Daredevil #110


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Daredevil #110


  • Words: Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka
  • Art: Michael Lark
  • Inks: Stefano Gaudiano
  • Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
  • Story Title: Cruel & Unusual: Part Four
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 27, 2008

The "Cruel and Unusual" storyline wrapped up in a neat bow with issue #110 of Daredevil, giving Matt Murdock new confidence after a rough few months.

Any concerns I had with the beginning of the story arc were unfounded. Brubaker and Rucka's tale about death row inmate "Big" Ben Donovan was not a death penalty polemic, but rather a multi-layered tribute to loyalty and redemption. Matt Murdock chases the sniper who shot Dakota North, and unravels the federal agent involvement in the Donovan murders. In his first case since the tragedy surrounding his wife Milla, Daredevil regains his confidence by pursuing justice in its purest form.

This final issue of the arc contained the most costumed action of any of the chapters, as Daredevil evades capture and sniper fire and duels a helicopter in some exciting pages. As they have done throughout the series, Brubaker and Rucka make excellent reference to Daredevil's heightened senses and blindness. But it is fittingly through investigation and detection that Murdock is able to resolve the matter of "Big" Ben Donovan's innocence. Of equal importance to the resolution of the story was the contribution of Dakota North, and the sacrifices that almost cost her her life. I am a big fan of Dakota North and hope she sticks around Daredevil for a while. With Rucka or Brubaker at the helm, another crack at a mini-series would also be intriguing.

Because of the extended action sequence, Michael Lark was able to show off some of his artistic skill in portraying more super-heroics than in previous issues. His Daredevil is acrobatic, but still very realistic. Matt Hollingsworth also displayed his mastery of lighting and colors with a sequence taking place at the docks with a sunbath on the characters. The look of this comic fits its theme. It is a superhero book, but one very much planted in the real world, not the usual four color world of comics. With the brief glimpse we are given of the next storyline, and new villain, Lady Bullseye, I am excited to see how the art is handled with a more classic super-villain. I expect that Daredevil will spend more time in the red suit, and it will be interesting to see how the artists handle this.

With a story that resolves very cleanly, character advancement, and a not heavy handed approach to a death penalty case, "Cruel and Unusual" delivered in vast quantities to the reader. Daredevil has an excellent supporting cast of characters, smart writers, and wonderful artwork. This issue and the series is a winner.

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