ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
I've now finished watching all thirteen episodes and I really enjoyed it. I think it adapted the comics very well and is true to them.

Admittedly it is probably not the right series if you dislike grimdark and violence, but then that is true for much of the Daredevil comics ever since there *were* modern grimdark superhero comics. After all it was Frank Miller who shaped much of the modern Daredevil, and in reverse he started his career with that title (or at least it's the first he's become really known for) and developed his style there. I actually like Miller's work on Daredevil (unlike his works from Sin City onwards at least), but well, this still was pretty much what started superheroes going grimdark in the first place, as Miller's run progressed.

However I actually like that noir take on superheroes unless it goes truly overboard and becomes the kind of grimdark that is just a parody of itself without realizing it. And the Netflix series is IMO quite far away from that point.

For one thing at least to me the characters were still likable. I loved how they handled Matt and Foggy's relationship, and enjoyed the flashbacks to their college time that we got to see. I appreciated that spoilers )

I also liked Karen Page and her dynamic with both Foggy and Matt. I liked the symmetry that all three of them did not just work together, but each also followed things up on their own. Obviously Matt as vigilante but also spoilers )

I also thought their take on Wilson Fisk was done really well, that balance that he first comes across as a sort of "white collar" criminal who doesn't need to get his own hands dirty, but in fact erupts into hands-on violence and killing rages, and is even strong enough to fight Daredevil directly. I also liked how they adapted Vanessa to be more open-eyed.

I thought the James Wesley character as Fisk's right hand man was a great addition, though that is partly because his interactions with Fisk pinged my service kink *hard*. spoilers )

I also liked most of the minor tie backs to the comics that I caught, though I probably missed many. spoilers )

As for hints of larger events to come spoilers )

Unlike some other comments I've seen, I don't have much trouble to fit this with the rest of the MCU, i.e. the issue that the Avengers existing in the same New York where spoilers )

Anyway, I had a lot of fun watching.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
quick, and not all that spoilery opinion, just cut to be safe )

Unrelated, I just have to gripe about the weather a bit. Admittedly it is far, far better than a heat wave, because even moderate heat will make me truly miserable, but I would not mind if the highs weren't quite *this* low. Seriously, 14°C with rain? Couldn't it be a sunny 22°C? *grump*
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
I post about Daredevil so rarely because I tend to wait for a couple of storylines to accumulate before reading, even though I collect the monthly issues.

Now I've read DD #107-110: cruel & unusual, #111-115: Lady Bullseye, #116-120 (500): Return of the King )
ratcreature: RatCreature as ninja (ninja)
Um, so I guess I was a little premature when I predicted the end of the Daredevil content.

Anyway, I've now read some of the older Daredevil stories, that is so far the arc starting from when Miller introduced Elektra to when she's resurrected. And well-- on the bright side, ninjas! But wow, Matt makes it really hard to like him sometimes. He acts like a total asshole towards Heather Glenn, and doesn't treat anyone else too great either. It's not that I particularly care about Heather or anything, but it's really hard to like a character who treats his girlfriend and his friends like shit. I mean, Matt is often somewhat of a jerk in his relationships, but not quite this bad. Then again, ninjas make up for a lot for me, and generally I like Miller's art here. Can anyone rec older story arcs to me in which Matt is more sympathetic? I would really rather like the main character of a series.

I've also read a newer Daredevil mini-series, Daredevil: Father #1-6 (by Joe Quesada, inks by Danny Miki). Actually I reread the first part, which came out a while ago (sometime 2004, I think?) but hadn't read the rest when they came out. I had stopped reading the issues because they were delayed so often and published so irregularly, and now read all six issues at once. I didn't really like the story. This one is just depressing. First, I hate that of course the reason that woman became a serial killer was sexual abuse. Also now the blind guy Matt saved is supposed to be a child molester? Just no.

Another Daredevil comic I've read is What If... Karen Page Had Lived? (written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Michael Lark). And I think the Marvel "What If...?" series suffers from the (very strange) assumption that no matter how awful the lives of our heroes are, it could only get worse if things were different. Thus you end up with weird AUs in which Karen Page surviving doesn't lead to a better life for Matt, but against all sense and reason to him being worse off, acting even more self-destructive, and Karen Page dead in the end anyway. WTF Marvel?
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
Sorry about the deluge of Daredevil posts, but since I'm now caught up with the series that should die down again.

So now I've read The Secret Life of Foggy Nelson (issue #88), The Devil Takes A Ride (issues #89-93), Our Love Story (issue #94) and the first two parts of To The Devil, His Due (issues #95-96). I haven't been to my store recently to get #97 yet, which I think is out already, so please don't spoil me in comments.

