Shock Therapy by DG Chichester and Scott McDaniel
One Sentence Overview: Shock's abilities create fear all around her whilst Daredevil attempts to stop her
The letters column in the last issue triumphantly signalled that there would be some stand out artwork this issue. Well, as we have seen recently, Scott has been most happy to play around with the layout of the comic and here he continues to challenge the way stories are presented, though that's not to say that the results are always attractive. But they are certainly striking.
The most obvious ploy in this issue is that some pages are presented in landscape rather than portrait, in a way foretelling the trend to present comics in 'cinemascope' style panelling that will become popular in the 00s. I'm not sure how many readers will have enjoyed having to turn their comic 90 degrees every couple of pages though. It allows Scott to go to town with the strange visions that Shock is giving them, due to her fearful presence.
One passerby, a preacher believes he's witnessing the devil. His interpretation of said creature is rather peculiar - nothing like DD's old chum, Mephisto. No, instead, the ghoul he's seeing appears to be dressed (and posing) like a gruesomely ugly stripper. The preacher appears to belong to the kind of vicious stereotype that is often perceived with right wing believers - he's even come to town with a firearm. And not just any old gun - not a handgun - but a blinkin' sawn off shotgun.
Garth Ennis presumably would approve.
We have a little insight into Ariel's plight later on this issue. As the couple of panels from the last issue where we saw her talking to her mother reveal, she's doing what she's doing to try to revive her ailing parent. Indeed, her backstory reveals that she's had to resort to crime and prostituion, giving a rather sad edge to who she is, as well as revealing a key plot twist (see below!).
But that's about it in terms of depth of characterization. Once again the story is lost somewhat in the visuals and there is a lot of action to keep the readers entertained. There's a nice little postscript at the end hinting of dark things to come, when Alan Fagan wakens in the prison hospital and speaks some truly fearful words:
I'm not sure though whether we'll get the follow up to this tale, though - I have a feeling this might be lost to us, in the same way some of Marv Wolfman's set ups were. Though I can't say I'm on the edge of my seat looking for a sequel.
Not a great issue, to be sure, but there was at least one panel that made me laugh out loud. Once again, poor old Ben thinks he's being victimised because of his habit.
When Dan sets his mind to it, he can be quite funny.
Rating: 3 out of 10