Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The End

Well, the PC broke down just after Christmas and the new one arrived today...

...just in time for me to say, "Goodbye and thanks for your support."  Regular readers to the blog last year will note that I was struggling to keep up with posts and after considerable soul searching and the aforementioned enforced lay off, I've decided to call it a day.  I know, just before Bendis' fabulous run and everything...

So thanks to everyone who has either read or commented (apart from the spammers, naturally).  The blog may disappear completely in the next few months so if there's a particular post you're passionate about, take note of it now - it may not be here in a while.

Thanks again and take care, everyone, y'hear.

Robert

Friday, 20 December 2013

Daredevil Vol 2: 25

Playing to the Camera Part 6: Who is that Masked Man? by Bob Gale, Phil Winslade & James Hodgkins

One Sentence Overview:  The trial of Daredevil is overshadowed by the two crimson clad heroes appearing simultaneously in court whilst Matt finally learns the true identity of Arnold Quaid

So five issues we've waited for this moment.  Five issues anticipating what weird situation's going to go down in a New York courtroom when Daredevil faces a cross examination by Nelson & Murdock.  Five long, wordy issues steeped in well researched legal-ese.  Well, is it all worth it in the end?  Er, frankly, it's probably not the issue's highlight.

Last issue established that the man entering the courtroom in the Daredevil costume isn't Matt Murdock.  Rather, it's another friend from the superhero fraternity (and not one too difficult to guess, especially if you check out the cast list below).  This issue he's being cross examined by Foggy, whilst Kate Vinokur looks on, perturbed by the belief that the crimson clad hero sitting in the dock may not be the same guy who came to her for representation in the first place.  Which, actually, summarises rather well the argument put forward by Matt Murdock, who bursts in on Foggy's questioning, to state he's actually encountered DD earlier on that morning whilst he's meant to be sitting in the court room.  [So, in other words, Matt appears to be doing the defense lawyer's job for her.  Which is a bit weird, though I suppose no weirder than the whole set up.]

As faux-DD tells Foggy that it's not about him proving his own identity, "You have to prove it was me", so the whole case falls apart as no-one can be sure who exactly was allegedly under the mask the day Samuel Griggs' glasshouse was trashed.  But this is where the story, perhaps, takes a wrong step.  Another Daredevil crashes through the window of the courthouse (Why? Because I guess that's what you do if you're a superhero - doors are for wimps.  Hey, you'd think courthouses would have super strong bullet proof glass that heroes would find it next to impossible to burst through, wouldn't you?).

This new Daredevil is neither Matt nor another superhero he's given permission for donning the threads.  Rather, this is Terrence Hillman.  Who?  Am I meant to know who that is?  Did he bump into this guy midway through DG Chichester's run and I've forgotten about him?  No.  He hasn't.  This is an entirely new character and one who is pretending he's Daredevil for kicks (and, as he tells Matt later, for the ladies).  Which is a strikingly weird thing to do.  For one, he now becomes liable for a huge payout - he offers Griggs an out of court settlement to make everything go away - but secondly, can you imagine how he's made a target of his own head for all the supervillains Daredevil has managed to antagonise over the years?  It's a good thing Kingpin, for example, knows Daredevil's true identity.  However, remember, Terrence doesn't know that.

The judge, rather annoyed, declares a mistrial, due to the multiple Daredevils in the room.  However, it's Kate I feel most sorry for - Matt has embarrassed her professionally and undermined her integrity.  That's integral to the plot but it feels really mean to a character previously presented as someone truly interested in doing the right thing in legal proceedings and by no means a hot shot with a pile of money behind her.  Whilst representing Daredevil could have made her name, the rather limp ending to the trial, which could have led to her being perceived as compliant in Daredevil's deception, could actually ruin her career or even end up facing trial herself.  Bob's a good enough writer to not brush this under the carpet and includes a scene later where Daredevil tells Kate that he set this whole thing up without telling her so that she would not be disbarred for perpetrating a fraud.  Kate accuses Daredevil of feeling used and violated.  Just right too.

