Thursday, 22 November 2012

Daredevil 377

Flying Blind Part 2 by Scott Lobdell and Tom Morgan

One Sentence Overview:  In spite of Laurent's best efforts, he is unable to protect Claudia from being swept away by the Ninja attackers and taken to their employers, the Kingpin
More shenanigans in Paris scripted by Scott Lobdell and drawn, this time, by Tom Morgan.  I didn't really comment on Cully Hamner's contribution last issue but, for the second issue in the row, here's a new (to Daredevil) artist on the book*.  Cully's art really flowed well with Scott's fast paced storyline and Tom does a fine job too here without perhaps ever really standing out.  I did enjoy, though, this nice action sequence of 'Laurent' whisking Claudia DuBois away from a roomful of deadly Ninja.

Ah, about those Ninja - that's where we left things at the end of the last issue with the memory deprived Laurent and Claudia trapped in her apartment by these pesky assassins.  With Matt/Laurent unaware of his own background, he's completely clueless as to whether their target is Claudia or himself.  Scott's writing is perhaps at his strongest here, where he has the confused Laurent both in awe at what his senses are telling him and also simultaneously bewildered about how he's able to do what he can do.  I did like Scott's description of our hero being able to "taste the difference between the wood nunchuks and the metal shuriken in the air".  Very vivid!

As one might expect in a Daredevil comic featuring a gang of Ninjas, this all leads to a big ol' fight.  And again Scott appears to be in his element telling this kind of action oriented tale, enhanced by Laurent's continual confusion about who exactly he is.  Interestingly, whilst the assassins are happy to knock Laurent aside, it's Claudia they're after - and she's up for delivery to the Kingpin!

Hmmm.  Seems a little coincidental that both Wilson and Matt are in the same city, don't you think?  I'm anticipating that a link will emerge (though nothing's made explicit this issue).  If those two weren't enough, why not through Stilt-Man into the mix?  Yup.  Amazingly, Wilbur Day's here too and his confrontation with Laurent leads to the story's funniest moment and perhaps the best use of the Eiffel Tower in a comic ever.

By this stage, Laurent has slipped out of his civilian threads and into some kind of costume.  The look of this would no doubt strike fear into the hearts of all those readers who had to endure Matt's previous cossie change back in DD321.  However, panic not.  I think this is more Shield Black Ops rather than Matt digging out his needle and thread for a new look.

Speaking of Shield, we learned at the end of last issue that the only Shield operative who knew what Matt was up to rather unfortunately stepped out in front of a lorry.  So it's down to Shield computer hacker, Tia Senyaka, to try to figure out a mysterious file on Harlan's computer.  This leads to a rather clunky piece of exposition ("Why do I think it might have something to do with the death of his brother last week?") that doesn't read particularly well.

If Matt's missing, one might suppose that his friends and lovers may be concerned.  Indeed, they are.  Cue Foggy turning up in one of those dives that aren't terribly friendly to those on the straight and narrow (indeed, the scene reminds me very much of Karen and the Human Torch's walk on the wild side in DD261).

Still, the scene allows Mr Nelson to meet up with Ox lookalike, Moxy Cambridge (sheesh, his own name even hides the Enforcer lunk's moniker within).  I might have complained about Scott's 'tell not show' earlier on but I did enjoy Moxy referencing both Foggy's stint as DA and Matt operating the Storefront - a nice use of DD past life to build an existing storyline.  In this case, Moxy's willing to help Foggy because of his friendship with Matt (he obviously doesn't know Matt and Daredevil are one and the same), a lawyer who managed to help him gain qualifications that led to a good job.

So two issues into the storyline and what exactly is going on?  Well, that's still somewhat shrouded in mystery, which is by no means a bad thing - Scott building his storyline slowly and revealing plot points only when required.  It's a tale that is very plot and idea driven (the central conceit of an individual revelling in their own peculiar otherness and not understanding it is a very good one) but nevertheless lacks the character development and interaction of the best DD stories.

Meanwhile on the letters page  Chet Rinaudo mentions that he's heard rumours that Daredevil is being cancelled.  Editorial allay fears by saying that the title will be 'reinvigorated' with Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti at the helm with Kevin Smith on board for the first "six issues".  So first mention of how things are going down in the comic itself...

Daredevil/Matt Murdock/Laurent Levasseur
Foggy Nelson
Kingpin/Wilson Fisk

Stilt-Man/Wilbur Day
Dr Claudia DuBois
Moxy Cambridge
Tia Senyaka
Le Concierge/Threnadier
Synapse/Max Mullins

Rating: 5 out of 10

* Or so I thought up until I did the 'labels' and realised that Tom also drew DD246!

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