Anghus Houvouras reviews the latest issue of Daredevil...
Daredevil teams up with the all-new
Superior Spider-Man! Also: Stilt-Man is back and better than ever thanks
to some last minute help from Doctor Octopus!"
As we enter the fourth month of Marvel NOW! I find myself starting to see the genius of this Marvel makeover. Marvel shook up the books that needed a change up and left what's working alone. Mark Waid's Daredevil is the finest example of what's working at Marvel: the combination of the right creative forces steering the book. Waid is a gifted writer who feels at home chronicling the misadventures of one of comic's most interesting characters. Chris Samnee's art makes the title feel like a throwback to a more expressive, clean era of comic art. The title has been on a fantastic run since the title relaunched back in 2010. And fortunately Marvel editorial was smart enough to realize that the hands-off approach was best for Daredevil.
There's a little Marvel NOW! in issue #22 as the standalone story features an appearance from the Superior Spider-Man. Like most comic book crossovers, the story involves a misunderstanding, a knock-down drag-out fight, and the two heroes having to set aside their differences to face a common foe. Fortunately that foe is one of comics' most mocked villains, Stilt Man.
We get a good bit of character building in the issue. Matt Murdock is down on his luck. He's lost his job and is flat broke. Fortunately he's able to cash in on his pseudo superhero celebrity to get by. His best friend Foggy Nelson has decided to end their law partnership. The future seems unclear. Murdock's pity party is interrupted by a stark raving Superior Spider-Man looking to clean his clock and bring him to justice.
Right away Murdock realizes something isn't quite right, even though his heightened senses tell him his opponent is indeed the one and only Spider-Man. But something just doesn't click. This Spider-Man isn't making jokes or cracking wise. Instead he's yelling out things like "THE DIE IS CAST!". Waid does a downright hysterical job of writing the new Doctor Octopus controlled Superior Spider-Man. So much so that I almost wish he was writing that title.
I keep trying to talk people off the ledge regarding the current direction of Spider-Man. His appearance in Daredevil just proves that the character is as entertaining as he's been in ages. Peter Parker's more snarky attitude has been replaced with the obsessive compulsive mad ramblings of Otto Octavius, and while it might not make him the most heroic Spider-Man, it does make him the most interesting. I'm loving this Spider-Man, scars and all.
Daredevil #22 is another fantastic issue on what has been, in this reader's opinion. the best run of the character since Frank Miller was steering the boat back in the 1980s.