The Revolution slept through Daredevil #94. It was pure filler and rather boring. I didn’t even bother to post a review for that issue. It appears that Brubaker gets back on track with Daredevil #95 as we get the beginning of the new story arc. I’m sure that the last issue was a mere hiccup and that Brubaker will return to form. Daredevil #95 should be a quality read. Let’s hit this review.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Lee Weeks & Stefano Gaudiano
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We start in Ryker’s Island Prison where we see Melvin Potter (The Gladiator) being cuffed by the prison guards. We see several dead inmates with buzz saw blades in their backs. Melvin exclaims that he didn’t do it.
We cut to Daredevil on his nightly patrol of Hell’s Kitchen. Daredevil is chasing down some robbers in a Ford Mustang. (We’ll touch on this subject later.) Daredevil thinks how Hell’s Kitchen has gotten totally out of hand ever since he was jailed. That while Matt was in jail, crime just erupted all over Hell’s Kitchen. Daredevil thinks how he has so much work to try and clean up Hell’s Kitchen once again.
Daredevil thinks how the series of crimes lately have patterned the format that the Kingpin made popular. You have one loud crime that gets a lot of attention but is really a pointless crime that ends up in nothing more than property damage that is designed to distract Daredevil and the police. Then while that distraction is going on, a second crime is being pulled off. And that second one is the serious crime. A big time robbery. And know one knows this second crime even happened until the robbers are long gone.
Tonight, Daredevil listened closely to the first crime to make sure it didn’t involve any getting hurt. It didn’t. Then Daredevil waited for the second crime. And that is why he is following the Ford Mustang full of robbers. The robbers shoot at Daredevil. Daredevil swoops down and causes the Mustang to crash. Daredevil then starts beating up the robbers.
Suddenly, one of the robbers, realizing that Daredevil has them beat, shoots the other robbers and then kills himself. Daredevil is stunned and can’t believe what just happened. Daredevil thinks how this is all wrong. That the whole world went mad when Daredevil was gone. Daredevil wonders if he was gone for that long.
We cut to the morning with Matt in bed with Milla. Matt gets a phone call from Foggy. Foggy tells Matt about the situation involving Melvin Potter. Matt says that they have to stay away from representing people who’ve publicly tried to kill Daredevil for a while. That Matt is trying to keep a low profile for a while.
We shift to Becky at the courthouse meeting up with one of her lawyer friends named Gus. Gus tells Becky how he is representing Melvin Potter and that he is completely over his head. Gus asks Becky for help with the case.
We hop back to the law offices of Nelson & Murdock. Matt tells Becky that she cannot help Gus with the Melvin Potter case. That he and Foggy have already decided not to work on that case. Becky retorts that she thought she was a partner and how can they decide anything without talking to her.
Matt says it was his decision. That with everything that has happened in his life in the past year and the way the government is looking into the affairs of masked vigilantes that he thought it was best to stay off the radar for now. Becky says if Foggy and Matt want to sit this one out then she will do it by herself. Becky says she isn’t budging on this one.
Becky says Melvin is an innocent man being set up. Becky asks Matt if the possible bad press is more important than that because it doesn’t seem to stop Daredevil from going out every single night.
Matt concedes and says Becky is right. Becky asks Matt to come with her to Bellevue where Melvin is being held for a psyche evaluation.
We cut to Matt and Becky meeting with Melvin at Bellevue. Melvin said he was at the prison shop on work detail. That some of the inmates were calling Melvin “tardo” and making other taunting comments. Melvin says he didn’t touch them. That Matt knows Melvin hates hurting people. That someone hit Melvin from behind and the next thing he knows, the guards are saying that he killed the inmates. That someone is setting Melvin up. Matt says that Melvin is telling the truth.
We shift to late that night with Daredevil on patrol. We see a man tailing Milla. The man gets on his cell phone and reports that he is following the wife and that she is seeing a shrink. The guy then comments to the person he is talking to that “Exactly, you could use that. I mean, I think.”
We cut back to Bellevue. A guard is leading Melvin and another inmate down a staircase. The other inmate keeps mocking Melvin. Melvin starts yelling “Leave me alone!” and breaks his handcuffs and then breaks the inmate’s neck. Melvin then head butts the guard and throws him down the steps.
Melvin then suddenly looks at his bloody hands with a shocked look on his face. Another guard enters the stairway and pulls his gun and yells at Melvin to put his hands up in the air. Melvin then exclaims that he didn’t do it. End of issue.