So that's then, the story's end, let's end the issue and wait for Bendis to turn up next time round... Wait a second.  Who actually did trash Griggs' glasshouse?  Well, as you might expect, the mysterious Arnold Quaid is behind it all with a rather convoluted, though perhaps just about believable explanation (which I won't elaborate on here).  But who is Arnold Quaid?  Following volume two's trajectory of new reinterpretations of old (somewhat mediocre) foes, it's not surprising to learn that the villain is one from DD's past (albeit a very brief appearance previously), who's taken the name from an old Schwarzenegger film.  Nevertheless, the foe's sudden appearance at the end of things here is rather well done and his disposal of DD, after telling him everything, amusingly recalls the good old days of the Silver Age.

Not a terrible end to the tale by any means, though the court case's farcical conclusion was perhaps a little underwhelming.  Given the brilliant level of detail I've mentioned before about the whole lead up to the trial and its rather swift climax, one can't help speculate that perhaps Bob has experience of a court case that frustrated and irritated him and maybe that was the satirical intention here.  Who knows?  Overall, though, this was a really well told tale, one which I was rather expecting to be somewhat poorer than what has transpired on the page.  After all, this is the only tale in the whole of volume two that was not made available in a trade paperback.  I don't know the reasons for this but I can't really understand why not.  The story is not at all like what immediately follows but it's still a very fine piece of writing overall.

Technology Corner  I love spotting 'new' technologies in DD that have now become redundant.  This time round, the trial of DD gets the multi-media treatment, but it's not a download that's offered on TV for you to get hold of.  It's not even a DVD.  It's a... CD Rom!  Oh, I get misty eyed at the very idea...

Cast
Daredevil/Matt Murdock
Foggy Nelson

Spider-man/Peter Parker
J Jonah Jameson
Kate Vinokur
Elaine Kendrick
Samuel Griggs
Ringmaster/Maynard Tibolt 
Terrence Hillman
Claude Unger
Judge Steinberg
Ilsa

Rating: 6 out of 10

Friday, 13 December 2013

Daredevil Vol 2: 24

Playing to the Camera Part 5: Ruminations over Manhattan by Bob Gale, Dave Ross & Mark Pennington

One Sentence Overview:  As his day in court approaches, Daredevil desperately tries to track down Arnie Quaid, the psychotherapist seemingly manipulating the current drama

'Ruminations over Manhattan'?  Heh.  That's not even trying to appeal to the superhero market, is it?  I love that Bob got to publish a story with such a mundane subtitle.

Let me pause for a moment to consider what's happening with the covers at present.  This whole story to date has been accompanied by some rather abstract paintings by David Mack, in his finest Mack-iest style, and it reflects a Marvel editorial policy from the time to move more towards individual portraits of the heroes in the book, delivered by artists, as often as not, not drawing the interiors, and usually with no relation to the story on the inside (though some of David's little details do relate specifically to this issue).  I'm not sure the reason behind this - perhaps so that artists could have a complete carte blanche with which to develop their own ideas for portraiture without having to bother with what the writer was doing, a side product of which would then be that any painting or drawing could be used on any cover.  This period would produce some stunning visuals - we'll certainly see that once Alex Maleev comes on board.  However, in my opinion, Marvel perhaps carried this on a little too long and many of the superhero books at the time ended up with very similar looking covers month after month.

One more little detail worth noting is that, for the last few months, the team behind the book has been putting up, in smaller, slightly greyer, font the issue's number as if it were continuing on from Volume One.  Therefore, the reader is informed here that this is actually issue 404 of Daredevil.  I have to say I really like this.  If Marvel and all other distinguished publishers are going to continually reboot their titles (Daredevil Volume Four's starting next year, for example), then why not input the 'real' issue number in a small font as well as the 'official' number.  It would keep us anally retentive old timers happy.  Just my tuppence.

Inside the level of intricate detail revolving around the case against Daredevil remains staggering.  Minutiae like the judge's attitude to the seating arrangements are given a full, very wordy, page (can't see that happening today).   

