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Reviews by Harold Bloomfield (

Daredevil #30

This chapter of "Underboss" features 4 pages of Daredevil and Ben Urich followed by the unveiling of Silke's plot against the Kingpin which unfolds like an episode of "The Sopranos". Richard Fisk reveals to Silke that Matt Murdock is Daredevil and that unknown to the Kingpin most of his organization is aware of this. Silke is outraged that Kingpin protects Murdock and Daredevil both of whom cause damage to his organization. He then goes about convincing the heads of the other crime families to turn against the Kingpin arguing he is now weak and has been exploiting them for years. Ultimately, as we know from prior issues, they are won over. The final page of the issue switches back to the present where Vanessa Fisk supervises the Kingpin's transfer to Switerland and stays behind to exact retribution.

The openning talk between Daredevil and Ben Urich, while highlighted by Bendis usual way with dialogue, is puzzling. Daredevil knows the Kingpin did not order the hit on Matt Murdock but that the word was put out on the street that he did. This is an indication of a serious challenge to the Kingpin yet Daredevil questions Urich reasoning that the hit on him is connected to the attack on the Kingpin. I also don't think Bendis has made a strong case that the hit on Matt Murdock is triggered by Silke discovering Daredevil's secret identity. Afterall, Silke's father wants Murdock dead and putting the hit out against the Kingpin's wishes is a natural challenge, in no way dependent or heightened by the fact that Murdock is Daredevil. Perhaps Bendis meant to show Silke's discovery of the Kingpin's knowledge of Daredevil's secret identity as the last straw, finalizing his decision to act.

The rest of the issue centers on Silke's convincing the other mobsters to join him in the revolt against the Kingpin. Here it is more like a straight crime book than a superhero one. As long as it's a well done crime book and the focus eventually shifts back to Daredevil there's nothing wrong with it. Fortunately it is a well done crime book. Silke's view of things is spelled out and he offers compelling reasons for the others to join him. Although it is pointed out by Ben Urich and not voiced by the mobsters, the Kingpin's blindness surley makes him a less imposing adversary than before.

Maleev's use of darkness and shadows fits this story well. I am curious to see if he stays with this approach when the story line and mood aren't of the noir variety. The visual overlaping of past events: Silke and Richard witnessing their fathers strangle a man, the Kingpin's terrorizing of his "associates" and his brutualization of Richard while they are discussed in the present is done to great effect. Without these we'd have a whole issue of talking heads.

This is overall an effective issue but it barely moves the plot along at all. Ben Urich convinces Daredevil that more people know his secret identity and Vanessa Fisk is staying in New York to avenge the attack on her husband. The rest of the time we're given the details behind actions which are already part of the story. Fine for one issue but I think Bendis has used up that device for this arc. This is a solid issue but it has the effect of slowing things down a bit too much so that "Underboss" needs to kick it in gear next issue.

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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