Thursday, 24 March 2016

Daredevil, Volume 1: The Devil, Inside and Out Review (Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark)

Matt Murdock is imprisoned on Ryker’s Island - but there’s still a Daredevil in Hell’s Kitchen?! Joining Matt behind bars is Bullseye, Kingpin, and The Punisher - what could go wrong with these four in close quarters? 

Of course Ed Brubaker kills it on Daredevil, that dude’s comics writing is damn near impossible to fault! Yup, The Devil, Inside and Out, Volume 1, is a very good Daredevil book (though I kinda lean towards its other title more, The Devil in Cell Block D - mmm, pulpy!) with Brubaker playing to his street level crime-writing strengths. 

Couldn’t tell you why they sent a blind man to jail as I didn’t read Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev’s preceding run but it doesn’t really matter. Alls you need to know going into this one is that Daredevil’s in the slammer and everyone seems to be in the know that Matty is The Man Without Fear - which he still maintains he ain’t. After a shocking opening chapter though, Matt turns to the dark side and decides to admit it by demolishing every criminal in Ryker’s single-handed - and that’s when Frank steps in. 

While Castle’s explanation for getting sent to the slammer with Matt was a bit say wha…? (he wanted to remind Matt not to become like him - I’m not buying that that sounds like The Punisher to me), it’s good fun seeing these two together behind bars becoming the targets of Kingpin, Bullseye and Hammerhead. Brubaker writes a great Kingpin too and his Bullseye isn’t bad either even if he doesn’t appear in the story much. 

The story is a bit slow throughout - Matt wants revenge on that thing that happens in the first chapter but his investigation skills are somewhat lacking - and things meander for the most part until things kick off towards the end and becomes this bonkers free for all prison riot. Up til then though I enjoyed seeing these dangerous characters interacting in a confined space with Brubaker expertly creating exciting tension between them. I liked Brubaker’s Gotham Central artist Michael Lark’s artwork too, not to mention that last page reveal which is very tantalising, demanding the reader pick up the next book. 

Why Daredevil’s behind bars may be somewhat... foggy (yukyuk!)... it’s a great setup that allows Brubaker to throw some great characters together and gives the reader a front row seat to watch the action unfold. The Devil, Inside and Out is for anyone wanting to read a very entertaining Daredevil story.

Daredevil, Volume 1: The Devil, Inside and Out

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