Monday, August 7, 2017

DAREDEVIL #189

"SIEGE”
Writer/Storyteller: Frank Miller | Penciler/Inker/Colorist: Klaus Janson
Letters: Joe Rosen | Editor: Denny O’Neil | Supervisor : Jim Shooter

The Plot: Stone uses his ninja abilities to restore Black Widow’s health. The Hand attack Matt’s brownstone, outmatching the combined forces of Daredevil, Black Widow, Stick, Stone, Claw, and Shaft. Claw is killed during the fight, then Stick and Shaft sacrifice their lives to drain the Hand’s life forces, defeating them.

Stone meditates to determine the Hand’s next move, while Daredevil and Black Widow split up to search for the ninjas. Eventually they return to Matt’s home empty-handed, and Stone reveals that he believes the Hand will attempt to resurrect Elektra to replace the late Kirigi as their ultimate warrior.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: It's revealed that, rather than being his peers as the previous issue made it seem, Claw, Stone, and Shaft are Stick’s protégés.

Heather shows up at Matt's apartment, drunk and submissive. Later, Black Widow visits Foggy (clarifying that apparently the superheroine/superspy publicly dated Matt Murdock while she was Daredevil’s partner) and a Foggy tells her what Matt did to force Heather into marrying him. The pair decide that breaking up Matt and Heather would be best for both, so the Widow forges notes from one to the other facilitating this.


My Thoughts: What was the point of bringing Kirigi back? Elektra gave everything she had to beat him in a spectacular battle several issues ago, but when the Hand brought him back last issue, Stick and the others defeated him easily. If the idea was to build up Stick & Co., then fine — but they don't put up a great showing against the Hand here, so their defeat of Kirigi seems even odder in retrospect. It seems to me this plot might have been better served by having the Hand go straight for Elektra.

It's also annoying that, as I noted last issue, Daredevil isn't very special anymore. Stick has apparently taught Stone and the others how to access their hypersenses as well, to the point that they hear things better than DD — and they're not even blind! This has to be the number one development from Miller’s run that I'm a hundred percent against.


But in any case, it's clear now that Miller knows his time with Daredevil is coming to an end, and he's doing his best to tie up all the loose ends. This time it's the Matt/Heather relationship, which comes to a bizarre and abrupt ending as Foggy makes the unilateral decision to split them apart rather than, I dunno, talking to Matt about his behavior. We also find that Matt actually did do all those nasty things to Heather in order to force her into marriage, which really makes him one of the worst human beings ever to headline a Marvel comic as a “good guy”. Foggy suggests that Elektra’s death is behind all this, but that just feels like a flimsy excuse for Matt's behavior.

The book is closed on Stick here as well, as Miller kills him off in a noble sacrifice. This should have been his end — he's a fairly minor character, more of a plot device than anything else — but for whatever reason, subsequent writers would decide that he should come back, even though Stone makes it quite clear here that he can't be restored. I have no problem with some resurrections in comics now and then. It's bringing back completely unnecessary characters like Stick that gets me. What possible reason could there ever be for this guy to return?

Lastly, Miller’s timeline is a little weird here. Right after the fight with the Hand, Stone says he's going to meditate for five hours. Black Widow takes a shower. Heather shows up. Daredevil and the Widow set out to search for the Hand. Widow says she'll search uptown while DD checks out the docks. Widow meets with Foggy, he suggests the forgery, she plants the notes, and next thing we see, Matt is in a suit at the Nelson & Murdock offices calling Heather after reading the note. Then he and the Widow meet back up with Stone at Matt’s place.


So the stupid-drunk Heather left Matt’s and went home to find the note? Why did Matt change clothes and go to the office in the middle of his search for the Hand? Was the letter planted there rather than his home, even though his brownstone was the last place Heather had been? Then suddenly he's back at his place with Black Widow and Stone as if nothing happened. The scene with the notes feels totally out of place here and seems like it should've been held for next issue, after the events of the night chronicled here. Really, is just feels like Miller suddenly realized he was leaving and crammed this resolution into the story whether it fit or not.

But in any case, that's it for Matt and Heather within the context of Frank Miller’s DAREDEVIL. Next time Miller will wrap up Elektra in a double-sized climax!

5 comments:

  1. "The energies -- of two score human souls... could any man contain them?" Omega Red, obviously.

    I don't know, bringing Kirigi back is questionable, especially when he is done away again in short order, but it has the benefit that we now have seen on-panel that resurrecting Elektra through ninja-magiks is possible. Kirigi's hasty demise again reminds of the entertainment stable that a character, who has been legitly dead but is brought back, is prone to die "again" and return to dead before the end, probably for some great cosmic balance reasons. We go to the finale thinking that it can go either way for Elektra here.

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    1. Yeah, certainly the resurrection of Kirigi makes sense by setting a precedent for bringing back Elektra -- but we also see Stone cure Black Widow's cancer, and that is how Daredevil learns he can bring Elektra back -- so I'm not sure Kirigi's return is absolutely necessary.

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  2. I always loved the rushed solution to the Matt/Heather subplot, since it presupposes that, for something this big, this important, that neither Matt or Heather actually say anything to each other "about that note you sent me." Or Matt just reading it, after the way he's been treating Heather, and not going to see her regardless.

    Or the sheer hilarity of sending Matt Murdock, who Heather thinks is blind (as far as I remember, anyway), a handwritten letter.

    That's just Miller going "damn, I only have three issues left, better wrap this up!"

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    1. Yup, there are a ton of plot holes in Foggy's solution to the Matt/Heather situation. Now that I think about it, I wonder if Denny O'Neil picked up any of that in his subsequent run? I know he revisits Heather, turning her into an alcoholic and eventually even having her commit suicide after Matt mistreats her one time too many.

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    2. Heather does know Matt is Daredevil though, so she's probably aware he can "read" with his hypersenses.

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