Matt Murdock’s life is still miserable.

General Information

Title: Daredevil Vol. 9: King of Hell’s Kitchen

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s): Alex Maleev

Original Publication Date: The first of five issues
(#56-60) in the storyline
is dated March 2004. The trade paperback is
available.

ISBN: 0-7851-1337-1

Cover Price: $13.99 US

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

Matt Murdock has to deal with the ramifications of
taking over as the
Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen.

High Point

“You’re really good at this.” A perfect line that
sums up a great
issue perfectly.

Low Point

A year? That doesn’t work. They keep repeating over
and over again
that there was a year between declaring himself
Kingpin and this
story. My problem is this: at the end of
Alias, Jessica
Jones is three months pregnant. Daredevil has been
outed, but he’s
not the Kingpin yet. In this story, Jessica is still
pregnant.
That’s not a year later. Four or five months would
have been enough
for these things to happen, and I think it would have
had a greater
impact if that were the timeline instead of the
obviously broken one
we’ve got.

The only way to fix this now is if Jessica get
pregnant again shortly
after giving birth to her first child.

The Scores

Bendis’ work on this title has never felt like the
typical superhero
stuff. He still gets originality credit for
everything
that’s happening with Milla and Urich. The actual
climax feels
similar to what got Murdock into this mess, but it’s
what the
character needed, so it’s hard to hold that against
him. I give it 4
out of 6.

The artwork is still Maleev. It’s got the
gritty feel, but
not the clarity. I give it 3 out of 6.

The story is well executed with the
exception of that time
frame. I would be more forgiving about that, but it
must have been
mentioned seven or eight times, usually repeatedly in
a short span of
conversation. We just kept getting beaten over the
head with it. I
give it 4 out of 6.



The characterization is where Bendis does
his best work. All
of the characters seem quite clear and very realistic
in their
behaviour. Rereading this gives me more hope for
The New
Avengers
than the current Chaos story
in
Avengers does. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is very strong in the
end. At first,
the time frame grates, but they do stop talking about
that eventually,
and the last two issues are just packed with the
kinds of things I
read Daredevil for. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow suffered from unclear art, and from
two distracting
spelling mistakes. Using “hoped” instead of “hopped”
wasn’t too bad,
but spelling Ben Urich’s name wrong (Uhrich)
practically leaps off the
page. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent collection. If
you’ve enjoyed the
previous volumes by these creators, pick it up, and
mentally replace
“one year” with “five months” every time it comes up.
I give it 4 out
of 6.

In total, Daredevil Vol. 9: King of Hell’s
Kitchen
receives
29 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

The Black Widow storyline recently wrapped up. I’ll
have that review
done before the trade comes out next month.