Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Daredevil, Volume 9: King of Hell's Kitchen Review (Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev)


A year has passed since Daredevil became the new Kingpin. Nelson and Murdock were awarded hundreds of millions of dollars after winning their libel case against The Daily Globe which Matt’s put to use rejuvenating Hell’s Kitchen at the same time his alter-ego’s been cleaning the place of criminals. He’s done so well in fact, the Democratic Party want him as their nominee for Mayor of NYC! But Matt’s life is never a bed of roses for long and the West Coast Yakuza (Japanese mob) are in town to challenge his rule… 

Now THAT’S more like it, Mr Bendis! Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Daredevil run is back on form with this excellent volume. It seems that Bendis is at the top of his game when he’s writing big picture, complex stories rather than smaller, simpler ones - focusing on Matt’s ambitiousness brings the best out of his writing and makes his storytelling that much more inventive. 

There’s a lot to like about this one. Bendis wraps up old storylines like Federal Agent Driver’s and the newspaper libel case with finesse while setting up a couple of interesting new ones involving Milla and Matt’s recent behaviour. Milla gives a very heartfelt and powerful overview of Matt’s hard life, while Driver and the Yakuza leader have a very intense interrogation scene.

There’s also an epic, badass fight in the pouring rain as Matt takes on dozens of gun-toting Yakuza which features some of Alex Maleev’s most outstanding work! Bendis tops it off with an awesome superhero team-up between Daredevil, Spidey and the Heroes for Hire themselves, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. 

It’d be a perfect read if not for the extended scene between Matt, Luke Cage, Reed Richards, Peter Parker and Doctor Strange. I read that scene twice and still didn’t really understand their beef with Matt. It doesn’t make sense - how dare he take such a pro-active and effective stance against crime?! - and the tension between them felt contrived. 

Otherwise, Daredevil, Volume 9: The King of Hell’s Kitchen is one of Bendis and Maleev’s finest additions to the series and a helluva fun read - more like this, guys!

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