Daredevil: Loves Labors Lost Review

loves labors lostAfter Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil brought a sense of realism to the character, the writers of Daredevil had a tough act to follow.  This collection proves that by putting Daredevil into a whole bunch of different scenarios and not particularly following a major story arc as we had previously seen with his rivalry with the kingpin.

First of all, it starts off in a way you would never expect it too and that’s as a western.  Using an iconic character from Marvel’s early days before the banner of Marvel was even attributed to the company we start in the wild west, events unfold and it turns out that there is a sort of paranormal link between Daredevil and the past that leads him to Arizona to take down your stereotypical evil business mogul.  This story isn’t the best and has a bit of a Goofy premise and struggles with portraying Daredevil in his new grittier form.  This is a problem throughout the whole collection.  It’s not Daredevil himself that comes across goofy in fact he tends to remain dark, violent and on his own selfish quest but some of the situations that he finds himself in seem a little out of place and stand out when the grittiness dissipates only to shift again after a few pages.

One of the key themes of this collection is Love and the many women that have been in Matt Murdock’s life.  First of all, there is his current love Gloriana O’Breen who in true Daredevil fashion gets mixed up in a dangerous situation where Daredevil needs to protect her from a bloodthirsty assassin.  This story is quite unique for a daredevil tale as the villain Cossack commits acts of terrorism by using a weapon that blinds everybody temporarily.  His only defense is a weapon that doesn’t affect Daredevil in the slightest.  What this story does achieve is the insight that Natasha Romanov aka the Black Widow gains by temporarily being blinded.  As Daredevil’s Ex-girlfriend, it helps her to understand the disability that Daredevil has overcome and fearing she will remain blind she even goes as far as asking Daredevil to train her to get past it.

This appearance of Black Widow would lead you to believe that your stereotypical love triangle is on the horizon between herself, Daredevil and Gloria but that is not the case.  In fact, later in the collection Daredevil and Black Widow team up to rescue Gloria and despite a passing comment where Daredevil tells himself that a small part of himself will always love Black Widow, nothing else comes from it.

The darkest tale in this collection involves the return of Daredevils ex-fiancee Heather Glenn, again there is no love triangle involved just a cry for help.  Daredevil comes to her ignoring a potential crime only to find her in a drunken slumber.  Believing that Heather has cried wolf and later finding that the crime he ignored led to a woman’s death he refused to help heather when she asks for his help again.  This leads to her committing suicide in which Daredevil senses foul play.  Consumed with the guilt of her death he hunts for the possible murderer which leads him to Venice and pits him against a group called the Council of Ten.

The death of Heather Glenn leads to Daredevil going up against one of Spider-Man’s villains the Vulture as Matt finds him at Heather’s grave attempting to dig up Heather’s body to steal the jewelry she is wearing.  This interpretation of the vulture surprisingly depicts him in a manner more reminiscent of his namesake and the image of him picking at a corpse makes him appear more animalistic.

One of the best stories in this collection is a standalone tale where Daredevil goes to New Jersey, he remains nameless to the residents of the area and remains in his civilian clothes for the entirety of the story indicating that Matt Murdock does not need to dress in a devil costume to be a hero.  In fact, the absence of the daredevil persona leads the culprits to act irrationally and make mistakes they may not have made if they had known they were being pursued by Daredevil.

Overall this collection is worth a read, there are some great moments and the despite there not being an overall story-arc to sink your teeth into, it does set the stage well for what follows in the iconic Born Again storyline.