Since these are fairly recent, all comments on the story line are spoiler cut. )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
I really enjoyed the next story The Murdock Papers (issues #76-81). Lots of cool action and fights, Fisk being a manipulative bastard, sort-of-evil government officials, and plenty of angst and pain for Matt, and poor Ben Urich caught between a rock and a hard place. Also, the story brought home why Foggy teases Matt about the number and occupations of his (ex-)girlfriends. I felt really sorry for Milla, though. I like her quite a bit, but I suspect she's been rethinking whether it was a good idea to return to Matt quite a lot during the events. Things are quite bad when several of Matt's exes, one of them half-naked and armed with knives, barging into their hotel room , is actually the least of your marriage problems.

With the next story, The Devil In Cell Block D (issues #82-87) the writer/artist team changed to Ed Brubaker/Michael Lark & Stefano Gaudiano. I like their art less than Maleev's though they seem to have tried to keep it in a similar style. But I think he just isn't as good at it, in particular I like the faces less somehow. Still, not bad art or anything, just not quite as awesome as before. As for the plot cut for spoilers. )

On a random note, I till hate the spam email spelling of "ass" as "@$$". It's just bizarre. Either use obscenities or don't, but this half-assed (sorry I couldn't resist the bad pun) way drives me insane.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
Ages ago (well actually late 2004) I stopped reading Daredevil. The trigger was that #66 had so much idiotic babelfish translated "German" dialog that I just couldn't get through it -- I commented on that at the time -- and then I got the next issue, but still couldn't bring myself to read #66, and somehow that state of affairs continued.

Anyway, tonight I found myself in the mood for Daredevil, and soldiered through the awful fake-German even though it felt like being sporked in the brain, repeatedly, (and spelling "ass" as "@$$" in one bit of dialog came close second-- I mean seriously, WTF, Marvel? Is this the text version of breasts without nipples??).

BTW, if you don't speak any German, and don't mind the occasional spam email spelling, there is actually things to like in #66 and the whole Golden Age story (issues #66-70), like the way the different eras are set apart in the coloring style: The 1940s flashback is b/w, the flashback to early in Daredevils career is colored with a slightly exaggerated rastering effect of older comics, and the present day is colored regularly. I found that effect very neat. And while overall neither the "old crime boss seeks revenge" story nor the White Tiger stuff grabbed me, it was okay to read, and there were bits with Matt and Foggy that I liked a lot (like, Foggy: "Sorry I'm cramping your style with your stalkers." *hearts*)

The next story Decalogue (issues #71-75) is at first about people of Hell's Kitchen sharing their Daredevil stories. I really like the stark covers, especially the first in this series (probably not least for its somewhat blasphemous impression). Though I found the idea of some church support group to discuss Daredevil kind of odd. Also, while I usually like outsider POVs of the characters, getting just these glimpses of Daredevil, until the last issue anyway which had plenty of Matt in it, wasn't all that satisfying, even though the creepy guy in the support group definitely worked for me to build suspense. And actually the reveal was pretty cool and surprising cut for serious spoilers. )
ratcreature: RatCreature smokes Crack (crack)
Untitled Highlander AU/Andromeda, by [livejournal.com profile] basingstoke. Het and slash (though there's no romantic focus, so it feels quite gen), Richie/Amanda, Duncan/Methos. (ca. 2,900 words)
These are more glimpses at a universe than a fully realized story, but the setup is just very cool.

Necessary Changes, by [livejournal.com profile] devilc. Slash, Jason Street/Scott Summers, also Logan/Jean and some other pairings, both het and slash are implied. (ca. 24,000 words)
Friday Night Lights/X-Men
Jason discovers he's a mutant on top of everything else and is invited to attend the Xavier Institute. I'm really liking Jason here so far, and also his friendship with Tim, and of course I always have a soft spot for stories with Scott.
(It's still being posted, one part a day it seems, but the author's notes indicated it's finished and the total length, so in two days or so it should be completely posted.)

Days Like This, by [livejournal.com profile] killabeez. Gen, Angel, Dean Winchester. (ca. 9,200 words)
Dean and Angel meet on a hunt, and fight a gross, tentacled monster, but really the best thing in this story is the banter and the many great lines.

Untitled SGA/SPN snippets, by [livejournal.com profile] kitsune_tsuki WIP
So far more an enticing glimpse at a backstory and an opening snippet than a single story, but I thought the premise that Sheppard grew up as a hunter like Sam and Dean, and now encounters creepy supernatural stuff in Pegasus was cool.

