foggy practicing his new name and background with the FBI Agent. Foggy is stunned that Electra is watching out for him. That how crazy has the world become when the bad guys (the Hand) are watching over the FBI. Foggy then wishes for Matt to come back home so they can fix all of this. So they can get back to the way things used to be. So Foggy can be safe again. End of issue.

The Good: Brubaker rarely disappoints me. Brubaker delivers another solid read with Daredevil #88. The past several issues have been very fast paced and full of big surprises. It was a good move for Brubaker to slow things down with this issue and give the reader a chance to catch their breath and soak everything in. This issue had a nice deliberate pace. It was a much needed change of pace from the past several issues. As always, Brubaker delivered strong dialogue that made had a nice flow to it.

It was also very cool to get an insight into Foggy Nelson and how he has viewed Matt and all the dangerous situations that Foggy has been thrust into the middle of over the years. All of the flashback scenes were well done showing how while Matt has been able to always protect Foggy; he certainly hasn’t been able to protect everyone that he loves. It was neat how Brubaker used Foggy’s stabbing as a wake up call to Foggy. That Foggy had been fooling himself into thinking that he was always safe from harm with Matt around. This scene provided some of the best insight to Foggy’s personality. This was very well done. The best line used to describe Foggy was “I’m not a coward. But, I’m not very brave.” Perfect.

We also got a nice explanation about what happened to Foggy after he was stabbed and why he did what he did. And it was cool to see Foggy willing to risk being killed by leaving the FBI’s protective custody in order to get work to Matt that he is alive. That Foggy would risk his life to prevent Matt from engaging in some pointless mission of revenge for Foggy’s death.

Brubaker then spiced up the story a bit by introducing the FBI agent who was working with the Mafia to have Foggy placed in protective custody for some unknown reason. We then get the story cranked up a notch when the Foggy decides to make a run for it and the cabbie he uses is one of the mafia members.

The big fight scene between the gangsters and the Hand ninjas was unexpected and well done. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see the Hand come to Foggy’s rescue. But, with Electra now the leader of the Hand, it makes sense that she would want to make sure that Foggy was protected and safe. This was a cool twist.

The final scene was a fitting ending. Foggy is in a bizarre situation where one of the most notorious bad guy groups, the Hand, is keeping tabs on supposedly a good guy organization in the FBI. I like Foggy’s final thoughts about hoping for Matt to return soon so they can fix this situation and make things like they used to be. And so Foggy can be safe. It was a touching ending that really did a nice job portraying the love and close friendship that Foggy has for Matt.

Daredevil #88 had such a nice feel to it. It was an emotional story that pulled the reader into the story from the first page. I think Brubaker did more to develop and flesh out Foggy’s character than any previous writers have done in their entire runs on Daredevil. You get such a great feel for Foggy. I have always liked his character, but I like it even more after this issue.

David Aja’s style works well with the mood of Brubaker’s story. It is close enough to Lark’s style so it isn’t glaringly obvious that there is a guest artist. However, Aga’s art isn’t quite as solid as Lark’s art.

The Bad: No complaints with this issue.

Overall: Daredevil #88 was another solid read. Brubaker is impressive with his ability to be so dependable and consistent in his writing. Even his “slow” issues that act as a transition between major story arcs are better written than most comics on the market. Even though we had a guest artist, the comic still looked nice and was enjoyable. Daredevil is still one of Marvel’s best titles. It is well worth checking out.