Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Daredevil 373

The Weight of the World by Joe Kelly, Ben Raab and Richie Acosta

One Sentence Overview:  Daredevil connects the mysterious deaths at Rikers to Judge Chalmers, who appears to be in cahoots with Mr Fear

Well, here's a first.  I hadn't heard of this issue's artist, Richie Acosta, so I googled him only to find... well, frankly, nothing.  There seems to be a rather pumped up bodybuilder and trucker with the same name - but I have no idea whether or not this is the same guy.  It could be that this is his one and only appearance in the world of comics (unless, of course, you know different). 

There are hints here that Richie may have been pulled in to the issue at a moment's notice.  One page, in particular, featuring Foggy, Candace and Rosalind, looks like it was dashed off in a hurry. 

But in other places, the art is fine - there's a fondness for faces reminiscent of Cary Nord.  As well as Richie, Ben Raab has returned to help Joe script, perhaps forewarning readers that his time on the book is limited (and from my reading of the recent DD/Deadpool Annual, I have an idea of which character he seems to be more passionate about). 

The story itself kicks off in a slightly disarming way that was often typical when Dan Chichester was on the book - that is, setting up a cliffhanger at the end of one issue and then leaping forward in time to a completely different scenario that at first appears to have no connection to what immediately transpired before.  Hence, DD might have been suffering on the streets of New York at the hands of Ghost Rider's Penance Stare at the end of DD372 but, never mind that, let's watch Karen Page give Matt a facial at the beginning of DD373.  No, that's not a misprint.  After some mild innuendo about what it is the couple is actually doing, we find Karen helping her boyfriend chill out with mud pack, cucumbers and everything.  I think the scene works because it's so odd and, let's face it, it's nice to see these two spend a little quality time together.  Even if they're not listening to each other.  The best part of the set up involves Matt telling Karen of his unnerving confrontation with the Spirit of Vengeance, not realising that Karen appears to be daydreaming of her dishy new radio producer, Ian Hunter.

Heh.  It's not surprising to see Matt not listening to Karen but there's a little bit of justice in the fact that, for once, Karen's not returning the favour here. 

Once he's appropriately groomed and chilled out, Daredevil banters with Kathy Malper (who, in a slightly surreal subplot, keeps picking away at a bag of donuts) about what the Ghost Rider was up to being mean to a poor warden from Rikers.  Well, that guy's small beer.  Listening in to Judge Chalmers in his office (or is it Chalmer's chambers?), Daredevil overhears the officer of the law jaw jaw both with the psychotic Charlie and, via the security cameras, Mr Fear.  This is a man whose impartiality is rather in question.

Indeed. the story's title really refers to Chalmers' dilemma, to a man aware of having done wrong.  Instead of Chalmers cackling away like a demented overload, pleased to be taking the Mr Fear shilling, he's full of remorse over what he's done.  Nevertheless his response to this is somewhat surprising, though commendable.  A slightly heavyhanded Daredevil attempts to get Chalmers to fess up but the judge ain't playing.  Instead, an overworked Kathy Malper, asleep at her desk, receives a call to meet up with him where he confesses everything.

I actually liked how Chalmers had some integrity here and went through the correct channels to confess to his sinning.

Well, Chalmers may have done the right thing but Mr Fear and the psychotic Charlie are still on the loose.  If you weren't sure that Charlie was more than a little unhinged, our writers give every indication that he's an unsavoury type by resorting to a trope that seems very popular with serial killers - he writes bad poetry.

His rather odd little ditty about Christmas trees won't be winning any prizes though it's not without some charm.  Fear, though, for Candace Nelson.  This bad boy's already topped her friend and now he's bumped into Candy waiting on her steps.  Oops!  Let's hope this doesn't end as bloodily as it did for Marissa.

Daredevil/Matt Murdock
Foggy Nelson
Karen Page
Rosalind Sharpe

Candace Nelson
Mr Fear
Charles Borroughs
Judge Chalmers
Ian Hunter
Patrick Hinds
Ghost Rider/Daniel Ketch

Rating: 5 out of 10


Dermie said...

Given where this subplot with Karen and Ian seems to be headed, one has to wonder if Karen wasn't paying attention during her conversation with Rosalind a few issues back, when she was told to leave sleeping around to the sluts!

Of course, given the fact that Matt did cheat on her before, and given the other issues in their relationship (his lingering attraction to certain exes; the way his commitments as DD come between them, etc), one can't entirely blame Karen for being interested in an attractive man who appears to come with a lot less baggage.

And while I have no objection to some fanservice (there's no reason why comics shouldn't have some sex appeal--for both genders--within reason), I find it a bit suspect that Karen is lounging about in her underwear for the facial scene, while Matt is fully dressed in his DD costume. lol

Robert said...

Hi, Dermie

I mentioned it in a previous post but I find it hard to object to Karen moving towards this Ian Hunter fella, given the fact that Matt is high maintenance both because of his duties as Daredevil and the wanderings of his own heart towards Natasha and others (though, unless manipulated by Typhoid Mary, he usually is able to stop short of sexual dalliances).

You're right to point out Karen's rather relaxed garb - indeed, panel two of the page I've scanned here would be a suitable candidate for 'Gratuitous Panel of the Month'.


Dermie said...

Yeah, Matt does suffer from a bit of a "wandering eye" (not the best term with a blind man, but 'wandering radar' doesn't have the same ring to it).

As you say, he doesn't often actually cheat in the physical sense...but he also doesn't seem to be the greatest when it comes to commitment.

Add that to Matt's "dick of death", (which at this point in time has already claimed Elektra, Heather and Glori), and one definately can't blame Karen for considering other options.

Rich Acosta said...

Hi This is Richie Acosta, the penciler for Daredevil #373. You are absolutely correct. Unfortunately I had rushed a few of the middle pages, which I'm not too proud of. My deadline which was originally set at 3 1/2 weeks, was abruptly shortened to 2 weeks because of the Holiday season. I worked on the cover and the first 9 pages at a normal pace, and finished the rest of the issue in 7 days. I tried to dedicate as much care as possible to the pages where Daredevil appears, and the final closing pages. Regardless, I'm eternally grateful to Jaye Gardner for giving me such an amazing opportunity, which has been the single proudest moment of my short lived career as a comic book artist. Previous to this I did ghost penciling under other Comic Book artists, published by Image, Topps, and Now comics. I've illustrated pinups for Image, Harris, and Valiant. After Daredevil #373 I created the character designs for the original Midnight Club for Rock Star games, and worked on a comic-book style advertorial published in Discover magazine. I hope to someday return to the comic industry.

Robert said...

Hi, Richie

Very gracious of you to comment and best wishes (and hopes) for future work.