And there are two pages given over to jury selection!  You'd be forgiven for thinking that Bob has actually adapted this whole story from a primer he was writing for law students.

Generally, though, it feels like we're getting towards the story's business end.  Rumbling in the background behind this rather mundane case is a sense of something sinister, that Daredevil's being played by someone willing to hypnotise not only Samuel Griggs but set up the Matador as a patsy that DD suspects of pulling the puppet strings.  A shady psychotherapist called Arnie Quaid seems to be behind everything.  But the man's the very definition of elusiveness.  When Matt finally gets to speak to him on the phone, Arnie gives the impression that he's in Europe.  Other efforts to pin him down end up with, er, exploding paper*.  

A very odd moment in what is elsewhere a realistic drama.

Finally after nearly five issues of pre-amble (nicely mirroring the tedious nature of the long drawn out process of many court cases), Daredevil's day in court arrives.  Wait a minute.  DD in court simultaneously with Matt?  That's not going to work, is it?  So on the day, we find Daredevil swinging in from the skies whilst Matt is strangely nowhere to be found - much to the annoyance of Samuel Griggs, grumbling about paying top dollar but being left with Franklin Nelson (poor Foggy!).  

Then, suddenly, Matt appears.  What...?  How...?  Huh...?  Well, of course someone else is dressed up (I know who my money's on but I guess we'll see next issue) but in a nice twist, Kate works out that the man she's now sitting next to is not the man she's been dealing with up to now.  Lucky for her, Kate has DD's cell number.  She gives it a call.  Lo and behold, Matt's phone rings.  Great moment.

Gratuitous Panel of the Month:  Perhaps Dave Ross was worried that the readership would be drifting off to sleep thanks to the deliberate pacing of Bob's legal drama; anyway, that may explain this completely unnecessary panelling of both Kate and Matt getting ready for their day in court.  At least the semi-nudity is equal opps...

Not Quite Gratuitous Panel of the Month: ... however, a similar panel later on yields an interesting detail.  Look how many costumes Matt has!  

I guess he has to have more than one but there's at least four there.  Wonder where the armour uniform is, though...

Cast
Daredevil/Matt Murdock
Foggy Nelson

Spider-man/Peter Parker Kate Vinokur
Samuel Griggs
Elaine Kendrick
Judge Steinberg
Matador
Paul Bradlee
Rene 
Brad

Rating: 8 out of 10

*Though I guess fans of fab Swedish TV programme 'The Bridge' will know that there are properties that will ignite due to prolonged exposure to air.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Daredevil Vol 2: 23

Playing to the Cameras Part 4: Making Offers by Bob Gale, Dave Ross & Mark Pennington

One Sentence Overview:  Matt tries to persuade Samuel Griggs to make an out of court settlement, whilst Daredevil's investigations into who has impersonated him lead him to a psychiatrist and a foe from the distant past

In contrast to many other Daredevil adventures, this tale is certainly methodical and probably won't appeal to every fan, especially those looking for some walloping between two garishly attired individuals.  However, its very attention to detail is what I find extremely appealing and, whilst the pace is a little slow, the storytelling remains highly interesting.  In some ways, it's a little out of kilter with what has immediately preceded and what follows but actually the tone is representative, I think, of what Marvel was trying to do with its Marvel Knights imprint at the time - slightly more unusual, realistic tales aimed at an audience that's a little older.

But onto the legal shenanigans, of which there is plenty.  For example, there's a scene early on in this issue where Matt Murdock sits with Kate Vinokur, Daredevil's attorney, and they discuss the case 'off the record'.  Whilst we readers can all appreciate the irony in this little conversation, one might query the credibility of such an exchange.  As someone with a little experience of court cases, I'm happy to back the fact that such a discussion would occur, albeit not between two parties unaware of the fact that one is actually representing the other whilst simultaneously arguing against them  The point is, a lot of discussion does occur between parties to try to resolve issues before standing before a judge.  It makes sense to do this and saves time and money.

