Sunday, July 12, 2009

Daredevil #119: Return of the King

In this issue, the penultimate of the Return of the King story-arc, we follow the continuing conflict between the curious Sensei Master Izo and the Hand & Lady Bullseye. The Hand are set on recruiting Matt Murdock as their leader and Izo is concerned about Matt's ability to make the right decision.

With Matt forging a unlikely alliance with the Kingpin, Foggy Nelson and Dakota North realise that now more than ever Matt needs their support and vow to help him - if, that is, they can find him.

Following orders from the Kingpin, Leland Owlsley engages Lady Bullseye and the Hand and issues an order to kill Foggy. Lady Bullseye, in turn, forces Owlsley to take her to meet the Kingpin.

In the meantime, Dakota North is also on the trail of the Kingpin and using her skills as a private detective to track down the Kingpin as he meets with Lady Bullseye. She's soon discovered, however, and following an attack from both Lady Bullseye and Owlsley the issue closes with Dakota lying, apparently unconscious, on the ground.

This issue features some really solid storytelling from the creative team, supported by a really rich colour pallet throughout the interior artwork and a particularly nice cover from Marko Djurdjevic. I'm especially enjoying seeing a Matt Murdock with a bit of fight about him in this and recent story-arcs - for a while now he's seemed to me to have needed a 'kick up the backside' - and maybe the introduction of the new villain Lady Bullseye has been the kick he's needed.

The theme of deceit and mistrust throughout the story - involving pretty much all of the central characters - is creating, for me, a wonderful sense of tension and danger across every page.

Next issue - #500 as the series is renumbered - comes with a mixture of emotions: I'm anxious to see where this story goes; there's regret that it'll be the last issue from the current creative team and excitement for what the new team have in store for the title.

As always an enjoyable read - highly recommended.

Daredevil #119
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, Matt Hollingsworth
Cover by Marko Djurdjevic
Published by Marvel, 24 June 2009