One, Two, Kapow Comic Reviews
Editors Note: One of my many tasks on the site is to write the weekly reviews for newly released comics. However, I am currently cut off from my comic shop as I have found myself across the pond, therefore the next three One, Two, Kapow Comic Reviews shall be retro reviews of some of my favorite comics.
Today I present the final installment.
Title: Wanted #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: J.G. Jones
Review: Thumbs Up!
Wanted the comic was a fantastic mini-series, one of the best ever put out. Wanted the movie was a big disappointment, and wallowed in mediocrity compared to its counterpart. Mark Millar was heavily involved with the creation of the film’s script, so I never understood why it veered so far away from the source material that was so good. Perhaps Hollywood was just not ready for a comic book where the super heroes were dead and the super villains lived large.
Wesley Gibson is an average man, living his depressing life as though every day is the same. His girlfriend is cheating on him with his best friend, which they believe is a secret but he knows all about it. He hates his job and his verbally abuse job, spending his time their researching on the internet what psychological classification he may fit under. This continues until the father he never knew, who happened to be one of the world’s greatest super villains, is assassinated.
His father’s former partner, the Fox, is tasked with bringing Wesley in and start to explain to him how the word secretly is run by super villains. To show him, she finds him in the cafe he frequents and starts shooting people before driving him away to Professor Solomon Seltzer’s secret super villain lair. There he is told about his father, and the massive inheritance that he stands to gain, under certain conditions. His father wants Wesley to “man” up and become the killer that runs through his blood by training for six months. Wesley cannot believe it, or believe that there is anything special about himself, until under threat of being shot, he is told to shoot the wings off of six flies buzzing around. Under duress, he fires and clips all of their wings, realizing there is more to himself than he thought.
These are super villains running the world, doing whatever they want, not assassins trying to help the world by orders of a magic loom. A magic loom, what was Millar thinking with agreeing to that for the movie. I digress. In the comic Millar swiftly creates a world that otherwise seems like ours, but secretly has heroes and villains, but where all the hero’s are dead or defeated. It is really violent and some of the characters names are not suitable for print. It also featured JG Jones’ excellent art, in which he also used Eminem for the basis of Wesley and Halle Berry for the Fox. That would have been an interesting team to see in the movie. Again, I digress.
Many of the great moments in the comic series come from later issues, but without seeing how pathetic Wesley started out, it would be harder to appreciate what a bad-ass he becomes. Millar was able to pack a lot into one issue that had me hooked right away which is not always easy with number one. If you had happened to have seen the movie and it wasn’t your speed, pick this up to see how amazing it could have been. If you liked the movie, for some odd reason, trust me that the comic version is so much sweeter.
Title: Daredevil vol. 2 #50
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Review: Thumbs Up!
It is hard to pick just a single issue to review from such an amazing run as Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev put together on Daredevil. I’m not trying to say that this issue was the best from the run; it may just be, but that would be even harder to decide. What I am saying is that this is one hell of an issue no matter what.
Matt Murdock has gone through some pretty tough times as Daredevil, but by this point he had really gone through the ringer. It was not so long ago that Bullseye had killed another great love of his life, Karen Page, during Kevin Smith’s beginning of this volume. Now Bendis had made things much worse by outing Matt to the public as being Daredevil. The Kingpin took this opportunity to come out of his exile and turn Bullseye and Typhoid Mary loose on Matt while he re-consolidated his old power base. Matt is able to nearly beat his two opponents and sets his “sights” towards Kingpin.
In an abandoned warehouse in Hell’s Kitchen, Kingpin tells his former underlings that they will come back under his control, or suffer the consequences. His threats work, and as it seems he is ready to be back on top, Daredevil drives a car through the building and confronts his archenemy. Matt has been driven over the edge and in his rage, decides things cannot continue between the Kingpin and him as they had before. The two engage in an epic slugfest which Kingpin has the upper hand in considering Matt’s already exhausted and beaten state. Matt finally knocks the Kingpin down and makes him stay down by beating him to a bloody pulp.
Driving to the local bar full of criminals, Matt throws the Kingpin on the hood of the car and drives it through the wall. He tells the criminals that they can either leave Hell’s Kitchen, or make a life change and do something useful to society. Pointing out the bloody former crime boss, he tells them that he is the new “Kingpin” and if anyone wants to oppose him, they can look at how that turned out for Wilson Fisk.
Seeing Matt finally driven past his breaking point was fantastic. The Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, had destroyed Matt’s life numerous times before and he finally had enough. He did not cross that line of actually killing his enemy, but driving his beaten, bloody body through a bar wall is a statement that will never be forgotten. Bendis came in and made Matt Murdock’s life hell, and this issue was one of the first to show that he wasn’t going to take it lying down.
Alex Maleev’s art on the book was fantastic throughout, but seeing his epic fight between Daredevil and the Kingpin was amazing. How could Marvel make it even better? By having guests artists come in to draw panels during the battle such as Romita Sr, Quesada, Weeks, Janson, Mack, Colan, and Oeming. Having them come on board for even such a small portion worked brilliantly as Matt thought to himself how many time the two had fought before and how it always continued in a circle.
Daredevil has had some amazing issues in 60 years, but watching him declare himself the new Kingpin was a brand new state of mind for Matt that of course lead to his eventual downfall in Shadowland. There have been some amazing runs, Miller’s and Smith’s easily come to mind. Bendis wrote probably the greatest Daredevil run ever though, and if you want to see why in just one issue, check this one out.