Monday, June 21, 2010

Daredevil Cage Match: Guest Review by Simon Breeze

The title of this comic says it all, Cage Match. The story is a simple concept, who would win in a fight between the Man Without Fear - Daredevil - and the Hero for Hire - Luke Cage? The story very much reminds me of the end of the Rocky III movie, where Apollo and Rocky climb into the ring together for a friendly boxing match to prove who really is the best.

The story starts with Luke Cage and Daredevil patrolling the streets and alleyways of Hells Kitchen when Daredevil 'senses' a mugging a few blocks off. Being the faster of the two, he makes it to the crime scene first and takes out all but one of the muggers. This final and inexperienced mugger catches Daredevil off guard and pulls a gun on him, and whilst Daredevil starts to talk the nervous thug out of shooting him, Luke Cage arrives and intervenes by crushing the gun in the thugs hand as it fires - Cage believes he has saved Daredevil's life, while Daredevil himself sees things a little differently. The resulting disagreement between the two heroes ends with them agreeing to fight one-another for charity to see who really is the best. The rest of the story revolves around the fight that takes place between the two men at Fogwell's Gym, where there is more going on than there first appears.

I really like this One-Shot, cover to cover it is a really nice read. The cover is brilliant, and the first thing you encounter upon turning that front page is an old style boxing poster depicting the fight between Daredevil and Luke Cage, that sets the whole feel for the comic before you have even started to read it. Following that great poster, the story starts with the caption in the first panel 'Some time ago' which perfectly sums up this story to me. I couldn't help but feel a little nostalgia whilst reading it, it really did come across as a comic I would have read years ago, unburdened by years of Marvel universe and Daredevil continuity it just flows off the page like a comic from the past.

There-in lies the crux of this One-Shot, because of the way the comic reads and is styled it is a victim of its own brilliance. What do I mean by this? Simply that you pick it up, read it, love it, put it down and forget about it. For me, that is the perfect One-Shot, and it is what I believe they're designed to be: a 'fire and forget'. For people who might be looking for a longer lasting resonance from the comic once they have put it down, you could be a little disappointed with what this story has to offer.

For me however, this is a brilliant One-Shot, and I give it a solid four out of five.

Daredevil Cage Match
Written by Antony Johnston, pencils by Sean Chen, inks by Sandu Florea, colours by Matt Hollingsworth, VC's Joe Caramagna, cover by Ed McGuinness
Published by Marvel Comics, May 2010, $2.99