Anyway, while all this is going on, Matt is trying to get to the bottom of who exactly trashed Griggs' glasshouse because, if he can prove it wasn't Daredevil, no embarrassing court case, particularly the part where both he and DD have to be in the same room.  Through a rather circuitous route, Matt discovers that Griggs not only may not have been at home on the night in question (it turns out Sam's playing away from home with a young lady), but also that he, and a sudden witness who's just appeared from nowhere, are linked with a psychiatrist, Dr Arnold Quaid.

We've already had the long awaited return of Jonathan Powers in this tale but now, when Matt turns up at Quaid's office, he finds another old foe waiting for him - the Matador!  

Now, you're thinking, how on earth has Miguel Elogonto qualified in this field (though, to be fair, he's been away from the book so long, he probably could have trained to be anything in the interval)?  Well, that's a bit of a mystery and one that's not resolved this issue.  Let's just say, things are getting more and more complicated.

While all that's going on, it's nice to see a couple of decent one liners from the Back to the Future screenwriter.  Spotting Daredevil approach Dr Quaid's office, a couple of secretaries remark on how it's not unusual to see a costumed guy in the building.  Usually, the girls remark, it's the Red Skull or Iron Man or, most amusingly, Black Bolt turning up to have their heads examined.

And early on there's some rather fruity flirting between DD and Kate Vinokur.  

That reference to being tied up probably tells you that this book really isn't being pitched at kids any more.

Anyway, all rather intriguing and enjoyable.  Interesting art by Dave Ross this issue, stepping in for Phil Winslade with stylings a little reminiscent of Cary Nord, though perhaps lacking a little of that artist's flair.

Sorry for the delay between reviews.  Can't say I'm going to speed up any time soon but I'll try my best to get more reviews up as regularly as possible.  Thanks for your patience.

Cast
Daredevil/Matt Murdock
Foggy Nelson

Black Panther/T'Challa
Kate Vinokur
Elaine Kendrick
Samuel Griggs
Angela Barbato
Matador/Miguel Elogonto
Marlene Belden
Paul Raymond Bradlee
Isla

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, 28 October 2013

Daredevil Vol 2: 22

Playing to the Camera Part 3: Legal Questions by Bob Gale, Phil Winslade & James Hodgkins

One Sentence Overview:  Having been served with legal papers, Daredevil seeks out court representation and considers offering a settlement (no, really, that's what happens this issue)

This is really quite an unusual DD tale.  That title, 'Legal Questions' doesn't even bother to hide the fact that what the reader's going to be served up over the next 22 pages is not some dramatic dusting down of a larger than life supervillain.  Or even, to go in the other direction, an angsty searching of the soul whilst the Kingpin or some other such underworld figure methodically tears Daredevil's life apart.  No, instead, what you have here is not a superhero adventure but a legal procedural.  

Maybe that's just something Bob Gale's into.  Certainly, the process that the characters go through within these pages drip with the authenticity of a man who knows a thing or two about the law.  Was this Bob's former profession?  Another reason why Marvel might have greenlit this particular wordy, legal heavy tale may have been the fact that John Grisham was pretty much red hot around the turn of the millennium - so why not publish a tale that might appeal to all the folks reading his books and queuing for the movies?

All this just to say that this particular tale may not be your bag.  Despite the fact that we've all known that Matt Murdock has been a lawyer since day one, his profession is often irrelevant to the tales that are being told.  Indeed, other than for the sake of irony, one could construe Daredevil's actions as utterly alien to the profession that Matt's chosen.  However, given that we're over 400 issues into the ongoing saga of DD's life, it's more than appropriate that we should have such a focus on the day job once in a while.  And, to be honest, this is a well written, enjoyable and utterly atypical little DD story.

I said in my last review that the previous issue ended with a surprise ending - in that we learned that the Jester's attempted robbery was the last thing on Jonathan Powers' mind.  Instead, he'd been employed by the uber efficient Elaine Kendrick to serve Daredevil his court papers.  A somewhat convoluted stroke of genius.  Indeed, a simmering Matt can't even enjoy the satisfaction of the Jester being locked up for his role in what has occurred - as a prosecutor tells him, the Jester made it clear all along that he was making a 'performance' and not attempting a robbery.  This level of semantics is actually pretty appropriate given what else is going on in the story.

