Fall from Grace Part 3: Confrontation by DG Chichester and Scott McDaniel
One Sentence Overview: Eddie Passim reveals to Daredevil his past history wtih Shield, whilst both that organisation and Snakeroot descend upon Eddie both eager to take control of him
I've struggled a bit with Fall from Grace thus far. It's felt a little like a writer overstretching, going for a magnum opus but instead presenting something a little bewildering and with art, whilst highly ambitious, ending up being somewhat indistinct at times. However, the third part of the saga manages to hold in check the multifarious loose ends whilst bringing greater clarity to the storyline overall.
It's here, for example, that we learn significant information about both Eddie Passim and Harry Kenkoy. Both were once employed by Shield (which makes Nick Fury's appearance here last issue very significant) and we learn that, in a kind of Weapon X way, Harry manipulated both Eddie and fellow telepath Theresa Bellwether using them as instruments to serve a purpose rather than unique beings with their own rights to life. The project's called 'About Face' and appears to be about making one immune to the addictive properties of heroin (or something bizarre like that). Naturally, Nick's not too pleased when he finds what Kenkoy's been up to - the General may outrank the Colonel but the honourable Fury has the agents on his side.
Still, the implication is that it's too late for Theresa, something Eddie regrets all these years later. One of my favourite scenes occurs when Eddie and Theresa, both strapped up to cruel machines for Harry's purposes, reach out to each other and their hands gently brush. It's a gorgeous, subtle moment that's unusual for both Dan and Scott, though one I'd wish they reached for more often.
A word about the art here. Long time readers of the blog will know that I usually only credit the penciller for reasons I'm not even entirely sure about. However, I think I should give respect for Christine 'Max' Scheele's colouring at present. The look of the book has really changed not just since Scott took it over but with Fall from Grace. The colours can be extremely vivid, though at the same time the pages look drenched in light, almost to the point of an overexposed picture. It's quite a peculiar design but dramatic and romantic all the same. As I said above, the art doesn't always sing, but when it works, it really works. The splash title page this issue really jumps out.
Not that Scott always needs great colouring to make his art stand out. Later in the book, there's a double paged action scene that's done completely in black and white. I'm guessing it's to emphasise how Matt perceives the action, sensing those around him but not distracted by colour.
As you can see, there's a lot of dudes on that page. Most of them are from the Snakeroot, an offshoot of the Hand (I guess if the Chaste are 'Good Hand' then Snakeroot is 'Very Naughty Hand'). These guys have been extracting John Garrett's memories of Elektra to 'build' their own peerless female assassin (an intriguing piece of mystical genetic engineering). I can't imagine Matt'll approve when he finds out.
Matt, of course, is eager to rediscover Elektra, having been mislaid by Stone last issue that she's been involved with attacking Harry (see what I mean about complex storytelling). However, the comic's best moment occurs not in the midst of any fighting though it does involve another member of the supporting cast hinting at a discovery of his own. In a rare moment where Matt has some time at his desk, his partner lets slip something truly intriguing. Telling Matt he needs to do his fair share of paperwork (let's face it - probably about time), Foggy notes, "I know how important your other life out there is!"
Matt pauses. There's a momentary stand off but Foggy can't bring himself to say any more, other than to thrust a white stick in his partner's direction and seethe, "Don't forget your cane!" Is this it? The moment Foggy discovers the truth? Oh, boy, that's a great little hook to dangle in front of the reader.
General Harry 'TNT' Kenkoy
Rating: 7 out of 10