Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Very Average Daredevil (Volume 3).

The Good: A fast read, Some of the artwork, Moments of charm
The Bad: Erratic artwork, Little character development, Lack of resolution
The Basics: Daredevil (Volume 3) continues the story of Daredevil as more of a team-up story than a truly Matt Murdock-driven tale.

As I prepare for Friday's Netflix debut of Jessica Jones, I've been trying to get back into a Hell's Kitchen kind of mindset. Rather than rewatch Daredevil Season 1 (reviewed here!) yet again, I figured I would read a new (to me) Daredevil book. It has been a while since I picked up Daredevil's story and I was pleasantly surprised by how effortlessly I was able to catch up by picking up Daredevil (Volume 3). Daredevil (Volume 3) picks up the story of Matt Murdock and his New York law firm after he has come into possession of the Omega Drive, a database of the identities and workings of the five biggest crime organizations in the Marvel Universe. Collectively known as Megacrime, the existence of the Omega Drive has made Daredevil a target for A.I.M., HYDRA, Agence Byzantine, and The Secret Empire.

Daredevil (rather annoyingly, no subtitle, but it seems to be commonly referred to as "Volume 3"), picks up after Daredevil has proven the worth of the Omega Drive by using its secrets to have S.H.I.E.L.D. destroy the crime organization Black Spectre. With a death mark on him, Matt Murdock is forced to ally himself with others to survive and that is where Daredevil (Volume 3) begins.

Daredevil is approached by Frank Castle, The Punisher, after he betrays Reed Richards by taking the Omega Directive away from the Baxter Building. Castle is intrigued by the idea of the Omega Directive and wants to use it to get vengeance on the four big crime organizations left in the world. After he and his new sidekick, Rachel Alves, attempt to take the Omega Directive by force, they reluctantly team with Daredevil for a "no kill" mission. Joined by Spider-Man, the quartet lays a trap for Megacrime. Unfortunately, during the operation, where Daredevil intends to publicly destroy the Omega Directive, Alves betrays the others and tries to steal the database, putting all of them in jeopardy.

Following that, Matt Murdock goes on a date with D.A. Kirsten McDuffie, where Murdock tells her the story of how he and Foggy Nelson became friends. Their date, however, is ultimately disrupted by the appearance of a very active Black Spectre agent, who promises Daredevil death and destruction. Daredevil goes out into Times Square where Megacrime descends upon him and the Omega Directive is very publicly stolen. Before Murdock can reflect upon what that means for the world, he is captured by Latverian scientists who use nanobots to rob him of all his senses!

The last two chapters of Daredevil read almost like an entirely different book than the rest of the volume and there is something very frustrating about the lack of resolution within this volume. Because Daredevil compiles issues from Daredevil, UItimate Spider-Man and The Punisher, it's pretty clear what the main story is supposed to be. Unfortunately, the latter chapters take the story in an entirely different direction that remains unresolved at the end of Daredevil (Volume 3).

That said, Daredevil (Volume 3) is such an otherwise straightforward story that it makes for an exceptionally fast read. It also does not allow for much in the way of character development. In fact, more than anyone else, Rachel Alves has the most clearly defined character arc; the others are mostly along for the plot ride. Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson's story is more of an explanation of how the two became who we've always known them to be than a story rich with new and surprising character development.

Because so many different books are represented in the anthology Daredevil (Volume 3), the artwork is incredibly inconsistent, as is the tone. Spider-Man's constant quipping undermines the practical menace of Frank Castle. And, after two chapters of deep, rich, artwork, the book becomes much simpler in its look with the volumes from the Daredevil comic book. Even the good art is not flawless - as evidenced by an A.I.M. operative being trapped in a web when Spider-Man was not part of the mission to lure A.I.M. into the trap.

Ultimately, Daredevil (Volume 3) is a thoroughly mediocre volume that might be good for a read-through, but is hard to recommend to buy to add to one's permanent graphic novel library!

For other Daredevil books, please check out my reviews of:
The Essential Daredevil Volume 1
Daredevil Vs. Bullseye
Daredevil: Visionaries Volume 1 - Frank Miller
Marked For Death
Born Again
Typhoid Mary
Guardian Devil
Parts Of A Hole
Daredevil: Yellow
Daredevil: Father
Batman/Daredevil - King of New York
Daredevil Noir
Daredevil: Golden Age
The Devil: Inside And Out, Volume 1
The Devil: Inside And Out, Volume 2
Daredevil: Hell To Pay - Volume 1
Daredevil: Hell To Pay - Volume 2
Lady Bullseye
Return Of The King
Daredevil: Shadowland
Daredevil Reborn
Daredevil: The Official Comic Adaptation


For other book reviews, please check out my Book Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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