Dark Reign: The List - Daredevil #1
Written by Andy Diggle
Pencils by Billy Tan
Inks by Matt Banning
Colors by Justin Ponsor
Lettering by Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Lan Pitts
"Bullseye was right. The game has changed...we send him a message." -- Daredevil
The events in this issue occur shortly after Daredevil #500 with Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, assuming the mantle as leader of the ninja assassin group, The Hand. With such a title, it gives reason for Norman Osborn to set his sights on Hell's Kitchen and the continuation of executing his list.
Dark Reign: The List - Daredevil #1 (what a mouthful) isn't really as much a stand-alone issue as it is more of a bridge between #500 and #501 (in which you can see seven preview pages of in this issue). We see why ol' Hornhead is on Osborn's list as well as movement of the plot in the ongoing series. It's effective, I'll give writer Andy Diggle that, but it puts that little extra strain on the wallet. This is a classic Daredevil story, with DD going toe-to-toe with Bullseye for the upteenth time, and we get to see Bullseye's coldhearted maliciousness that makes him one of the Marvel Universe's best villains.
This is also a great character study for Daredevil himself, especially since The Hand doesn't make just anybody their leader, and we get a hint of the sort of trials Matt went through to earn their respect. Of course, nothing helps you earn brownie points more than fighting off HAMMER units in a well-choreographed fight scene in their hidden sanctum. At first I was turned off by Billy Tan's style and his construction of Daredevil since I had always figured him a slightly more muscular version of Spider-Man, but the psychology behind it is that he is after all, a boxer's son.
I got back into Daredevil a few years ago, and in Diggle's hands it's proving to be one of the consistently great books on the shelves these days. Justin Ponsor's colors are great as well. They add a sort of real world texture over Tan's work, and it's a great combination.
With twenty-six pages of story, seven pages of preview from Daredevil #501 and three pages of sketch material, this makes Dark Reign: The List- Daredevil #1 a solid read with an effective glimpse of the things to come.