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DD Book Club - Ghost of Evil's Past

 
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Mike Murdock
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Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1558

PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:11 pm    Post subject: DD Book Club - Ghost of Evil's Past Reply with quote

A quick scheduling note, after this issue, I will be taking a two-week break because I'm getting married and going on my honeymoon. So this will be the last one until then.

With the Shang-Chi movie coming out, I thought this Daredevil Annual was a good choice. Daredevil is often self-contained and, when he crosses over with the rest of the Marvel universe, it's with only a handful of characters. So this is a fun, rare, Shang-Chi crossover from the Fall From Grace era.

Daredevil Annual #10 - Ghost of Evil's Past

Quote:
The Snakeroot returns! The sinister order has resurrected an old foe of Daredevil and Elektra, one who won't rest until they're put down for good! Guest-starring the Master of Kung Fu, Shang-Chi!


Due 9/4
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Dimetre
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Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1255
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this issue.

The bulk of this is made up of Greg Wright's Daredevil and Elektra story entitled "Vendettas", which also includes a large guest turn from Shang Chi. I'm not overly familiar with Shang Chi, knowing him best from his inclusion in the Marvel Knights series. I had no idea who Ghostmaker was before reading this story today.

I was particularly impressed with Kris Renkewitz' art. He reminds me of Mark Bagley, but he has good instincts for layout is very strong, showing great flow from panel to panel. The fight between Ghostmaker and Shang Chi was particularly powerful. Renkewitz left comics behind twenty years ago to work for work in video games.

If I have to complain about anything, it's that Daredevil's anger treads into that 90s faux-edginess territory. I don't think that's a good look for Daredevil. He's not Wolverine, nor should he try to be. I also found Ghostmaker kind of laughable. His first-person narration betrays the fact that he has such a huge idea of himself, but he keeps proving himself exceedingly fallible over and over again. It gets to be pretty funny.

Still, the fights in this story are great, and I can see a comics fan really enjoying this at the time. Wright and Renkewitz proved themselves a far better team than D.G. Chichester and Scott McDaniel were at the same time.

The Black Widow story, entitled "Dead End", is brought to us by writer Mindy Newell and penciller Sergio Cariello. It's a good idea for a story, spinning out of Natasha's belief that Matt is dead. I liked the underwater scene, and I thought Karla was a very promising villain. A quick Google search showed that this was Karla's only appearance which I think is a shame. However, I found Cariello's artwork to be quite inconsistent, and I felt Newell rushed some of the scenes. The scene with Natasha and Fury had some space and was allowed to breathe, as did the scuba diving scene, but then we get to a flashback between Natasha and Karla, and it felt as though we were trying to squish as much as possible into the few remaining pages. It's too bad.

Still, I think this annual is fun. I'm giving it a four out of five.
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Mike Murdock
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Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 1558

PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I know very little about Shang-Chi, I've actually been reading the original Master of Kung Fu recently and found it surprisingly good. This villain is very late in the series. All I remember about him is he gets killed by acid rain. I think he was a Russian-Mongolian assassin or something.

The character, last time, had nothing to do with the Hand. It feels somewhat forced for Snakeroot to resurrect him. That being said, that odd fit is something played up in the story. Basically, it's just an excuse to have Shang-Chi. Ghostmaker keeps getting distracted because he'd rather fight Shang-Chi instead. Speaking of, there's a gap between Master of Kung Fu and this story but when I last saw the character, he wasn't working for MI-6 anymore and has consistently hated the "games of deceipt and death" so I'm curious why he's at his current status quo.

The other big thing is we get to have a Daredevil/Elektra team up. Frankly, this is what the main book should have focused on after Fall From Grace. We get a little in Tree of Knowledge, but they really failed to follow up on the potential. What's the point of bringing back the character if you don't use her? Well, this Annual is probably the best we get. We see the character is conflicted between good and evil and the use of the Sai is an effective way of showing that. There's also some good callbacks to Elektra: Assassin with the stench of the Beast. I'd love to see Elektra hunting the Hand as her mission.

Four Stars. It's a good, readable story, but there's very little special about it.

I like the backup story. It's good seeing people morn and it leads to a nice Black Widow story where she explores something unfinished in her past while engaging in espionage and searching for revenge. It's pretty much what you would want from a Black Widow story. I'd give it Four and a Half Stars. The biggest weakness is the art, which is all over the map.
_________________
Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

Not sure what to read next? Check out the Book Club for some ideas!

I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons
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Dimetre
Wake Up


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1255
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2021 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: DD Book Club - Ghost of Evil's Past Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:
A quick scheduling note, after this issue, I will be taking a two-week break because I'm getting married and going on my honeymoon. So this will be the last one until then.

Congratulations Mike Murdock, if that's your REAL name....
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