Now that DD has been served, he needs legal representation.  He can't use Nelson & Murdock because, er, well, they're acting on behalf of the plaintiff.  So who's left then?  Cue a nice little scene where Matt flicks through the TV channels to spot some eager legal hacks salivating at the chance to have their day in court with the crimson clad hero.

I guess it's no surprise that Daredevil wasn't about to pick up the phone to Rosalind Sharpe - could you imagine Foggy's face?  And perhaps Betty Blake hasn't earned her papers as yet.  But were you as disappointed as I was that Matt didn't even think, for a moment, about his former colleague, Jason Sloan?  Never mind.  Instead he plumps for, well what do you know, an underdog.  Ignoring, for example, the guy on TV with the 23 staff members to hand, he goes for Kate Vinokur, a little heralded individual with two assistants.

One of the reasons DD decides to go with Kate is (not because she's female, though unsurprisingly, there's sexual chemistry between the two before you can say, "No more questions, your Honour") because she's not interested in who's beneath the mask.  So there follows a fun scene where the two discuss the forthcoming case with Griggs in a diner, provoking gawping stares from the fellow customers.  With involvement on both sides of the case (an unethical process if ever there was one), Matt is able to gently steer Kate in the direction of asking Griggs for a settlement.  I think this is all to avoid setting a legal precedence.  One of the enjoyable little scenes that reflects on this matter involves J Jonah Jameson and Claude Unger debating on a discussion programme whether or not superheroes should be liable for the damage they cause in their pursuit of saving the world from the latest megalomaniac.  No prizes for guessing where jolly Jonah stands on the matter.

Daredevil has to be particularly careful because, due to a weird subplot, he's just gone and broken through a skylight during a scientific presentation and, worse than that in terms of this story, has offered to pay damages for so doing.  Elsewhere another individual has come forward to Nelson & Murdock to ask for representation for damage done to his car after DD landed on his car roof during his battle with the Jester.  Which is a kind of priceless, albeit anal, observation.  

However, both these incidents highlight the precarious nature of the superhero profession - not in terms of risk to life by a deadly foe - but because what you might accidentally do in the call of duty may end with you in court with a huge lawsuit over your head.  One can imagine that the entire Marvel pantheon are hoping DD doesn't lose this one - Tony Stark's presumably the only hero with big enough pockets to deal with the fallout.

So, in conclusion (your honour), whether you enjoy this issue is really down to how much you find entertaining the whole, rather postmodern, concept of superheroes being sued or whether that whole notion is just a little too real or too dull and, hey, where's Galactus when you need him?  But like I say, I think this is pretty decent stuff and, whilst there's no-one to hit around in these issues, they're very readable and fun.  

Dictionary Corner  With all this going on, it's rather disturbing to note the insufficiency of the dictionary in the Nelson & Murdock office.  

No entry for 'ethereal'?  Really, Matt, less time in the spandex and more keeping the bookshelves current would do you no harm at all!

Cast
Daredevil/Matt Murdock
Foggy Nelson

J Jonah Jameson
Jester/Jonathan Powers
Elaine Kendrick
Kate Vinokur
Samuel Griggs
Claude Unger
Angela Barbato
Ted Wertz
Brad
Rene
Medwick

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Daredevil Vol 2:21

Playing to the Camera Part 2: A Fellow of Infinite Jest by Bob Gale, Phil Winslade & James Hodgkins

One Sentence Overview:  Whilst Nelson & Murdock work on how to serve Daredevil his court papers, the Jester returns to his criminal ways in the city

Funny to think that the first few issues of this story were being published simultaneously with Daredevil: Yellow, as stylistically and conceptually, the two series are incredibly different.  Phil Winslade's detailed unshowy art contrasts vividly with the dynamic page filling scenes that Tim Sale designs.  And you could probably read three issues of Yellow in the time it takes to plough throw one episode of Bob Gale's writing.  Don't misunderstand me - that's not a bad thing.  Contrasts in comics are often a delight.  The style of this particular storyline could be perceived as being something of a throwback to volume one but that's not quite fair.  Bob's intent is to use Daredevil more of a backdrop for the issues facing Matt Murdock and the plotting, particularly regarding the legal process, is quite sophisticated.

