The Good: Decent premise for a mystery, Decent artwork
The Bad: Characters are not engaging, No character growth.
The Basics: After working to piece together Daredevil's Shadowland Saga, I find Shadowland: Blood On The Streets to be a distracting tangent story.
As my Daredevil Year rushes toward its conclusion, I have been reading more and graphic novels and sometimes, I run into one that I just cannot muster enough enthusiasm to write much of a review for. Tonight, that comes in the form of Shadowland: Blood On The Streets. I picked up Shadowland: Blood On The Streets because when I read Shadowland and Shadowland: Daredevil and there seemed to be many missing pieces to the story that left me feeling disappointed. I loathe having stories where the missing pieces detract from the overall story.
Unfortunately, Shadowland: Blood On The Streets does not clear up any of the gaps in the main narrative. Instead, this is a tangent story simply set in the darkened Hell's Kitchen under Daredevil's reign.
With Daredevil holed up in his Shadowland castle, the streets of Hell's Kitchen are filled with fear. With the Hand watching over the streets, it seems inconceivable that a murder could occur. And yet, when a prominent mobster is killed, it draws the attention of some of the vigilantes who are worried about Daredevil's ebbing grip on sanity. When another mobster is killed, it seems even less random than the first.
The Shroud, Misty Knight, Paladin and Silver Sable begin investigating the murders and start to question how the murders could occur with the Hand ruthlessly controls Shadowland. They are given the unenviable task of investigating the Hand and Matt Murdock and the forces they come up against compel them to work together.
And the reader doesn't care. Shadowland: Blood On The Streets features the c-list vigilante characters of the Marvel Universe. While DC Universe stories like Justice (reviewed here!) and Identity Crisis (reviewed here!) hinge upon third-tier characters and develop in such a way that the reader comes to care about the characters, Shadowland: Blood On The Streets is not so fortunate. The Anthony Johnston-written story is so plot-intensive that it plods along without likable or even interesting characters.
I knew nothing about Misty Knight, Paladin, Silver Sable or the Shroud before beginning Shadowland: Blood On The Streets and this book did not inspire me to read up on any of them. The book does not provide any intriguing character elements to make the reader want to learn more or even become invested enough to care about who is actually behind the murders.
On the plus side, the book looks good. Wellington Alves makes the book look good and because most of the panels are dark, the coloring is incredibly important. The depth and shading makes for a visually satisfying experience, even if one doesn't care about what is in the panels.
Ultimately, this book is not worth the read and I can't even muster up enough interest to critique it more.
For other books around this time in the Marvel universe, be sure to check out:
Daredevil: Hell To Pay - Volume 1
Daredevil: Hell To Pay - Volume 2
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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