By: Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack (Writer), Klaus Janson, Bill Sienkiewicz (Artists), Matt Hollingsworth (Colorist)
The Story: Ben Urich follows some more leads for the mystery behind the Mapone mystery and the secret of the newer Daredevil.
The Review: If there is one character that I always love to see Bendis write, it has to be Ben Urich. I do love how he always seems to go out of his depths in search of a story, while he seems to be always relatable and just plain interesting. This is a man that always get involved in the adventures of Daredevil, throughout the happy times, but mostly through the harder perils of the life of Hell’s kitchen protector.
So, of course, making him the main character in a mystery about the latter part of Matt Murdock’s life makes a whole lot of sense considering the participation and the active part of the character in the world of Daredevil. As we get even further in the story about just what went through with Daredevil, we get some more information with another important element from Daredevil: the Hand. Here, we get why they were a menace while we get some potential and inventive way this crazy cult could have turned in the future proposed by this limited series. As Urich goes once more out of his depth interviewing a representative of the hand, we are treated to a scene that shows them as the true threat they are. It would be easy to dismiss a clan of ninja as mere pawns in a universe filled with colorful superheroes, but most normal citizens are very much weak when compared to them, which is heavily shown with Ben Urich. This gives us a thoroughly heavy, almost hard to read scene as Bendis and Mack truly focus on the pain that Urich feels through the pacing and the dialogue here, which is marvelous in how it portrays it all very well.
It does also leads to perhaps one of the only action scenes in the series which had focused a lot more on the mystery and what happened to the whole cast of Daredevil in the future imagined by Bendis and Mack. The action scene is driven by two characters that had been instrumental, although in very different ways, to the plot. The Punisher and the new Daredevil against a horde of Hand ninjas, which is shown in a brutal way, heavily implying once more that to normal humans, the Hand can be heavily intimidating and overwhelming thanks to their number. The whole scene is a sharp contrast to the rest of the series, but does lead up to a big development and a huge revelation, as we get to see just who the new Daredevil is. I refuse to spoil it for you, but it did catch me completely by surprise and I am anxious to read the reasoning behind all of this.
Another reason why I enjoyed reading this and want to read the other would be the excellent consistency in the art, thanks to Klaus Janson and Bill Sienkiewicz. Just like before, they have a rough style that fits perfectly with the tone of the story, as it is indeed a rough story where not everyone gets a happy ending, as befitting of Daredevil. The interview scene with the Hand representative mentioned earlier is brilliant because of the expertise Janson has in showing various human emotions throughout his characters, as we get the pain, the despair, the resistance and the strength of character from the two characters by just showing their faces through a multitude of panels, which is not as simple to do as it is to describe it. The action scene is also a true triumph as they shows how overwhelming the ninjas are by drawing a ton of them while respecting the focus on certain characters. The panels are filled to the brim, yet we do not miss anything important like the Punisher interacting with the new Daredevil or how this newer character reacts to this kind of fight. Of course, a lot of the credit for these scenes, particularly the interview, goes to Matt Hollingsworth who does manage to bring even more focus on the more important aspects of each panel. The red background in the interview or the much clearer colorization on the key characters does help a lot in setting the mood.
The Conclusion: This is a very good chapter in this limited series as we get it all, more questions, some answers, a good action scene and some terrific work from the whole art team. The last issue cannot come soon enough to see how everything ties together.
Hugo Robberts Larivière