Take the main theme of this issue, for example - serving court papers to Daredevil.  That's not an old-time comic book theme, is it?  It's not primarily the concern of Mssrs Murdock and Nelson either - as one might expect, it's quite a quandary for both.  Instead it's their eager beaver investigator, Elaine Kendrick, who takes the bull by the horns here and attempts to draw Daredevil out by announcing to the press that he come and receive said papers if he really does have nothing to hide.  Foggy is appalled that she would do such a thing but Matt's surprisingly laid back about it, applauding instead her initiative.  However, when she appears on the court steps, she's only met by a mob of DD fans, eager to rescue their hero in much the same way he has rescued them - cue one particularly irate fan who shreds the legal documents in Elaine's face.

I'm not sure what Bob has planned for this character - however, an earlier scene seems to hint at her being attracted to Matt.  Sheesh - Murdock's a twenty-first century version of Don Draper when it comes to having women fall helplessly at his feet without his having to move a muscle.

The media frenzy mentioned above has been heightened by the fact that philanthropist Samuel Griggs has already held a press conference to announce his intention to sue Daredevil - not something his legal representatives advised him on.  Therefore, for those in the know, the ironic position taken by Nelson & Murdock does not go unnoticed.  I do like the page where we find some of Matt's close friends double take at the very notion.  

However, there is a rational explanation for Matt's actions.  Last issue's introduction of Claude Unger has highlighted to him the fact that, if he doesn't take on the case, someone more disreputable will.  Whilst all this is going on, the recently released Jester makes his own public appearance, announcing a forthcoming bank robbery.  Jonathan Powers' own peculiar bank robbery, deliberately playing to the audience with more passion than he shows for the actual crime, is written with relish.  

It's very funny... and helps the issue end with a very nice surprise.  All in all, a very fine read.

Cast
Daredevil/Matt Murdock
Foggy Nelson
Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff
Kingpin/Wilson Fisk

Spider-man/Peter Parker
J Jonah Jameson
Jester/Jonathan Powers
Elaine Kendrick
Samuel Griggs

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, 21 October 2013

Daredevil Vol 2: 20

Playing to the Camera Part 1: Redsuit Lawsuit by Bob Gale & Phil Winslade



One Sentence Overview:  A philanthropist attempts to recruit Nelson & Murdock in order to bring a legal action against Daredevil

Phew!  At last, back to the regular ongoing series.  And after all the extravagances of 'Wake Up', Daredevil/Spider-man artist Phil Winslade returns, immediately giving the book a more traditional comic book feel, if that's the right expression.  Phil's joined on this particular storyline by Bob Gale, who is probably best known for co-writing the 'Back to the Future' trilogy - so a guy who knows a thing or two about scripting and a laugh as well, presumably.  

Although if you've come to have your funny bone tickled, this issue probably isn't the tickling stick you were looking for.  True, there's a (long awaited) cameo return of the Jester (Jonathan Powers) but that's not even played for comedy.  Instead this is quite a serious tale, though one with an intriguing set up.  After an obligatory set up featuring Daredevil biffing up some minor league criminal, the main thrust of the story is introduced and it revolves moreso around Matt Murdock and his day job.

Day job?  You mean, that lawyer thing Matt apparently pursues in his spare time?  Yes, 400 plus issues into the ongoing saga and you'd be forgiven for forgetting this is Matt's primary way of making money, so it's not a bad idea for a writer to come on board and, for once, focus a storyline around some case law.  Developing this concept, a slick self absorbed cocky lawyer is introduced right from the offset, apparently to give the reader no doubt as to who the bad guy is in this particular arrangement.  If you really weren't sure that this guy was the one for whom to save your 'boos', then check out his name - Claude Unger.  Hey, that's no hero name.  In fact it kind of sticks unpleasantly on the tongue.

