Wednesday, March 15, 2017

That first time I read an Ed Brubaker story . . .

That time I read a run of Ed Brubaker's stories for the first time -- and got completely hooked! Enjoy this slightly tweaked flashback/retro-review as only Cary's Comics Craze can do it....

I had seen DAREDEVIL: THE DEVIL, INSIDE AND OUT VOL. 2 (collecting DAREDEVIL [vol. 2] Nos. 88-93) on the shelves during one of my recent trips to the Norwalk Public Library.

Having read a lot of praise for writer Ed Brubaker, I decided to check it out in both senses. Besides, I wanted to read something from the man who "dared" kill off Daredevil's/Matt Murdock's best friend, attorney Foggy Nelson and imprison Murdock.

I admit to being skeptical about Brubaker; many times I find creative teams and their runs don't live up to the press they get. After all, I got hooked on ol' DD back when writer/artist Frank Miller and inker/artist Klaus Janson were a killer one-two punch. A definitive take on one of my favorite superheroes! That's a high standard to follow.


It took only three pages of THE DEVIL for me to gratefully discover Foggy isn't dead at all. The FBI has him under the witness protection program in case Matt's estranged wife is the target of the bad guys. (Wait! Matt's married? I knew I hadn't been reading DD for a while, but really ...)

While Foggy bristles at becoming accountant Everett Williams, DD is in Europe trying to track down the lawyer connected to his best friend's supposed murder.

Along the way, Daredevil discovers a mysterious woman who reminds him of his former lover, Karen Page, and takes on Spider-Man's foe Tombstone. I was prepared not to enjoy the "swashbuckling noir adventure," but Brubaker does a nice job tying up the loose ends without making any of the explanations feel forced.

What makes THE DEVIL such a delight is that it reminds me of the Miller-Janson run.

Matt's reunion with Foggy is two of the best pages in recent comics history, thanks to spot-on facial expressions and body language. Just as delightful is the pair's rapport with new law partner Betty Blake, who got Matt cleared of federal charges of being none other than Daredevil. Now that's some lawyer-ing, there!

Grade: A

* * *

And enjoy the second part of this CCC flashback, taken from the print version of CCC. (For nearly a decade, the original version of Cary's Comics Craze ran every other Thursday in the NORWALK REFLECTOR newspaper, starting in 2005.) 

My best guess is this (and the review above) comes from a 2008 column:

REUNITED WITH ROBIN: Last month, writer Chuck Dixon posted a two-word message on his official blog (dixonverse.net) simply stating: "It's true."

The next day he posted an equally simple message with another phrase: "January '08," accompanied by the "Robin" series logo. DC Comics cleared it all up at the Baltimore Comic-Con by announcing Dixon once again will handle ROBIN writing duties after this month's "The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul" crossover storyline.

2017 addendum: Dixon's very lengthy run on ROBIN is a definitive take on the Boy Wonder. There's certainly no other writer who knows how to handle Tim Drake as well.

For you completists, Dixon wrote ROBIN from issues 1 through 100, 170 through 174,  No. 1,000,000 and annuals 2 through 6. In addition, he wrote the first and second ROBIN limited series and the third one, ROBIN III; CRY OF THE HUNTRESS (six issues published in 1992 and 1993) and the four-issue ROBIN: YEAR ONE published in 2000 and 2001.

You can't go wrong with any of those! If you want to read the third Boy Wonder's history chronologically, start with the first ROBIN limited series, followed by the next two.

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