The Good: Daredevil #95 was a solid read. Brubaker always impresses me with his ability to deliver such technically sound issues each and every month. This issue moves along at a steady pace. Brubaker’s style usually calls for a measured pace as he slides the various players into pace.
Daredevil #95 is the set up issue for the new story arc and Brubaker handles the beginning of this story arc in his usual fashion. Brubaker never forces and rushes any of his story arcs. Everything is allowed to unfold organically as the various pieces suddenly come to gather.
Daredevil #95 is well plotted. Brubaker always has great vision when it comes to plotting story arcs. Combined that with Brubaker’s attention to detail and ability to keep the reader guessing and you get a nicely plotted story.
Brubaker serves up an enjoyable blend of action and dialogue in Daredevil #95. Brubaker isn’t shy about keeping the action to a minimum and delivering dialogue heavy issues. In this issue, Brubaker keeps things interesting by placing some action to keep this set up issue from being too boring.
As always, Brubaker delivers strong character development and quality dialogue. These usually go hand in hand. All the characters have nice external voices. The dialogue between Matt, Foggy and Becky was perfect. I have been in those types of meetings between partners and believe me, this dialogue was spot on. It was cool to see Becky stand up to Matt and Foggy. The big shot attorney usually railroads the other partners, especially any new partners. It was good for Becky to stand up for herself and her position and still do it in a respectful manner.
Brubaker gives us a Hell’s Kitchen much different than what we got near the end of Bendis’s run on this title. And that is a wise move. A crime free Hell’s Kitchen is just no fun. Plus, showing how quickly Hell’s Kitchen has spiraled out of control and descended into such a sea of violence shows what a huge impact Daredevil has on this community. And that while Matt was suffering from his own personal breakdown, the community of Hell’s Kitchen paid the price.
Brubaker is a stud crime fiction writer. I like his explanation of how the criminals were pulling off big heists by having another crime occur somewhere else that was just a noisy distraction. Brubaker always delivers a nice insight into the criminal mind. It is clear that Brubaker is at home when writing about hard boiled crime stories. This is another reason why I have never though that the Uncanny X-Men was a title best suited for Brubaker’s talents.
This plotline involving Melvin is rather curious. I have no idea where Brubaker is going with this one. Is Melvin insane? Is it some form of mind control? Brubaker certainly has gotten my interest with this plotline.
Brubaker also teases the reader with a new plotline when we see Milla being followed by a man while on her way to see her shrink. The reader is left wondering why the man was following Milla, who he was talking to on his cell phone and just how is the information that Milla is seeing a shrink going to be used against Matt? This is a neat little plotline that I’m sure Brubaker is going to develop into something larger and interesting.
Lark and Guadiano provide plenty of solid artwork. Their artwork is perfect for a title like Daredevil. This style of art meshes nicely with Brubaker’s tone and mood.
The Bad: Daredevil #95 was a bit slow and wasn’t anything all that great. However, that is understandable since it is the setup issue for the new story arc.
Now, the next thing I want to talk about isn’t really a negative, but is certainly isn’t a positive so I figured I’d put it here. What is the deal with the blatant product placement? I know that Marvel decided to bump up product placement in their comic books with the “Rush” mini-series centering on a character that drives a Pontiac Solstice. But, I didn’t think it was going to translate into product placement begin randomly inserted in all of Marvel’s titles.
Almost always, artists draw generic cars in comic books. I think the only comic that I read that draws realistic and detailed versions of existing cars is Initial D. Usually, in Marvel and DC comic books you just get a very general and generic looking vehicle.
Not in Daredevil #95. We get very detailed drawings of a Ford Mustang that most certainly takes center stage in the big action scene in this issue. The drawings of the Ford Mustang were faithfully accurate all the way down to the galloping pony logo on the grill of the Mustang. I guess I should be thankful that they didn’t actually mention the type of car like they do over on “Heroes” where Hiro constantly refers to his “blue Nissan Versa.”
With all of the product placement that you see on T.V. and in movies, I guess it was just a matter of time before it started appearing in comic books.
Overall: Daredevil #95 wasn’t anything amazing, but it was still a solid read. Brubaker has an interesting story arc in store for us. Daredevil, along with Ultimate Spider-Man and X-Factor, is one of the most dependable reads that Marvel publishes. With a new story arc starting with this issue, this is a great time for new readers to give this title a try. If you like crime stories and street level heroes then I don’t think you will be disappointed with Brubaker’s Daredevil.