Buy Daredevil: Loves Labors Lost

Recommended

Born Again

Guardian Devil

 

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Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Review

Marvel_Super_Heroes_Secret_Wars_Vol_1_1Marvel crossover events have become a thing to expect every year especially with the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe bringing in more and more fans to the comic book platform every year.  These events have become so popular that it makes sense that one of its most groundbreaking storylines known as Civil War was used as the main plotline for Captain America: Civil War.  Now I know what your thinking.  Why is he talking about Civil War?  This is a review about Secret Wars.  Well, it’s simple.  Without Secret Wars there never would have been Civil War

Secret Wars was the first true crossover event that put a whole bunch of Marvel heroes and villains and had them duke it out.  It had been attempted a year prior, in a three-part story called Contest of Champions but it wasn’t a true crossover.  It basically showed every character possible and then handpicked a couple and had them compete in a mediocre challenge.  The story was very basic and it wasn’t anything to get excited about.  However, despite a few minor flaws, Secret Wars did it right.

Overall Secret Wars is a great story but like most things, it does have a few problems, mainly due to the time period in which it was written.  Now first of all the whole point of the story was to sell Marvel toys so nobody expected the story to knock your socks off but the writers created a masterpiece.  It starts off very basic, a bunch of heroes and villains find themselves on a mishmash planet constructed by various parts of other planets called Battleworld.  The heroes find themselves on one side of a battlefield while the Villians are on the other.

To list who is involved, on the side of the heroes we have three members of the fantastic four, Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch & Thing, the Invisible Woman is absent because she was heavily pregnant with baby number 2 – that’s not a joke.  Captain America, Iron Man (James Rhodes, not Tony Stark as he was ruining his business by drinking heavily – again that’s not a joke) Thor, Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel and Wasp of the Avengers are present.  Then we have Rogue, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Lockheed the Dragon and Professor X as members of the X-Men.  To round out the team Spider-Man and Hulk and also the questionable siding of X-Men villain Magneto being present on the heroes side.  Not a bad team.

Now on the villain’s side, we have Doctor Doom, Kang the Conqueror, the Enchantress, Doctor Octopus, the Lizard, Ultron, and Galactus.  Not a bad start but the next bunch are questionable.  We have the Molecule Man, Absorbing Man and the Wrecking Crew which consists of Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, and Wrecker.  These villains may have been much popular in that time period but I do find myself questioning why other great Villians like the Mandarin, Red Skull or the Sandman weren’t used.  Even the addition of the Hobgoblin who in the year prior had been kicking up a fuss in Spider-Man’s comics for the past year may have been a nice addition.

Eventually, a new Spider-Woman joins the side of the heroes and the villains get Klaw, Volcana, and Titania but that comes much later in the story.

Looking across the battlefield and analyzing each team they all hear a voice from above that states “I am from beyond! Slay your enemies and all that you desire shall be yours!  And that’s it, the war begins.  Goodies versus baddies.  It’s all very generic in the first half of this 12 issue epic.  There are a few plot points thrown in followed by a battle and this formula continues for quite a bit and to some readers, especially reading this thirty years later, may not be impressed. However, I advise you to keep at it and you will see that the story takes a hard left turn and veers off in a completely different direction especially in the final act of the story.

Now I must warn you if you’re a Spider-Man fan and are reading this story for the first time because it is commonly known as the story where Spidey famously finds the black symbiote suit, which as many know eventually leads to the creation of the villain/anti-hero Venom.  You may be disappointed for 2 reasons.  First of all, the way in which he gets the suit is so fleeting that its barely noticeable and secondly, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is more of a secondary character in this story which is understandable due to the number of characters in the story.  He has a few standout moments but the key players in this story are Captain America, Mr. Fantastic, Magneto and the X-Men.

The same can be said on the side of the villains too, Galactus poses a threat in one issue but Doctor Doom is the main villain throughout the whole story and this is one of the stories that shows readers why he is rated as one of Marvel’s most deadly villains.  Sadly, there is a lot of wasted potential in this story.  First of all, villains like Doctor Octopus, Ultron, and Kang the Conquerer are nowhere near as dangerous as they were often depicted in previous stories and there is a strange moment where you almost feel sorry for the Lizard.  Its almost out of character for him and I don’t believe they ever showed that side of him again.  (Correct me if I’m wrong).

