by Andy Diggle and Antony Johnston (writers), Marco Checchetto (art), Matt Hollingsworth (colors), and Joe Caramagna (letters)

The Story: Daredevil’s friends deal with the fallout of Shadowland as Matt is nowhere to be found in the city.

What’s Good: I really do enjoy Checchetto and Hollingsworth’s art.  The art has often been the best part of Diggle’s run, and even a more laid-back, conversation based issue like this one, the work really shines.  It’s moody and perfectly Daredevil and as such, it has its own look.  Wherever the Daredevil franchise goes after this, I hope Checchetto, Hollingsworth, and De La Torre have a major role.

Other than that, this is an issue that focuses on examining the emotional toll Shadowland has on series mainstays Dakota, Foggy, Becky, and Kurtz.  I thought that the place Kurtz ends up in is an intriguing one that could be quite fun in the future.  It’s something you could see coming, so I guess it’s not the most imaginative turn of events, but that doesn’t change it from being a good one.  Foggy meanwhile gets some solid characterization as well.  His unflappable dedication to Matt is exactly the sort of thing that makes the character fun to read.

What’s Not So Good: The biggest problem with this issue is that, well, it just isn’t very entertaining.  It’s one of those irritating post-event issues that focuses on aftermath, which ends up being little more than 22 pages of series consolidation.  Essentially, that means a lot of talking and a lot of doors left open, but little actual story.  It’s basically a comic of characters chatting about things and doing and saying exactly what we would expect them to.  That doesn’t exactly make for a gripping read.

Even those character moments are mixed.  While I liked what went on with Foggy and Kurtz, Dakota came across a bit flat and seemed to be going through the motions.  Her verbal assault on Carlos was a bit much.  Similarly, I felt that Becky came across as a bit too nasty generally and due to the scripting of her dialogue, not particularly sympathetic.  That’s not good, given that the character barely escaped a fire last month.

The introduction of Black Panther as the new Man of Fear was also awful.  I was wondering how they were going to do this, given how much of a leap it is, and the answer is that Diggle and Johnston never really bother to give any explanations.  In fact, Panther’s cameo is just that – a forced couple of pages that introduce the character to the area to a shocked Iron Fist and Luke Cage.  The whole thing is so forced and artificial that Marvel might as well have just slapped an ad for the comic on the page instead.

One of the biggest problems of this issue is also how people deal with Matt’s being mind controlled.  Luke Cage’s being pissed at Matt and holding him responsible is utterly ridiculous given how many mind control plots there have been.  Is Cage completely unfamiliar with it?  If so, why is the entire superhero community (rightfully) rallying around Bucky in Captain America right now?  And if I’m supposed to believe that Iron Fist and Cage don’t really know that Matt was possessed, that’s no better.  The dude’s eyes were glowing!  His body was all weird looking!  His horns grew!  He spoke in a weird demonic voice!  Give me a break.

Conclusion: Meh. Whatever.

Grade: C –

-Alex Evans