By: Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack (Writers), Klaus Janson, Bill Sienkiewicz (Artists), Matt Hollingsworth (Colorist)
The Story: Ben Urich continues his talk with the Punisher in The Raft and then meet some more people to learn about Matt Murdock and the meaning of the word ‘’Mapone’’.
The Review: This limited series is a dream for those who were fan of the Miller and Bendis/Brubaker era of Daredevil. Being a remembrance of those previous times, it is a stark contrast to the much more optimistic and upbeat comic that Mark Waid is writing, yet it is a fitting homage to those eras that is showcased here.
Indeed, much here seems like a trip to memory lane for the old fans, with all of the characters that had been recurring to the Hornhead. Bullseye, Elektra, Typhoid Mary have been already shown to us, demonstrating what kind of futures they would get in the world imagined by Bendis and Mack. Here, we get Punisher, Melvin Potter (The Gladiator, an old enemy of Daredevil that turned good in Miller’s run) and a bit about Foggy Nelson.
Right from the start, we get Bendis version of the Punisher. Straight away, we see how much of a presence he has. Despite the fact that he’s heavily tied down and unable to properly act, he is still quite the intimidating character he’s always has been, perhaps even more so in here. Stoic, calculating and unrelenting, Bendis and Mack version of the Punisher is very good, keeping with how his relationship with Daredevil always had been while respecting the character. They also do quite well in showing how Melvin Potter and Foggy would have evolved in the tumultuous world of the Marvel universe, specifically in Daredevil’s corner.
Still, the main draw of this story set in this future Marvel universe is the whole mystery, namely what did the final words of Daredevil meant? Who or what is ‘’Mapone?’’ While we don’t get the definitive answer or even any big hint here, we get some big development and revelations, notably the fact that Matt Murdock had been training some disciples, explaining why there had been someone in a Daredevil costume in the previous issues. This actually makes a lot of sense and gives us readers some bigger concepts to wrap our head around, as it adds to the whole mystery, with Bendis giving us even more to think about here, albeit in a smart way. Let’s just say that considering how the issue ends, we’re bound to get some small answers next month.
What we don’t have to wait next month for would be quality artwork, as the series has always delivered on that front thanks to Klaus Janson and his collaborators. In this issue, Bill Sienkiewicz gives us two pages, the two of them showing us how two important characters in this issues met Daredevil. Those pages are simple, yet work very well in giving the tone of how much these characters have changed, or not changed at all depending on which character is shown. Still, it is Klaus Janson show here and he gives us quite a performance, with his rougher, yet tonally fitting lines and details. It is a somber, imperfect story, so having some rough and imperfect art is absolutely perfect here. This does not mean that it is ugly, far from it in fact, as Janson knows how to be anatomically correct, with his facial expressions and poses being truly communicative in the best of way of what the characters are going through. He is, of course, helped by the coloring expertise of Matt Hollingsworth who continues the splendid job he did in previous issues, making for a gorgeous issue.
The Conclusion: This issue is yet another quality entry in this limited series. With a great script, some good dialogue and an interesting mystery at the heart of it all, it is hard not to recommend this to all Daredevil fans. The art certainly does help a lot too.
Hugo Robberts Larivière