by Andy Diggle & Antony Johnston (writers), Roberto De La Torre (art), Matt Hollingsworth (colors), and Joe Caramagna (letters)

The Story: Dakota and Foggy come under attack and Matt Murdock finds an unlikely ally.

What’s Good: Much like last month, Daredevil spends time with Dakota and Foggy, which does a fine job of distinguishing it from Shadowland while also dodging some of the major problems that miniseries has had thus far in diffusing its attention among an overly varied cast.  I’m always happy to spend time with Dakota and Foggy and they definitely have a grounding effect on the book that is much appreciated.  Even when the “tight-pants brigade,” as Dakota calls them, shows up for the inevitable assist, it’s only the Luke Cage/Iron Fist duo.  Things feel much more contained, controlled, and a bit less impersonal as a result.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the sudden appearance of Daredevil’s new volunteer.  It’s another marker of the dire straights that Matt’s fallen into and I can’t wait to see the dynamic that the character creates in Shadowland, and how she’ll end up operating alongside the other personalities present there; if Diggle plays his cards right, I can see her really complicating things for everyone.  Either way, the character is a welcome presence and this was easily the highlight of the month.

De La Torre’s artwork also continues to be superb.  Everything feels grimy and gritty and some of his backgrounds this month were among the best work I’ve ever seen from him.  There’s not much more I can ask from him other than to keep doing what he’s doing.

What’s Not So Good: It’s never a good sign when I’m struggling to figure out what exactly to type in attempting to summarize an issue’s story.  That being said, saying that nothing happened doesn’t really seem entirely accurate.  I suppose the best way to describe this issue’s problem is that it feels more like consolidation than it does progression.  Elektra and Izo decide they need to go to New York, but why weren’t they doing that already?  The fact that this is the pay-off after last month’s reveal is a pity.  Meanwhile, Dakota and Foggy survive the attack, but we knew they would and, ultimately, nothing comes of it other than Diggle pointing and saying “see, this is how this book relates to Shadowland.”

So basically, characters shuffle around a bit as Diggle just barely manages to link the book to the Shadowland series with a little bending of time/continuity that had me cringing a little.  What this means though, is that other than the reveal of Matt’s new ally, nothing of significance really propelled the story forward.

Matt’s role also continues to be a problem, a major flaw shared by the Shadowland title as well.  Suffice it to say, Matt is again barely present in his own book and when he is present, it’s only superficially, without any real amount of character development or exploration.  The biggest problem with the Shadowland event thus far has been the big leap Matt has inexplicably made between red outfit and black and the fact that Diggle seems content to make no real efforts to remedy this is incredibly frustrating.  With a title called Daredevil which is currently not making the best use of its page space, he has the perfects grounds to expand upon Matt’s psyche.  That he doesn’t do so is irritating and what we get is more shallow than it should be.

Conclusion: The same core problems as last month means the same grade as last month.  Better than Shadowland #2, though.

Grade: C+

-Alex Evans