Brubaker’s run concludes, and delivers on the promise to shake things up. Bendis’ run ended with Murdock in jail, and while I won’t directly spoil the new status quo, I’m pretty sure you can guess from this upcoming Daredevil cover that Marvel released before this issue. It’s a satisfying change, and while it may not be the most original, it has the potential to provide some great stories from new Daredevil scribe, Andy Diggle. Speaking of Diggle, one of this issue’s special features is a preview of Diggle’s first DD issue, The List, the upcoming Dark Reign special. It’s underwhelming, but mostly because of Billy Tan, and going from Michael Lark to Billy Tan just exacerbates the problem.
Michael Lark produces some stunning work, as he always does. Whether it’s the opening, tender shots of Matt and his tortured wife, Milla, or the electrifying showdown between Daredevil, Lady Bullseye, and the Kingpin, Lark hits all the right notes. Matt Hollingsworth, the colorist, also does a fantastic job, and it should be noted that Andy Diggle isn’t the only one with big shoes to fill. I hope Roberto De La Torre will step up to the challenge, and from what I’ve seen, it looks like he will.
The first special feature of this anniversary issue is the aforementioned List preview. After that, former Daredevil scribe, Ann Nocenti, provides the story, 3 Jacks. Nocenti was known for her controversially preachy storytelling, but she’s a better writer now, and the subtext is subtler. Nocenti is also smart enough to give her collaborator, the brilliant David Aja, a bone-crunching fight scene to render. I don’t think I’ve ever been more impressed with a back-story. I’ve longed for more Aja output for awhile, but now, I want more Nocenti too.
After that, we get a wonderful pinup gallery rendered by a variety of artists from Brian Michael Bendis to Patrick Zircher. The standout is the one you see above you, from the Brazilian artist, Rafael Grampá. He’s pretty new to America, but he’s already won an Eisner, and after seeing that Daredevil, I think he’s going to go far. Check out his Batman and Robin!
Rounding out the extras is a reprint of one of, if not the best, single issue from Frank Miller’s run, Daredevil #191. Remember when Matt plays Russian roulette with a paralyzed Bullseye? Yeah, that one.
You put that all together and you get one of the best comics from Marvel all year! Brubaker concludes everything, and leaves his mark on Daredevil, giving him a bright future ripe with possibilities.