To Conquer Fear, by [livejournal.com profile] marag. Gen, Gil Grissom, Batman and their teams. (ca. 2,800 words)
They work together to catch the Scarecrow in Las Vegas. The story is told mostly in emails and more on the fun than on the angst side of things.

Hailing From Parts Unknown, by [livejournal.com profile] sister_wolf. Slash, Logan (Wolverine)/Alec (X5-494). (ca. 3,500 words)
X-Men Movieverse/Dark Angel
Alec and Logan and cage fights. Why wouldn't you read this?

Office Hours (ca. 10,000 words) and the sequel The Wisdom to Know the Difference (ca. 30,000 words), by [livejournal.com profile] tartanshell. Gen, Peter Parker, Hank McCoy, Matt Murdock, and Scott Summers.
Peter meets Hank (at first not yet blue) as one of his biochemistry professors in college. This is just an awesome and very entertaining crossover, that has a great blend of humor and angst.

Floodlights on the Highway, by [livejournal.com profile] thassalia. Gen, Dean, Cam, Vala.
Stargate: SG-1/Supernatural
How could you not enjoy Cam and Vala meeting Dean at a car show?

Riggins & Winchester, by [livejournal.com profile] thisisbone. Slash, Tim Riggins/Dean Winchester, also Billy Riggins, Sam Winchester. (ca. 4,800 words)
Friday Night Lights/Supernatural
The Winchesters are passing through Dillon. This gives a great look at the characters, also of course it's hot.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
Why is there so little Daredevil fanfic? I'm fairly sure I lamented this sad state of affairs before in my LJ, but absolute dearth of it is still stunning. Every couple of months I check around anew, hoping that there's been new stuff posted, but as usual my hopes are crushed. :( I don't get it. I can't be the only one who'd love some Daredevil emo-porn of any variety.
ratcreature: ROTFL (rotfl)
So I'm reading Daredevil #66, and rather contrary to the mood of the issue I find myself giggling constantly. You see, it has flashback sequences to the 1940s, and there's some villains talking "German", unfortunately too frequently for me to just overlook the dialog, i.e. it's not just one isolated speech balloon, but goes on for a few pages. And it's just... I don't have words. *still in giggles*

I mean, in some cases I can figure out what the speech balloon was supposed to say by translating it word for word back into English, and it becomes clear which words were meant, even if the German translation of the English term that was chosen doesn't have the meaning of the English word that was meant in the context as all, as of course both German and English words all have multiple meanings and not all of them match 1:1. And it's not just with figurative vocabulary either, though those examples are the funniest (like in German you just don't call a crazy person "Fruchtkuchen" no matter that it's a correct translation for the English "fruitcake"). Not to mention that the sentence structure is frequently wrong. And yet in some cases I can't figure out at all what the speech balloon was supposed to say. As a whole it's just totally hilarious, and not at all conducive to a gritty crime sequence feeling.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
The pile of comics I want to comment on is starting to get huge and intimidating. Obviously I have to make small steps...so here are my comments on the two latest Daredevil issues #54 and #55, which marks the end of David Mack's Echo storyline. Actually my comments are more about the whole than about these individual issues.

kind of longish comments, in particular on why think Mack's art style works to illustrate Echo's deafness, plus I linked to scans of some pages from the comic so that you aren't totally confused by my rambling )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
I started writing this on Sunday, right after I finished reading Daredevil: The Man Without Fear (by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.) and Daredevil: Yellow (by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale), but then got sidetracked by some fanfic and a really pretty vid (in case anyone's interested it was a TS vid by Seah & Margie, called Black Cat, and can be found on this site). So the post got never finished on Sunday.

Anyway, Daredevil -- and, as an aside, how exactly did I get from "I don't really read superhero comics." to reading Spider-Man, then Nightwing, then following most of the fricking Bat-Family, and now Daredevil? I mean, I have read Superhero stuff from time to time before when I loved the artists, or it was a famous or groundbreaking comic in some way, but until recently I've never followed the characters for their story. At least so far I haven't fallen for the cosmic battles and spacemonster stuff, but mostly for crime (and freak) fighting heroes with moderate or no superpowers (okay it is arguable whether Spider-Man's power's can be described as "moderate" but at least it's balanced by him being a science geek with a ton of personal problems). That is at least still somewhat similar to my fondness for detective stories, mysteries, and the like. Not that my resolve to avoid the spacemonster genre is absolute or anything (case in point, I read Outsiders).

