By Ed Brubaker (writer), Michael Lark, Paul Azaceta & Stefano Gaudiano (art), Matt Hollingsworth (colors)
Like Brian Bendis’ run on Daredevil, Ed Brubaker really knows how to hurt and torture our hero. Old Hornhead’s confrontation with Mr. Fear has been building up for months now and with this issue we’re finally given the conclusion. At first, I thought we were going to have The Hood square off with Mr. Fear, but that face-off was quickly diffused.
What we do get is a somewhat drawn out slugfest between hero and villain. It’s safe to say that Fear doesn’t have a chance against Daredevil, and Brubaker enforces that fact by showing Fear taking a licking. My qualm is because it’s just a beating, it’s not very exciting. It doesn’t help that the art also doesn’t contain any sort of kinetic energy, either. Don’t get me wrong, the art is very strong from a storytelling standpoint, but when it came to the big fight, it felt somewhat lacking.
As we come to learn, Fear doesn’t care if Daredevil kills or pummels him – he doesn’t even care if he’s sent to jail. Why? Because he’s already beaten him. He’s shattered his life and hurt the one he loves. We, the reader, pretty much know this, but the fact that it’s reinforced here is somewhat anti-climatic.
The epilogue, thankfully is much stronger than the climax. But it’s completely twisted and depressing. I think no matter the circumstances here, there was no way to end this confrontation in a satisfactory manner; Brubaker might have written himself into a corner. He got himself out, but like the fight between Daredevil and Mr. Fear, it wasn’t pretty. (Grade: C+)
– J. Montes