Comic Review – “Daredevil: Underboss”

Marvel’s most underappreciated title character gets caught in the
middle when the Kingpin faces insurrection.

General Information

Title: Daredevil: Underboss

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator: Alex Maleev

Original Publication Date: 2002 reprint of material first published
from 2001-2002

ISBN: 0-7851-1024-0

Cover Price: $14.99 US, $24.00 Can

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The Kingpin’s men rise up against him, while an open bounty is
on the head of Matthew Murdock.

This collects issues 26-31 of the second volume of
Daredevil. The title feels a lot more like a crime
book than
a superhero book, which works very well when you’re not actually
expecting a superhero book. (I think my opinion of the 25 cent
will improve when I go back and re-read it knowing what to

High Point

Vanessa Fisk’s reaction. One of the marks of the second
volume of
this title seems to be that every story arc has an impact that will
felt throughout the run of the title. (The arc through issues 20-25
may be an exception; based on the volume labels on this trade
Daredevil: Wake Up, I’d say that Marvel has no
intentions of
reprinting it, which must mean that it tanked in sales.)

Low Point

Where did the man in the crowd go? Argh!

The Scores

The entire purpose of this story arc seems to have been to push
Daredevil and his greatest villain into completely new and
territory. Combine that will Bendis’ “crime comic” feel and you
get a
pretty original product. I give it 6 out of 6.

The artwork leaves something to be desired. The
gritty feel
is nice, but at no time do I forget that I’m looking at a series of
still images. There is no sense of motion most of the time. Matt
Murdock spent four pages talking to a jury with his mouth closed!
give it 3 out of 6.

The story is very well written, and in a non-linear
storytelling fashion. The action jumps around within a three
span (for the most part), but it still comes across clearly,
through detective work and dramatic irony what was happening
the scenes, allowing some scenes to shock the reader in ways
that a
chronological story wouldn’t allow. I give it 6 out of 6.

The characterization was very well done. The entire
family, Mr. Silke, Foggy, and Matt all came through clearly.
Fisk is a changed man in many ways. Richard Fisk shows
himself to be
a mewling child after all these years. It’s a very human story. I
give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response this generated was
excellent. The
only negative moment was my first look at the art. Four pages
I was hooked for the duration. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow was marred only by the art. Even the
plot wasn’t really a problem. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s an excellently written and adequately
story. If you like crime comics, pick this up. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Daredevil: Underboss receives 35 out of 42.