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Daredevil #111 Review

Daredevil #111 Review by Donna Jackson

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Clay Mann

There has been a new wave of gender reversal of villains in the Marvel Universe, with names like Miss Sinister and Kraven's daughter. Lady Bullseye makes her debut in the latest issue of Daredevil, bringing along an interesting backstory and the possibility of some great future guest stars for the series, which is strangely enough, all but being ignored by the Secret Invasion. She's clearly the star of this story, and presented with enough mystery and deadly beauty to ensure her place in the Daredevil book. If the original is too busy with the Thunderbolts, The Lady will make a fine replacement for now.

You won't see a lot of Daredevil himself in this issue. Instead you'll get Matt Murdock and P.I. Dakota North developing a friendship that will eventually lead into the inevitable. Murdock blames himself for North being shot in the arm in the previous story arc, whereas she harbors no ill towards the superhero. It's a welcome change he embraces, after so many relationships where he was blamed for the events that led to their ends. After a therapeutic healing session with Iron First Danny Rand, Murdock comes to term with his feelings for North.

Lady Bullseye has a background that I hoped is further explored in future issues. Bits and pieces are revealed in narration, but we do learn that as a young prisoner of the Yakuza, she witnessed firsthand the unmistakable skills of Bullseye as he tore through them "as if they were an afterthought." Though it's clear that Bullseye had no intention of saving her or any of the women hoarded by the Japanese mafia, just his presence is enough to inspire the young girl to escape and follow in his footsteps. Present day, the Lady has been hired by The Hand, now short on deadly female assassins thanks to Elektra's Skrull revelation a few months ago. The Lady has a devised a simple, yet effective way to keep Matt Murdock busy while her and The Hand stalk their prey. By the last page of the issue, Lady Bullseye has left a prominent mark on Daredevil's status in the city, thanks to a front page headline by the Daily Bugle.

Artist Clay Mann maintains the style of regular Daredevil penciller Michael Lark, using heavy shades and sharp lines that keeps Brubaker books with that noir feel that fans and critics love. It would be very difficult to distinguish differences between the two styles, except for maybe that Lark uses more detail in his work.

Ed Brubaker has always worked best with gritty characters that make their rounds on the streets, such as Catwoman, Iron Fist, and the crew of Gotham Central. The series still has a way to go before it reaches the heights of those series and his best Daredevil stories (last year's The Devil in Cell Block Six leaps to mind), but it sure felt good to see the original Bullseye tearing havoc in the pages of Daredevil, even if it was just in a flashback.

One minor complaint I had about the issue, more of nitpick than anything else. Yes, I know Matt Murdock's sense of touch is so acute he can read letters on print by touching them, but even so, why would he have the newspaper delivered to his house? Wouldn't that create some suspicion about a blind man?

Rating: 8

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