Claude is introduced via a news report as a kind of uber lawyer, perhaps a modern day Alan Dershowitz, who has never lost a case.  Indeed, his latest one, representing a man, Lloyd Braxton, who claims racial discrimination as the basis for being dismissed from his job makes one seem actually sympathetic towards the legal eagle.  But then you realise that the guy defending the company is Matt Murdock and the reader suddenly realises that this might be the first case Claude loses.

Murdock wins, thanks to a smart piece of lie detection leads to Braxton being found guilty.  Claude's attempts to then distance himself from the verdict only makes the reader dislike this new character more.

But that's it for Claude this issue - I'm guessing he's coming back for more later on in the storyline (otherwsie what's the point with him being there) - and instead the next case Nelson & Murdock become interested in is delivered by a philanthropist (see, that kind of singles he's a good guy) called Samuel Griggs.  Griggs' proposal is intriguing.  Having witnessed a confrontation in his greenhouse apparently between Daredevil and a couple of ninjas (who knows - perhaps these were some of the guys looking for Gwyneth's baby, huh?) which leads to the said greenhouse becoming trashed, Griggs has become incensed that no-one seems to be standing up against superheroes for the collateral damage they cause against ordinary citizens. Therefore he asks Nelson & Murdock to represent him in suing Daredevil.

This is a pretty good idea.  Whilst we've seen some soul searching from DD in the past about whether or not he just be the kind of vigilante he is - seeking justice he is meant to represent in his day job - what hasn't been asked is the measurable impact of superheroes on the ordinary lives of those affected by their shenanigans.  In a well thought through speech, Griggs reasons that, by preventing a robbery in the opening scenes of the comic, the actual damage DD does to public property is actually a worse outcome (in financial terms) than if he'd just left all alone.  

A very interesting ethical quandary.  The only difficulty with this set up is that is immediately undermined by the fact that Matt reveals that he can't recall the greenhouse event in question and that it must have been set up by an impostor.  The reason this is undermining, I feel, is that it kind of lets Daredevil - and his costumed clan - off the hook somewhat, when the point is, surely: Griggs is right - heroes do cause this kind of damage.

Be that as it may, does Matt take the case on?  Well, in one of the few explicitly comic scenes in the book, we find he decides on whether to take the plunge by tossing a coin... rather unsuccessfully.

Elsewhere, we're introduced to a new character, Elaine Kendrick, seemingly fulfilling a role later made more prominent by Dakota North - namely, an investigator hired by the firm.  She's a slightly odd, ingratiating character, seemingly over eager to please.  I'm thinking she's not turned up by accident...

Cast
Daredevil/Matt Murdock
Foggy Nelson

Jester/Jonathan Powers
Claude Unger
Samuel Griggs
Elaine Kendrick
Angela Barbato
Benjamin Rosen
Lloyd Braxton

Rating: 7 out of 10

My Brother's Keeper by Stan Lee, Kevin Hall & Gene Colan

Hold the presses!  There's an extra little tale here that would, frankly, be utterly consequential if not for the talent behind it.  I previously had written that DD370 was the last issue illustrated by Gene Colan - well, that's clearly not true, even if the idiosyncracies of his artwork are rather ironed out here a little too neatly by inker, Tom Palmer.  The story focuses on DD and Spider-man having a couple of jars and then doing some random crime fighting and, er, that's it. As Stan says on the last page, "Hey it's only a 6-pager.  What were you expecting - The Brothers Karamazov?"  Still even here there's a little Stan Lee jollity.  Spidey calls DD a "grinning galoot" whilst Matt reveals (rather atypically) that the horns on his costume are "babe magnets".  A notable foible, but a foible nonetheless.

Cast
Daredevil/Matt Murdock

Spider-man/Peter Parker
Zedelia

Rating: 4 out of 10