By: Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack (Writers), Klaus Janson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Alex Maleev (Artists), Matt Hollingsworth (Colorist)
The Story: Ben Urich continues his investigation with the discovery of Bullseye’s dead body and an encounter with a very special case in prison.
The Review: Daredevil: End of Days could become one of the quintessential Daredevil stories. Full of moments that shows just where the key players in the ongoing saga of the Man Without Fear could turn up, it is essentially boiling down the Bendis, Miller and Brubaker eras of the book, two eras that are loved and cherished by fans.
Of course, since it is cowritten by Bendis, there are plenty of references to what has come before and other easter eggs in the storytelling methods. It is clear by reading that series so far that both Bendis and Mack are aficionados of Citizen Kane, Orson Welles’ masterpiece, incorporating its basic structure for the plot of the limited series. They just had to replace ‘’Rosebud’’ with ‘’Mapone’’ and there you go.
This could be considered a weakness, but it is a strong way to show how the investigation of Ben Urich goes forward, while seeing just what happens to all those great characters that were preeminent in Daredevil’s life. In this issue, we see one of the biggest one with Bullseye, albeit he is found as a corpse in a lousy chamber. Right there, we begin even more to see just how the dynamic between Daredevil and Bullseye was, without it being directly referenced even once.
How they see and analyse the crime scene makes for some strong scene, almost as strong as just how they demonstrate what has happened to Bullseye and how he was acting in his final moments. There are tons of references to other Daredevil storylines in this issue (I especially loved the fact that Bullseye kept pointing himself with a six-shooter, a reference to ‘’Roulette’’, one of my very favourite Daredevil stories), but it does not get in the way at all from all the important facts that the more casual readers of Daredevil need to know.
One of those others references leads us to perhaps one of the more evocative scene of the issue, where we see just how Bullseye reacts to the fact that he has killed his eternal nemesis. Told by the point of view of a hooker dressed as Elektra, it just shows how insane Bullseye has gotten now that his ultimate goal has been reached. The two pages that show his actions and reactions fit well the mood of the character, as they are large, unstructured and a bit chaotic, yet it all works out to create a beautiful mess that fits very well with the character and the writing.
Another great scene in the issue would be the final one, where Ben Urich goes in prison to meet someone who has been in contact with Daredevil a lot, albeit not in always good terms. I will not spoil who it is, but the buildup toward who he is and how he is written is nothing short of wonderful. His presence, his dialogue makes him have an unnerving presence that is not always present when other writers get to write him.
The fact that the presence of this character and the two pages showing Bullseye madness are so good is due to the great artistic pool of talents this series has gotten, with Klaus Janson, Bill Sienkiewicz and Alex Maleev does in this issue. Maleev does only a single page, yet it is one the quintessential images of Bullseye, masterfully drawn by this Daredevil veteran. The rest is done by the team of Janson and Sienkiewicz, which has a rough look, yet it fits completely with the tone of the issue. The gritty art fits very well with the gritty subject that is Bullseye and the overall mystery the series is building up to. The colors of Matt Hollingsworth are also great, complimenting the rougher edges of the art very well with warm and cold colors, creating a good contrast with close to every panel. The colors in the nightclub and prison scenes are particularly well done, with the colder colors being attributed to the surprise character near the end, while the warmer colors being given to Ben Urich. This is subtle, yet it does wonder for the tone of the encounter and the book overall.
The Conclusion: This issue delivers some great scenes with the essential Daredevil elements thrown in as it is complimented by rough yet completely satisfying art and colors.
Hugo Robberts Larivière
Some Musings: Talking about those easter eggs, anybody saw the ‘’Miller Brew’’ can of beer? That is classic Brian Michael Bendis.