Now one of the best things about re-reading this story, especially with the knowledge of future events in the Marvel timeline is the hostility between the X-Men and the Avengers.  The X-Men go off on their own and align themselves with Magneto which later leads to an argument about the Avengers being heroes that judge mutants the same as everybody else and treat them as outcasts.  This would be touched upon again decades later in the Avengers Versus X-Men crossover event which changed the arrangement of both X-Men and Avenger Teams but it’s nice to see this idea was actually planted way back in the 80’s and grown over time.

There are some great ideas behind this story, for example, the Beyonder placing Magneto on the side of the heroes indicating possibly for the first time that Magneto isn’t your stereotypical villain as he has good intentions but his actions and methods label him as the enemy.  The actions of Doctor Doom also show why he is considered more dangerous than other villains and how his thirst for complete power has been instilled into from his weakness and events from his past that he couldn’t control.

This story may be a little dated and fall short in some places but if you read it knowing that this was Marvel’s first attempt to bring all of their heroes together you will appreciate that they did a remarkable job.  This was the blueprint in which they improved upon that led to such great stories such as House of M, Civil War, and Secret Invasion.  It was also the first time that one of these stories would impact each character once the event had passed in major ways, this too would also lead to later events creating massive changes in the Marvel universe.

Buy Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars

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All trade paperbacks are linked to Amazon. If you purchase through these links I will receive a small percentage of the purchase.  This does not affect the price.  I also recommend you look around at alternatives as prices may vary from site to site.

 

Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin Review

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As a Spider-Man fan, I’ve always loved the green goblin as a villain, not just because he took the life of Gwen Stacy but because his interactions with the wall-crawler were always unique.  His brand of insanity while also knowing Peter Parker’s identity made him one of Spider-Man’s biggest threats.

When first introduced, the Green Goblin’s identity was never revealed.  It took quite some time before we found out that the man behind the mask was Norman Osborne.  This hidden identity would become something of a trend in the storytelling of the Green Goblins.  They had redone this plotline to an extent having the audience believing that Norman’s Son Harry had become the Green Goblin again only to reveal that his therapist was actually behind the mask.

Jump forward some years and the Green Goblin had been absent from the pages of Spider-Man so rather than bring back the Green Goblin they decided to update his gimmick and create a new villain called the Hobgoblin who is less mad, does not laugh as often and is much more methodical in his plans.  Re-using the secret identity of the villain trope, a great story is told. The identity of the hobgoblin is always questionable especially with the re-emergence of older characters such as Harry Osborne.  However, as a long-term fan, it’s difficult nowadays not to know who the Hobgoblin is under the mask but this is still a great read.

The story starts off with an everyday run-in for Spider-Man but when a criminal escapes into the sewers and Spider-Man does not pursue him, this little misstep leads to a whole bundle of trouble as the man stumbles across one of Norman Osborne’s Green Goblin Hideouts.  Through the use of the re-designed Green Goblin technology and Osborne’s Journal, the Hobgoblin starts his reign of terror.  This story has it all, blackmail, deception and a rare close quarters fight for Spider-Man within an armored truck.  This is certainly worth a read.

Buy Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin

Recommendations

Spider-Man: Death of the Stacy’s

Spider-Man: Son of The Goblin

Spider-Man: A New Goblin

 

All trade paperbacks are linked to Amazon. If you purchase through these links I will receive a small percentage of the purchase.  This does not affect the price.  I also recommend you look around at alternatives as prices may vary from site to site.

 

 

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Welcome to my world. The place where I share my projects and memories. Here you will find old video's, photo reels and every shred of my past that I can collect in one place. I will also be showcasing my projects as well as sharing random stuff such as paranormal video's that freak me out and funny video's that make me laugh. Some of the things you can expect to see here are reviews of Marvel trade paperbacks, paranormal video's and my gaming habits. A lot of this blog will be dedicated to my friends and family in the hope that they can fondly look back on the memories we have all created.

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