Dark and Deliverance by DG Chichester and MC Wyman
One Sentence Overview: With the assistance of underworld boss, Pete London, Daredevil uses Nino Cortese as bait to gain a final confrontation with the Owl
The conclusion of the mini Owl adventure kicks off with a sequence that is, I think, very reminiscent of Stan Lee's storytelling. Back in the day, Stan liked to give his readers a real overview of where his bad guy was coming from - perhaps the bad experiences he had gone through to get to the point of desperation or how something had gone wrong to turn an everyday citizen into a megalomaniac. The writing - and art that recalls Steve Ditko - that opens the story tells Leland Owlsley's 'origin' from financier to underworld boss to his current status as sick and disturbed.
One of the panels seems to indicate that Owlsley once tangled with Doc Ock. Did this actually happen elsewhere? (If it did, Spidey, presumably.) If anyone knows, drop me a line.
The issue revolves around Daredevil trying to find the Owl and he lures his old foe into a trap thanks to teaming up with another hood boss, Pete London, with whom he is gratingly chummy. London delivers Nino Cortese to Daredevil and in turn, DD sets Nino up as bait to grab the Owl's attention. Once again, all this shows a slightly darker side to Matt that's been indicative of Dan Chichester's writing and that I'm not sure I like. Still, the panel where Daredevil throws Nino into a garbage truck is pretty funny.
As I suspected last time round, the Owl is ambivalent about his current position so after the traditional scrapping, the two foes end up opposite each other where Leland makes the startling revelation that he used to give to charity! And that he enjoyed doing so!
As banal as it seems it's this little moment that leads Daredevil to believe that there's a glimmer of hope for the Owl's redemption and so, when Leland accidentally falls from the skyscraper they're both on (huge falls to their doom being hallmark fates of DD villains back in the days of yore), he decides he's worth rescuing.
It's a curiously schmaltzy ending. But, let's face it, given the usual bleakness we get in Daredevil, I think we're allowed the odd sentimental moment, so I'll give Dan a bye ball.
Incidentally, in this issue, we learn that Leland's not going bald, as I suspected, but actually has shaved his head whilst in jail. Yes, that highly unattractive 'do is all his own work. Though maybe I'm being too harsh on the Owl - perhaps he was at the cutting edge. After all, check out the Prodigy's Keith Flint, five years down the line...
The Owl/Leland Owlsley
Dr Octavius Octopus
Rating: 6 out of 10