Archive for: ‘July 2001’

GUEST COLUMN

July 25, 2001 Posted by admin

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, published by Marvel Comics, 160 pages, $15.95.

As a boy, Matt Murdock was mischievous. Adventurous. He had an inexplicable urge to feel his blood pumping in his ears, as he answered the city’s mysterious call; a call he didn’t understand. He also had a prizefighting father, whom he loved very much. It didn’t matter that he was past his prime, or that he sometimes seemed saddened by memories of a woman Matt never knew. Something else Matt never knew, however, was that his father was forced into working for the mob, in order to protect him. But something happens to Matt which allows him to address the issues of his adventurous nature, as well as the injustices done his father. An accident involving dangerous chemicals and Matt’s heroic nature. Without going into detail, Daredevil is born.

Written by Frank Miller, who is well-known for his comic work (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Ronin, Sin City), as well as some movie work (Robocop 2), and is also the man who was largely responsible for Daredevil’s resurgence of popularity in the late ’70’s, Daredevil: M.W.F. is every bit as entertaining to read as any comic material out there, today.

Interesting characters in the ’60’s, made even more so by Miller’s “fleshing out” of them, with believable personalities and dialogue.

Artist John Romita, Jr. seems the perfect penciller for this story. A top talent in the industry, his style lends itself to the grim, the morose, even, at times, the depressing. Ideal for this street-level crime story. No, it’s not a “feel-good” tale; but it’s darned entertaining to read.

The only other thing I can say about the art is John Jr. must have felt honored to have his pencils inked by comics great Al Williamson, whose volume of work stretches back to comics’ Golden Age, and won’t be covered here.

A great introduction to Daredevil for new readers. Recommended for those who enjoy crime stories, great drama, and high action.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN

July 14, 2001 Posted by admin

TITLE: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN

REVIEW DATE: 24/02/02

REVIEWER: MATT YEO

ISSUE: 19

WRITER: BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

ARTIST: MARK BAGLEY

REVIEW:
ultimatespiderman19How does he do it? How does Brian Michael Bendis produce the kind of thrilling, emotional and consistently excellent kind of storytelling that puts other so-called writers to shame? With a monthly workload of Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, Alias, Daredevil, Elektra, Powers and too many sideline projects to name, you’d think that at least one of his titles would suffer. Well, he’s reaching his two-year anniversary on Ultimate Spider-Man and it doesn’t like he’ll be slowing down anytime soon.

This issue sees ol’ webhead going through more teenage superhero trauma as he faces up to the aftermath of last month’s encounter with Doc Ock, Justin Hammer and S.H.I.E.L.D. Bendis keeps the pace jogging along with more challenges for Peter as he’s nearly discovered wearing his costume by Aunt May, begins to realise that big game TV hunter Kraven might actually be more of a threat than he initially thought and faces painful jealousy from girlfriend, Mary Jane. It’s the latter that always gives me a thrill when I read this title. The quiet moments when Peter is dealing with the kind of problems we’ve all faced at some point in our lives. Whether it’s been tackling a difficult relationship, wanting to avoid hurting those we love or simply dealing with the mistakes we make that affect those around us.
Of course it’s not all navel-gazing with this title as Bendis always infuses Ultimate Spider-Man with his infectious sense of humour and the ability to pull the rug out from under the reader at the drop of a hat. C’mon, did you really see that surprise ending coming?

And that’s what makes Ultimate Spider-Man such a thrill to read. I shyed away from Marvel’s Spider titles for years, but it’s the like of Bendis and fellow web writer J. Michael Straczynski (Amazing Spider-Man) that make these comic books such a joy to read again. The constant presence of penciller Mark Bagley (Thunderbolts) also helps to give the title an important sense of consistency which, coupled with a unique contents/recap page, makes Ultimate Spider-Man an accessible read for newcomers and long-term fans alike. Great stuff.

BULLETPROOF RATING: 9/10