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Reviews by Harold Bloomfield (

Daredevil #27

Chapter two of "Underboss" the first arc from Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev finds them both in top form. An introductory page narrative brings everyone up to speed on the events of last issue saving Bendis the trouble of putting the details in characters' mouths. It's a good feature and I hope they keep it. In fact other books should take note. From there we are again one week before the murder of the Kingpin and right after the attack on Matt Murdock by Nitro, the human bomb. Bendis gives us some of his trademark sharp dialogue between a veteran cop and his rookie partner. The sequence where they come upon Daredevil and Nitro is tension filled and nicely set up by their prior conversation.

More sharp dialogue from Bendis highlights Matt's visit to Foggy in the hospital which features a visit from Foggy's birth mother. Two more strong sequences follow with Daredevil confronting Kingpin about the attack on Matt Murdock and a flashback to Silke's introduction to the New York crime scene. The confrontation with the Kingpin show Bendis has a handle on his relationship with Daredevil and also has a nod to the Kingpin's blindness to good effect. It also features Daredevil's first meeting with Silke which ends up painful for the latter. Some of Silke's background is revealed in his scene. He's from New Jersey and his father is a former partner of the Kingpin. Bendis also gives us a view of the drunken shell that is the Kingpin's son, Richard. Someone should remind Silke what happened to Richard when he took on his father all those years ago as the Schemer towards the end of Stan Lee's Spider-Man run.

Whereas I had problems with the "painting" or inking of Maleev's pencils last issue I have no such problems here. Maybe I just got used to it fast or the action sequences are little more fluid. Either way it makes for effective art in this issue. In fact the whole thing is impressive and makes you wonder if you read "Ultimate Spider-Man" or "Alias" or "Powers" how Bendis can deliver so many high quality scripts month after month. In that vein check out the three part "Ultimate Marvel Team-Up" featuring Daredevil and the Punisher. It is also by Bendis and very much worth your while.

I really can't find much to criticize in this issue. The jumping back and forth in timeframes fits the story well. It doesn't cause any confusion and heightens the drama more so than if Bendis used a more straight forward narrative. As I said I'm warming to the painted style Maleev has chosen so the artwork is no longer a problem for me. Also knowing Bendis is on the book for more than just the "Underboss" story adds to the promise of this creative team. While many very strong arcs have preceded Bendis and Maleev on Volume two none of the writers before have had a chance to plan far ahead and introduce elements into their stories that will develop over time. Bendis has that chance and is fully capable of taking great advantage of it.

Again the second chapter of "Underboss" is very effective and a fine read. I can't wait to see where Bendis and Maleev take us for the rest of this arc and beyond.

Daredevil (and other related characters appearing) and the distinctive likenesses are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used WITHOUT permission.
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