Mel’s Muses: Daredevil #9 and Avenging Spider-Man #4

It’s been half a year since DC’s new 52 titles and my DC pull list has dwindled to a little more than a dozen a month. I have already gushed over Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman, and Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman in my previous posts, and as far as I’m concerned that’s about all from DC this week that are worth getting. So it looks like it’s gonna be an all-Marvel Muse line-up but was it all good?

Daredevil #9. Don’t you just love it when the bad guys become breakout stars in a title? Hey, I know I do and in this latest issue of Daredevil, writer Mark Waid and artist Paolo Rivera have elevated pudgy Fantastic Four villain the Mole Man and his army of mindless yellow moloids to an all-new level of creepiness.

It’s (so far) a pretty straightforward 2-parter with the Mole Man stealing coffins from New York cemeteries and dragging them to his underground lair. Unfortunately one of those caskets has Matt (Daredevil) Murdock’s father’s corpse in it which naturally prompted our hero to swing into action. Rivera is at his best here. The scenes of the silent moloids dragging a train of coffins through vast underground caverns were priceless. He gave the little critters wrinkly, yellow skin, zombie-like mannerisms, and a truly sinister air about them. I thought the shadowy, almost soundless panels of them lugging the coffins were disturbingly eerie and really conveyed the moloids some much-needed menacing street … I mean, underground cred.

In an interview with Comic Book Recourses, Waid revealed how the underworld scenes came to him. “It came from feverish images (literally feverish — I was in bed with a bad cold) of Daredevil in Hell, navigating the underworld and its darkness and its creatures and its unstable terrain. Once I added Mole Man to that mix, the story demanded to be told,” he said. How cool is that?

I also like how Rivera illustrates Daredevil’s radar sense where it’s more like a sonar vision so you kinda get a 3D depth to the surroundings. There are scenes where we’ll get a shot of what Daredevil is ‘seeing’ which is different from what everyone is seeing. Like in the caverns, we see giant monsters lurking in the shadows but Daredevil’s not picking them up with his radar sense.

Now I don’t know what Waid has planned for the Mole Man but that panel with him dancing with the corpse, that’s disturbing to say the least. All in all, I’d pick Daredevil as my Marvel pick of the week.

Avenging Spider-Man #4. Wasn’t so long ago when there used to be half a dozen Spidey titles every month, then it went down to one main title Amazing Spider-Man with the incomparable Dan Slott being the current writer. Well, that might be coming back with this new addition, Avenging Spider-Man is a new team-up book with Spidey changing partners with his Avenger teammates every story arc. The first 3-issue arc featured the Red Hulk and while that story was average at best, this latest one with Hawkeye came off as just plain bad.

This is not the Hawkeye I know. Writer Zeb Wells gave us a brash, loud-mouthed, reckless Hawkeye. This is more like a young Hawkeye from 30 or 40 years ago instead of the mature, responsible Avenger whom Captain America just picked as the leader of the Secret Avengers. Thank the stars this is only a single-issue story.

Stay away from this is what I say. Really, if you want a good Spidey title, pick up the aforementioned Amazing Spider-Man title and if you want to see Hawkeye in action, there’s Secret Avengers by writer Rick Remender of Uncanny X-Force fame.


Melvin Yong has worked way too long in the media and advertising industry. He now spends his time with his family, writing short horror stories and playing lots of board games.

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