Sunday, October 30, 2011

Daredevil Goes International When Matt Murdock Is On The Run In Daredevil: The Devil, Inside And Out - Volume 2!

The Good: Sense of scope, Artwork in the Foggy Nelson story
The Bad: Most of the artwork, Surprisingly light on character.
The Basics: Daredevil: The Devil, Inside And Out - Volume 2 puts Daredevil on the run to Paris with the alternate Daredevil fighting to maintain order in Hell's Kitchen.

As my Daredevil Year rushes toward the end, I have actually managed to get in some volumes of Daredevil that I have generally enjoyed. With the newer stories, there has been a far more serialized sense to the book and less of an emphasis on transitional villains. As such, I have been enjoying some of the books written by Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker and Kevin Smith. I generally enjoyed Daredevil: The Devil, Inside And Out - Volume 1 (reviewed here!). So, if anything, I went into Volume 2 biased toward the book.

Sadly, though, Daredevil: The Devil, Inside And Out - Volume 2 did not live up to my hopes for it, especially on the art and character fronts. Ed Brubaker does not have the psychological complexity working for his Matt Murdock in this volume the way he did in the first. Instead, this is a split book and part of the problem is the sketchy artwork that lowers the readability of the book. Having read what comes next, Daredevil: The Devil, Inside And Out - Volume 2 has almost no relation to what comes next and the reader needs only two essential elements from this book for the story that follows.

"The Secret Life Of Foggy Nelson" finds the recently-killed best friend of Matt Murdock very much alive. In the witness protection program, Foggy's story is explained. Recruited by the government, Nelson sees the opportunity to protect Murdock and get himself out of the impending bloodbath in Hell's Kitchen. With his death faked, he is able to better investigate who is after Matt. This first chapter of the book features amazing artwork. The pages are almost airbrushed and feature excellent shading and subtlety of colors. The characters look good and in this chapter, Foggy Nelson comes alive remarkably well. It is refreshing for the recurring character to get the spotlight and seem much more human and viable.

The rest of the book is "The Devil Takes A Ride" and in that, Daredevil follows clues out of the country to the one who not only framed him to get him arrested, but may have orchestrated the jailbreak that set him free. He journeys to Paris and back in Hell's Kitchen, the alternate Daredevil continues to rule over the streets. What Daredevil discovers overseas sends him careening back to Hell's Kitchen on a collision course with his old nemesis, Wilson Fisk.

On the character front, Daredevil: The Devil, Inside And Out - Volume 2 is very light on character, though the plot machinations do make it appear like Murdock's character is taking quite a leap. The book makes a tie between Wilson Fisk and Matt Murdock and the brutal turn of the characters is actually more plot based. When Murdock comes face to face with a surprising adversary, he actually finds himself having something in common with his worst enemy. That bond is more flimsy than truly incredible and while the final diatribe by Murdock is interesting, it is not truly incredible.

On the other front, the Daredevil in Hell's Kitchen is a plot thread that is not as engaging as one might suspect. The replacement Daredevil is not given room to develop and who the replacement is is not all that interesting. There is not much of a mystery to it, or at least not one that has much consequence. When the alternate is revealed, the conversation between him and Murdock is nothing deep.

The real problem with Daredevil: The Devil, Inside And Out - Volume Two is in the artwork. "The Devil Takes A Ride" portion of the book is terribly illustrated. The book features lines that are erratic, like sketches and the unrefined quality of the artwork makes the overseas adventure more unsettling. The panels do not feature a strong sense of movement or anything interesting or accurate in the coloring department. Instead, the book is unrefined and the characters are frequently unrecognizable as a result.

Ultimately, Daredevil: The Devil, Inside And Out - Volume Two is a middle act and while it sets up some character elements for what follows, the book is mostly unnecessary and poorly concludes the story that set it up.

For other Volume 2 Daredevil books, please check out my reviews of:
Guardian Devil
Parts Of A Hole
Daredevil: Yellow
Batman/Daredevil - King of New York
Daredevil Noir
Daredevil: Golden Age
Daredevil: Hell To Pay - Volume 1
Daredevil: Hell To Pay - Volume 2
Daredevil: Shadowland


For other book reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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