Daredevil #45 - Comics Review

The Owl gets his, and an old friend decides to make a "conjugal" visit.

Reviewer: Tan K., Tan@xfan.cjb.net
Quick Rating: Great!
Story Title: Lowlife (part 5 of 5)

The Owl gets his, and an old friend decides to make a "conjugal" visit.

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Alex Maleev
Cover by: Alex Maleev
Lettered by: Cory Petit
Colored by: Matt Hollingsworth
Editor: Joe Quesada
Associate Managing Editor:Kelly Lamy
Editor In Chief: Joe Quesada
President: Bill Jemas

I have to say Daredevil never really interested me before. I had missed out on Frank Miller's run and really only read D.G. Chichester's "Last Rites" and "Fall from Grace" arcs. I found them entertaining, but because of my lack of understanding/attachment to the Daredevil/Matt Murdock character, I was not drawn to the book. Then the Marvel Knights imprint was created with Daredevil becoming its flagship title. I decided to give the relaunch a try mainly because of Joe Quesada’s art. "Guardian Devil" gave me my first insight into Matt Murdock the man. This was the first time I got to see what made him tick. For various reasons, I dropped the title, but the seed was planted. Then in a stroke of genius the 25 cent issue came out. I could not believe I had ignored this title for the last three years.

It is no secret that the main ingredient behind Daredevil’s success is Brian Michael Bendis. I had never read any of his previous works before, but after reading "Lowlife," I may actually seek out his name when searching the racks at the comic store.

Side Note: What I found to be interesting is that Mr. Bendis has not been tagged with the "verbose" label yet. From what I have seen, he uses word balloons galore, which I think is wonderful, but he as of yet has not come under fire for it. End Side Note

The man can write conversation sequences with the best of them and is a master of the art of everyday interaction. He is able to give each person their own unique voice without resorting to cliché techniques. Each character’s speech patterns are altered but in a subtle way without making them sound like verbal caricatures. Matt’s and Foggy’s talks are some of my favorites. There is nothing special about the verbage of the conversations, but their sincere friendship shines through Mr. Bendis’s words. I am not that familiar with the Owl, but he came across as a psychopathic, babbling idiot, but not in the typical sense. He was in my opinion made out to be mentally deficient. Nice take on a once throw away villain.

I look for depth of relationships and a conveying of rich characters. That is what makes Mr. Bendis’s style so appealing. He is able to provide the reader a clear window into the core essence of a person through their actions and words. He has already established or reestablished various full relationships in 5 short issues. This is not an easy task, but it looked effortless.

I am a fan of a full issue of story progression. I dislike feeling like I spent $3 on a dollars amount of story. As I was reading "Lowlife," it seemed like there was not much going on, but then I realized how much Brian Michael Bendis was able to squeeze in. That is the sheer beauty of it. He was able to find the right balance without making the issues seem too sparse or engorged (which lends itself to becoming underdeveloped).

What stands out to me is Mr. Bendis not taking anything for granted in his storytelling. For example while others may write the title character into every resolution of a plotline, he may not. In real life, there are many ways a particular section of life can resolve itself. By utilizing each of these aspects of life, the actual use of the primary protagonist becomes more special, and the reader gets to have the occasional treat of not being able to totally predict the ending. For me the fact the SPOILERS AHEAD! FBI were the ones that brought the Owl down stunned me. It made sense, but it surprised me. Better yet, it was not forced. I love being surprised.

Alex Maleev: For those who know of my artistic preferences, it may surprise some that I absolutely love his work. His style is very deceiving. A quick glance may give the customer an impression of sloppy, jagged art. This most definitely not the case. In all art forms I look for true form, and Mr. Maleev can draw some of the most realistic characters in the business. In an industry where it seems like there are only the "pretty"or "storytelling" artists, Alex Maleev is both. Not only can he draw a near perfect face, he adds an extra page of written description with each panel. I cannot recall being able to see so much feeling and language being given to me as I have in this title. To be honest, I do not know if the praises I gave to Mr. Bendis are not actually a result of the powerful art. The only negative comment I have is that his action sequences and his Daredevil seem flat and somewhat bland.

This is one of the best titles in the industry, and as a result of the movie, more people are discovering it. I think us newcomers have jumped on at the right time. Brian Michael Bendis has made the relationship between SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Daredevil and the Kingpin so intriguing and with the latter’s return to these pages, I think the coming year will be full of some of the most compelling storytelling to come.
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