Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Guest Starring from Goodreads: A Review of Daredevil Vol. 2: West-Case Scenario

Daredevil, Vol. 2: West-Case ScenarioDaredevil, Vol. 2: West-Case Scenario by Mark Waid
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sigh.

Daredevil was the first superhero comic I picked up after I waded into comics and graphic novels. I mostly read things like Sandman and American Born Chinese and Locke and Key. However, I realized that I'd have to jump into superheroes sooner or later, so I did it sooner.

The thing with superheroes and me is that I can't deal with their constant barrage of whining and the sadistic things that their creators put them through. So I was pleasantly surprised to start with Mark Waid's run on Daredevil. Matt Murdock is trying to be less gloom-and-doom. His relationship with Foggy Nelson was wonderfully built, I love D.A. McDuffie, and Daredevil's got this sort of self-effacing humor that I really dig.

But for me, everything went to pot in this volume. I'm never a big fan of collections that include one crossover issue or one BIG EVENT tie-in issue, and that's what this is. To be perfectly honest, I haven't read any of the Original Sin event comics. I'll probably stumble on a few more, but I get frustrated with the endless events to allow characters to be retconned to kingdom come.

They (sorry to use the mysterious "they" here) also brought back Brian Michael Bendis for the 50th anniversary special: DD at 50 years old. It was ... weird. Does Bendis just enjoy writing wills? I also really dislike the old Daredevil costume. That issue was just ridiculously silly.

Moving back to present-day, Matt helps his buddies out in an Original Sin fight (I don't know what else to call it!) and suddenly these very disturbing memories of his mother come back to him. As it turns out, after she left him and Battlin' Jack, she became a social justice nun, and was just arrested for trespassing and graffiti. Matt doesn't just get it from dear old dad, that's for sure. While the underlying message of this issue was quite lovely--Matt so thoughtfully accepted and explained his mother's PPD--it was unfortunately set in a techno-jundle African country that was formerly ruled by Black Panther, but now by his megalomaniac sister. All of the inhabitants wear loincloths and body paint. They throw spears. I almost choked on all the racism.

*shudders* ANYWAY. Then Matt gets back to good ol' San Fran, where a dude with purple skin and psychic powers has been impregnating ladies and collecting the resulting children to build a family to looooove him. This also backfires and results in a band of angry, psychic kiddos rampaging around and controlling people's minds. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The one good thing that came out of this story arc was the exploration of Matt's depression. It was so spot-on. Waid describes it as it is: a sickness. It is not something you can "snap out of." Those panels are really wonderful. But they can't make up for the rest of this, which I thought was rather a mess.



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