But back to Daredevil. Both TPBs are retellings of Daredevil's origin, or in case of Yellow more like a "Year One" thing with the origin and early events in Daredevil's career as superhero. Also I think Miller's might be the official retcon these days. Because I read both right after one another I couldn't avoid to look at them in comparison, even though I think that this is probably not the best way to think about them.

Overall I like Miller's version of Daredevil better than Loeb's, though I don't care much about the "adept" stuff, and him and Elektra being the only two somethings (sorry I don't know the Daredevil/Elektra stories Miller wrote yet, and this TPB isn't terribly specific about this mythic (?) stuff). Maybe it's just because by now I feel a definite overkill with characters who are born as special for some kind of battle. But other than that I liked this Matt very much, probably because I have a thing for angst and don't mind a heavy dose of tragic (melo-)drama. I like that Daredevil isn't a "nice" superhero and that his actions have sometimes dire consequences, but neither is he a maniac mowing criminals down with automatic weapons.

Yellow otoh has quite a bit more levity, and for all the somber "letter to a dead girlfriend" narration its Matt is much less tortured. This young Matt enjoys being Daredevil in a more "innocent" playful way -- in as much as you can say it is innocent to dress up in a devil costume and beat up criminals in the first place -- he has definitely less anger and rage. It's more like in classic superhero comics, there are wacky fights with costumed supervillains etc, and yet at the same time it is not really like that, despite the homage element, because the darker future is always there: Not just in Matt's narration and our knowledge of the future tragedies ahead, also in moments like when Matt watches the execution of his father's murderer. I liked that in Yellow Matt's father wasn't killed when Matt was a kid, it makes for some variation in the murdered parents origin story, that so many superheroes have, and is obviously part of why this Matt is "lighter."

I enjoyed the art in both books, but I have to say that especially John Romita Jr. has become a lot better since then. I thought some of the crosshatching looked quite unfortunate, but then I only like crosshatching when it's done really well and with good effect for the surfaces it's supposed to depict, and that is really hard to manage. And I like Tim Sale's Batman art better than his Daredevil, but that's mostly because I think it suits that universe better.

To finish my a bit disjointed comments, both books are definitely worth reading.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
I was browsing The Continuity Pages earlier, as I linked to the annotations for 1602 in my previous entry, and I found a continuity page for Daredevil, which is a useful overview of the storylines and already has a lot of info on both the first and the second volume of the series. Also useful for me to see which TPBs collect what, so that I can decide which ones I'll probably want to get eventually. There are also annotations for the Bendis / Maleev run on Daredevil, so far only the ones for Underboss are completed. It's not so much annotations for arcane references or anything like that, but it's always interesting and fun to read other people nitpicking comic issues. (I haven't looked at Julian Darius' annotations for The Elektra Saga as I haven't read that comic (yet), but that's there as well, in case you're interested.)
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
On the new Daredevil #51 by David Mack: I won't bother with a cut-tag -- my comments aren't really spoilery, as (unfortunately) nothing really happens in this issue.

So this issue brings back Echo, from David Mack's previous Daredevil story, Parts of a Hole. I think if she was a fanfiction character (and maybe even now), a lot of people would consider Echo to be Mary Sue. And while I do think that the fanfic honed sensitivity to "Mary Sue signs" sometimes ruins the enjoyment of original characters and storylines -- characters and stories that one wouldn't have disliked if one had never been exposed to all the fanfic related discussion and examples of the Mary Sue phenomenon -- Echo has quite a lot of the qualities of a classic Mary Sue. I mean, she has a tortured past, with a murdered parent (but OTOH that's pretty much the norm for every other character in superhero comic books), she's deaf, but compensates that disability almost completely with her gift to emulate and learn any skill perfectly through visual observation (but OTOH it is a superhero comic, so superpowers aren't unexpected), and she ends up in a romantic relationship with Matt (but OTOH it's more exceptional when a female secondary character doesn't end up as a love interest for Matt). All that wouldn't bother me much, if not for the unfortunate tendency that she ends up as the focus of the story in the traditional Mary Sue fashion. That did happen to some extent when she last appeared, yet I actually still ended up liking the character last time.

However -- oddly enough -- I'd still like to see Daredevil appear in a Daredevil comic book. You know, the blind lawyer guy in a devil costume, with a lot of Catholic guilt issues? Remember him? Yeah, I thought so, with him being the the title character and all. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but Echo remembering kissing Matt once or twice in her internal rambling didn't cut it for me in a Daredevil book. Also, nothing happened in this issue. It's all Echo's internal monologue, recapping what happened previously, only as it is solely from her perspective it's without most of the Daredevil stuff. Now, I hope that this will change the next issue, and that this one was simply a really long "previously in" segment, and that this will sort of be "redeemed" as the exposition part in the larger picture.

