Dec 24, 2010

Daredevil: Cruel and Unusual Comic Review

image from Amazon

Daredevil: Cruel and Unusual kicks off after the revelation that Matt Murdock's wife will likely never recover from the psychotic episode brought on by Daredevil's nemesis, Mr. Fear. Murdock is so torn up inside and devastated with classic superhero guilt based off of "she was hurt because she was close to me. Everybody I love and who loves me gets hurt." But unlike another hero, like Spider-Man, who spends the majority of his time just sulking, Daredevil viciously beats minor street thoughts into comas over petty crimes. His law firm coworkers finally manage to snap him back into the game with an unusual case that fellow superhero, Luke Cage drops on them - a well known villain, "Big" Ben Donovan has been convicted and confessed to the decapitation of three children. Arrested, check. Convicted, check. Confession, check. So what's the problem? While the electric chair is ready and waiting, there's a hunch going around that Donovan didn't commit the murders he's confessing to.

I don't believe this comic book brought anything new to the table that hasn't been done before, but it had all the elements of a great story and came through big on the delivery. If you like stories involving a remorseful superhero who hates his double life, amorality from a superhero going too far in his street justice, strong involvement by side characters who don't wear masks, and grander-scale messages about society, you should check this book out. Writer, Ed Brubaker especially does a fantastic job with portraying Matt Murdock's overcompensation and quickness to lash out.

Overall Rating:
While some lesser side characters that I wouldn't normally care about got some great exposure, there were also plenty of side characters given attention that the story probably could have done with out. It almost felt like it was trying to meet a quota of people to throw in, without resorting to resurrecting old villains and rehashed fellow heroes. Also, not sure if it's meant to draw this reaction or not, but Murdock's temper tantrums start to grow old by the last third of the book, though it very well may be the intended reaction because the characters don't put up with anymore either. I give this graphic novel 4 *'s out of 5, or 8 *'s out of 10. Very entertaining and quick read that I strongly recommend.

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