Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Roberto De La Torre
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by VC's Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by David Pepose
The gauntlet has been thrown. The Hand is in town. And Daredevil is going down a slippery slope.
In certain ways, Daredevil #502 looks as great is it ever did, with Matt Murdock's wrestling both internally with his guilt and externally with the amoral ninja forces at his command. But at the same time, Andy Diggle has an insurmountable obstacle in writing this book: himself.
What do I mean? After last issue's uncompromising and hard-hitting story, Diggle does a little bit of backpedalling to soften the blow. There's still a fair amount of brooding on Matt Murdock's part, but Diggle's explanation of what really happened last issue couldn't help but disappoint me. Daredevil #501, make no mistake, was one ballsy comic -- probably one of my top ten favorites of the year -- and while the end of this issue certainly has some of that quality, it's a bit more diluted.
That's not to say this is a bad issue, of course. The supporting cast -- especially Foggy Nelson -- get a chance to shine here, as the back-alley crime conspiracies from Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker's tenures still flow smoothly. And the ending -- well, again, it does hit some of the potential I saw in this new status quo, at least as far as the action is concerned.
Thankfully, while I may have been a little disheartened that while this issue isn't quite as mind-blowing as the last one, the art still looks strong as ever. Roberto De La Torre's New York has a dirty, dusty feel to it, and watching Daredevil and his followers leap through the city at night has a wild sort of feel to it.
De La Torre says so much with his characters' body language -- looking down on Matt, his fists clenches as he hangs his head, it says so much about where he's at psychologically. His last page especially just looks amazing, and I hope to see more pages like that in future issues. Colorist Matt Hollingsworth is the glue that holds this whole enterprise together, as he gives the book a claustrophobic mood, while at the same time allowing Daredevil to really pop off the page.
All in all, Daredevil #502 isn't the strongest issue of the short run so far -- but after the amazing last issue, that would be a tall order for anybody. Unfortunately, some of the tension has been ratcheted down, but I'm hoping that the loose cannon nature of the Hand will keep feeding the unpredictability of this series. At any rate, with some rock solid production values and a premise with promise, this is still a book to watch.