Monday, November 13, 2006

The Weekend and Daredevil

Wow. You're probably reading this at work. I wish I had a job.

The weekend disappeared into a colossal loss. I wish I could say it had been more productive.

Last night Mangum (Matt, not Dusty) came by to watch UT beat KSU. Boy, did that not turn out well. Well, the Mangum coming by part worked like a charm. The "UT is going to beat the tar out of these 6-4 hosers" part didn't pan out quite how I'd hoped.

Still, it's always nice to catch up with Mangum.

Today, Jason woke me after 10:00. We went and got breakfast at Maudie's, and then returned to my house to digest Maudie's. This took more than an hour. We kept trying to think of something to do, but I didn't want to go spend money, and Jason was planning to head to a movie tonight, so that was out. Eventually we both acknowledged having chores/errands and parted ways.

I ran an errand or two, played with teh dogs in the yard and enjoyed the lovely Austin Fall day, did some cleaning up, and then went to get Jamie from the airport.

Returned home, and watched the Bears defeat (to my surprise) the NY Giants. That's about it.

Leaguers, you know I love my DC Comics, but that doesn't mean I don't read the Marvelous competition. And one comic that I am addicted to like old people try to mainline "The Price is Right" is Daredevil. Sure, the Affleck/Garner inflicted movie set back the franchise 20 years, and the subsequent "Elektra" movie was a dud, but the comics have had a few good runs that rival any storyline from X-Men or Batman you want to pull out of your hat. No, really.

Daredevil basically follows the adventures of Matt Murdock: blind attorney by day, super-hero with radar sense and ninja-like training protecting the streets of NYC's Hell's Kitchen by night.

I highly recommend the Frank Miller-era stories (which were the basis for the Daredevil movie and which spawned Elektra) which truly redefined the urban vigilante and made a lot of long-time comic fans finally take ntoice of the character. You can find these currently as Daredevil Visionaries 1-3, and Daredevil: Born Again.

Miller established the device which makes Daredevil work: Completely destroy Matt Murdock. Kill his friends. Make his girfriend betray him, etc... have the biggest crime boss in NYC go after him in his civilian identity... and when all hope is lost, let him start fighting back.

In the late 1990's, Marvel relaunched Daredevil under the unfortunate pen of movie-maker Kevin Smith, who put together a barely plausible storyline... But at least Smith got the title up and running again.

Brian Michael Bendis took the title over shortly therafter, and delivered several years worth of stories, all under one continuous storyline as Daredevil's secret identity is compromised.

The storyline was a bold call, and Bendis' treatment of the idea was well thought-out, and believable as could be expected in a book with superheroes. Many comic readers and Daredevil fans took umbrage when Daredevil would fail to actually don tights for several issues at a time, but I think those readers were missing the point of what Bendis was doing with the greatest superhero "what if?" storyline in recent memory.

While the end of Bendis's run was phenomenal, the truth is that as long as the comic continues to go to print, it's not entirely clear HOW they will ever wrap up the storyline. And that's got me hooked.

Of late, crime-comic scribe Ed Brubaker has been given the reins, and brought Gotham Central artist Michael Lark with him to the comic. I've just finished reading their first collection, "Daredevil: The Devil Inside and Out", and while the story is definitely Brubaker and Lark's, the continuity of Bendis's excellent stories seems to have given Brubaker some excellent territory to mine. In fact, I wonder if Brubaker isn't willing to take the brakes off even a little more than Bendis.

Great stuff.

If you're looking for something to start picking up in collected format, I highly recommend. Heck, I'll even try to point you to an online service or comic shop to help you out, if you'd like.

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