I mean, I still liked the comic, simply because it has David Mack's art, and I enjoy looking at his pages ever since I first saw a couple of them at a convention. Back then I had never read anything by him, or even heard of this guy, but in this exhibition there were a couple of Kabuki pages displayed, and as soon as I left the exhibition room I started to buy any Kabuki issues I could find, and got in line at the next of his signings. Actually, when I look at the art from a "comic perspective" I don't even think it's the best suited to tell a story, and usually I tend to dislike self-indulgent or collage styles for comics. But of course there are exceptions to every general preference, and even though David Mack's pages are not the easiest to read as a comic, I simply enjoy looking at them. And that's true for Daredevil #51 as well, no matter that it's,IMO, not his best work.

However that has nothing to do with this comic as a Daredevil issue. I suspect if you don't enjoy looking at David Mack pages simply because they're David Mack pages, you won't get much out of this issue.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
In a desperate attempt to procrastinate doing anything productive I wasted spent some time creating Daredevil icons. The Daredevil series really has some great art (like the beautiful covers by David Mack, several of which I cannibalized in these icons, and I like Alex Maleev's art quite well too), worth getting more exposure. And anyway, while the characters haven't hooked me nearly like Nightwing and the Batverse, or even like the current Spider-Man, I spent several very pleasant and engaging hours reading some Daredevil stories, so I can definitely recommend the series overall.

There are also a few Daredevil/Spider-Man icons, as well as some with Daredevil and Elektra (I won't discriminate against the poor het DD fans after all *grin*), comment if you want one, feel free to add text (or to ask me to put text on them).

lots of Daredevil icons for you to choose from )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
I admit it, my aggravation was uninformed *hangs head in shame*, there seems to be indeed a step-mother, so the second character is Anna Nelson. Now I just wonder where she was when Foggy had all this trouble with the murder investigation. Also it would have been much clearer, since this is after all the first time she appears in the current series, if Matt had greeted her with a "Mrs. Nelson" or something like that. One should never underestimate the soap-opera-like complexity of family relations in comic books. (I hope I won't loose my membership card of comic book geekdom...) And I'll definitely do more thorough research before I complain about confusing characters in the future.
ratcreature: argh (argh)

Before I continue, this is not the scheduled rant about Gotham Knights #44 with which I have similar issues. This is about Daredevil. You see, because of the upcoming David Mack issues (I really like his art) and [livejournal.com profile] kerithwyn's recs of all things Bendis, I've decided to read the issues of Daredevil Volume 2 leading up to this (especially since I found out that David Mack not only has written some, but also done art on some of them, I somehow had missed that, because when I first got into his stuff I haven't been following superhero comics).

Anyway, somewhere between the first arc and the Underboss storyline, they decided to completely change Foggy's mother. In the first arc "Guardian Devil" Rosalind Sharpe is senior partner at the law firm where Matt and Foggy are working. She's very cool and collected and not very emotional. When her son is indicted for murder she cuts him loose to protect the firm. Which eventually leads to Matt and Foggy opening their own. You see the character in Exhibit A from #3:
Exhibit A (ca. 18K) )
Now skip forward two dozen issues to Exhibit B from #27:
Exhibit B (ca. 35K) )
What the frell happened to this character?!? Why do they do this? Did they change her back to an earlier version? Is there any reason at all? Don't they have editors?! And it's not like she last appeared in some obscure out-of-print issue from the 1960s either.

*bangs head against the monitor*

ETA: The only reason I can think of that makes sense if Foggy has more than one set of parents due to being adopted or something. Maybe there's a spark of hope yet. I shall research his background on the net...
ratcreature: RatCreature as Spidey (spidey)
Okay, so I found this scan of a page from a Daredevil/Spider-Man x-over short story (from Daredevil Volume 2 #20). And it's just too slashy not to share, so I uploaded the page to my webspace for you to take a look. In the panel Daredevil and Spider-Man are sitting in a bar, Spider-Man has his arm around Daredevil, talks about tossing him, and another guy at the bar thinks: "That Daredevil -- wotta waste! If I looked like him I'd have a babe on each arm, instead of shmoozing with another superhero!"

a scan of the page, about 160K )

Now I so want to read some Daredevil/Spider-Man buddy slash, where they both happen to be in some relationship woes at the same time and turn to each other for some uncomplicated buddy sex. Any recs? Anyone?

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