Thursday, January 03, 2013

Back Issue Spotlight: Daredevil(Vol.2)#19

TGIT Fanboys!(and Girls too)

So I was trying to think what the hell to do for today's post since I don't have any new pics just yet, so I figured I'd start a new column or feature @ The House for the new year.

So from now on, I'll highlight a back issue, any back issue from my collection, and review it a bit. Sound good? Good.

For Today's inaugural pick, I chose Daredevil( Vol.2)#19. "Wake Up" Part 4 Aug 2001.

This book's from very early on in Bendis' run on DD, which has become pretty well-know and critically acclaimed. I have a few issues here and there of his run( like most of the ones where his secret identity gets exposed to the public due to a snitching gangster), but not the entire thing, but I'm not exactly all broken up about it. To me it seemed a bit hit and miss, but then like I said that's just me.

I think, personally, it's because Bendis is at home when he's writing smaller, street-wise stories, as opposed to some, or maybe more than some of his Avenger's stories.

Getting on to the review, the story starts off  with Matt talking to his long-time reporter friend Ben Urich, recounting the fight he had with the Z-list villain Leapfrog. And in case you were wondering, this isn't even the original, but some knock off who decided it'd be smart to copy the same gimmick as a well-know loser villain. No wonder he still gets his ass handed to him in the end, just not by who you think;)

So Matt's basically going over the whole incident, leaving out the part why there even fighting in the first place. Usually the reader's given at least a little detail about the crime, and why the criminal's committing it. After all, nobody really commits a crime for the thrill of it anymore do they? Well maybe punk teenagers and villains from the 60's do, but that's not usually the norm. There's always some reason for why petty crooks like Leapfrog the sequel commit crimes. Be it tax evasion, foreclosure, sick aunt, herpes, whatever it is, there's always a reason.


Were shown through the beautiful illustrations by writer/artist(but mainly artist for this issue) David Mack the pursuit and fight as it happens. Things follow the usual pattern of Good Guy catches Bad Guy, and starts to smack him around like Ike Turner used do to Tina Turner.(You know I wonder if at times, in a sick and twisted way of dealing with her previous period of abuse, she actually hires someone to smack her around for old times sake. Hmm. Hey, rich people are weird like that. They call them eccentric for nothing you know.)

Back to the action at hand, like I said things follow the usual pattern so much so that it actually sounds like Ol' Horn Head is kind of getting bored while all this is going on. I guess if you follow a normal routine long enough, you sort of go into auto-pilot mode. You know like you sometimes do when you drive to work and back, but then realize you don't how you just got home, because you don't really remember the ride while it happened?

Well apparently that happens here because Matt gets distracted as he's about to finish up delivering a fucking beat down Leapfrog the sequel, when a boy just pops up out nowhere to witness what's going on.

Well Leapfrog in a rare move of common sense and brilliance, decides to take advantage of Matt being distracted, grabs a pipe, and goes all medieval on Matt's leg, then his head. Awesome right?
I mean that's what you'd do if you were the bad guy right? C'mon, it's practically covered in Villainy 101 people.

So the little boy's just freaking out here, I mean he's really losing his shit over watching this all go down. Leapfrog the sequel threatens the boy to shut the hell up and go back inside. Which really isn't that bad of an idea considering what's going on. I mean, it's not like it'd be the first time an adult super-villain smacked around a kid right? Happens all the time. Just ask Dick Grayson or any of the old sidekicks, or even Franklin Richards about that. It happens.

Now Daredevil's just lying there, about to get his skull bashed in by a pipe, when he starts to focus more and more a loose piece of electric wiring that's sparking of right in front of him. And then blacks out. He wakes up, asking if the little boy's alright, and trying to figure out where the hell Leapfrog leaped off to, or whatever the hell he does. Matt obviously feels for the scared boy because after finishing up his account of what happened to Urich, he's off to go see the boy and take him to the Brooklyn Bridge. It's there that we realize the boy's blind just like Matt, or he sure seems that way to me the way he's drawn with the typical blind man's stare going on. Then in a touching moment, Matt takes off his mask and let's the boy touch his real face. It's in that moment, that the reader's let on to what happened while Matt was unconscious  Told in beautifully drawn and painted flashback scenes,  we learn that the boy is really the son of Leapfrog the sequel, thus making him The Son of Leapfrog the Sequel. Yeah, that still sounds fucked up, but not as fucked up as happens to Leapfrog himself. It seems that Leapfrog was about to deliver the coup de grace on Matt's skull, when Leapfrog junior springs into action(LOL right?) grabs the electrical wire and fries his dad with it. Leapfrog escapes certain death from electrocution by sheer dumb luck, when he falls into a dumpster truck. Wow, talk about meta-commentary there right?

Apparently Leapfrog Sr, used to beat and abuse his son, and added with "seeing" Matt in trouble and about to be killed, was too much for Leapfrog Jr, and so he snapped and fried his daddy. Sounds fair to me.

So after Matt spends some hangout "touch my face because you're blind too" time with the kid, then Bill Ulrich decides he wants to spend time with the kid. I guess he has a thing for blind people, IDK. So he Ulrich takes him to his house to meet his wife and the story ends with them all hanging out, with Ulrich admiring his Captain America figure. No seriously, that's how it really ends.

It's a cute and touching story, that also serves as a cautionary tale about when not to go into auto-pilot mode. If DD hadn't allowed himself to be so distracted, then he wouldn't have needed Leapfrog Jr. to save his ass. I'm sure there's a real moral to this story, but other than the ones I mentioned, I'm not sure what else to conclude. Well maybe that you shouldn't abuse your kids or else one day they might snap on you in the worst possible moment, leaving you electrocuted and stuck in the bed of a dump truck. Or something like that.

I have some good news for any and all you DC Nation fans out there:
the DC Nation block of cartoon and cartoon shorts will officially return this weekend starting @ 10 AM.
So program your DVRs or Tivo's, because Saturday mornings are about to get fun again.

Finally, if you've been paying attention to the numbering(or maybe I'm the only one that can see it) Monday will mark my 300th post. So yeahhhhh, go me;)

It's been fun doing this for that long, and hopefully god willing, this time next year I'll be working on my 400th.

Have a good weekend people........


Dan said...

I used to literally read the issues of this run twice. When I first opened each I'd just look at each page's design, then once I'd finished marvelling at the talents David Mack was bringing to the field, then reading the actual story.

I agree some arcs for me floundered or were to drawn out, but others were bang on the money. Regardless the art team never let their side drop for a second, David or any who followed.

Still would've liked to have seen David's Typhoid Mary, but that's just me.

Nice review!

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan, thanks for stopping by Dan. Hope you didn't have to catch a long flight to get here;)

David Mack's art for my $, is very solid, not even mentioning his eye for design. Looking back, it boggles my mind just how short of a run he had, and I wonder if that was his intention, or Marvel's.

But yeah a Mack-illustrated Typhoid Mary? Killer.... literally.

Speaking of, have you been reading Daredevil: End of Days by any chance? It's supposed to be the "Official" story of how Daredevil dies.

Omega Agent1 said...

This art style and work is nothing less than amazing. It's like the words and illustration were one.

Frank Millar cemented DareDevil in my mind but David Mack burned him in visually.

Another winner Dale.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Omega: Thanks Omega. I wish I could take credit for the art and design, but that's all Mack:)

Miller and Mack are two different styles, so it's kinda' hard to compare the two. It's really apples and oranges, with it all being up to the individual to decide which they prefer. But yeah, Mack's version does tend to give Miller's some serious competition huh?

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