Thursday, 30 March 2017

Daredevil, Volume 4: Underboss Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev)


A young upstart mobster makes an assassination attempt on the recently blinded Kingpin while mercenaries are targeting Daredevil – mercs who somehow know that he’s secretly Matt Murdock!

Aw, man! This was disappointing. I’d got it in my head that all of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Daredevil was mostly good or at least decent but Daredevil, Volume 4: Underboss was surprisingly low quality.

Daredevil is just doing his usual Daredevil schtick: fighting crappy villains while taking on The Man in court as the blind lawyer. It’s unimpressive and pretty dull, even with the novelty “silent” issue where he fights one assassin after another sans words.

The internal mob politics that led up to Kingpin’s hit wasn’t that interesting either. The upstart doesn’t like that Matt Murdock is untouchable and thinks Kingpin’s weak so he decides to have a go at unseating the boss. Meh.

The narrative jumping around too was really bad: it’s today, it’s one week ago, it’s three months ago, it’s today again, it’s two months ago. I don’t need linear plotlines but there are good and bad ways of telling a story like this and Bendis’ approach here was unnecessarily complicated and ineffective. The problem was that he went with the classic approach of attention-grabbing scenes at the start of each issue and cliffhangers at the end so the form dictated the way the story was told to its detriment. That is, if he deviated and went with a less sensationalist style, I think the story would’ve been much better. 

Alex Maleev is on good form with his art and I liked some aspects of the story like Kingpin’s wife retaliating for her downed hubby, but unfortunately for me Underboss was underwhelming.

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