DAREDEVIL BY ED BRUBAKER & MICHAEL LARK ULTIMATE COLLECTION VOL. 2 (Marvel, 2012; Softcover)
Collects Daredevil Nos. 94-105 (cover dates April, 2007- April, 2008)
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Michael Lark (Penciler), Paul Azaceta (additional Penciler #103-105), Stefano Gaudiano (Inker), Tom Palmer (additional Inker #104), and issue 100 hallucination sequences by Marko Djurdjevic, John Romita, Sr., Al Milgrom, Bill Sienkiewicz, Alex Maleev, and Lee Bermejo
Colorists: Matt Hollingsworth with additional coloring by Paul Mounts (#103), Dean White (#100), and Stefano Gaudiano (#100)
Poor Matt Murdock. Things go from bad to worse for ol' Daredevil this time out. He may be a free man who has fooled some of the public into thinking that he is not Daredevil, but every villain knows the score and is intent on making him and his loved ones pay. His wife, Milla Donovan, is the target this time out.
We see lots of great vintage villains throughout this book, from the Gladiator to the Enforcers to Mister Fear. Mister Fear is the main adversary for Daredevil this time out, and I never pegged him as a big leaguer until now. Neither did The Hood for that matter. I loved seeing the Wrecking Crew working separately and together, as I have always been a sucker for them. Blame it on the original Secret Wars mini-series.
As always, Brubaker brings the goods, resulting in a bleary eyed morning the next day. I usually don't start reading comic books until my kids go to sleep, maybe around 9 o'clock. I could not put the book down, having to stay up well past my bedtime to finish it. Like any late night that was worth it, I have no regrets. Michael Lark and Matt Hollingsworth's hard-edged pencil and color art perfectly compliment the white-knuckled proceedings.
Issue 100 was great, featuring a drugged/gassed Daredevil hallucinating and reliving various parts of his life, or warped versions of them at least. His hallucinations are all done by different artists (listed above), and I loved it. I guess the kids would call this a “comic jam”.
Daredevil is pushed to his outermost edge, and you see more and more cracks in his sanity with each new twist. I am happy that this run lives on through collected editions. In the bad old days this run would have came and went, and as Ed Brubaker's fame grew and word circulated at how good this run was, everyone would be scrambling for however many copies of each issue existed. The result would be expensive back issues, or at least 2-3 times cover price, none of which the creators or Marvel would have seen a dime of. I do not miss going to comic shops and digging through back issue boxes one bit. Someone hurled an insult at us trade waiters as “couch potato comic fans”. Us so-called trade waiters mock the floppy buyers. Can't we all just get along?
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- I love these chunky trade paperbacks.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: (All 1 page unless otherwise noted.)
Daredevil #100 variant cover by Lee Bermejo
Daredevil #100 variant cover by Michael Turner
Daredevil #94 cover inks by John Romita, Sr.
Daredevil #96 cover sketch by Marko Djurdjevic
Daredevil #97 cover sketch by Marko Djurdjevic
Daredevil #98 and 99 cover sketches by Marko Djurdjevic
Daredevil #100 cover process by Marko Djurdjevic (2 pages)
Daredevil #100 wrap cover presented as a single shot vertically
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. This book boasts some thick glossy coated stock paper.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Perfect bound trade paperback. The binding always seems more solid on these chunky trade paperbacks than it does on the skinnier ones. I have no idea why, and I'm not saying that I am correct about it, but that's how it seems to me.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. As always, nice waxlike lamination that is scuff resistant and should help to ensure a lifetime of reading enjoyment when handled with reasonable care.