Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back Issue Review: Daredevil #196

I picked this up because it looked like a fun team-up with DD and Wolvie, but after reading this comic, I think this might actually be their first meeting!

Denny O'Neil's take on Wolverine is a lot of fun, he's a wise-ass tough guy who doesn't give a darn what DD thinks of him. Daredevil is his usual anguished, conflicted self. The main plot kicks off when Japanese mobsters offer to take the invalid Bullseye out of the country to bond adamantium to his skeleton. Kingpin agrees to this and then the race is on. The gangsters are trying to smuggle Bullseye out by ship, but Wolverine is on the case after an old police friend tips him off and brings him in. I liked the really simple way to involve Wolvie in the story. In a modern story, I'm sure we'd have all sorts of secret histories and brothers and parents and secret brain-washings to get Wolvie into the story, but in these simpler times O'Neil can just say "a cop told him." O'Neil hits all the bits you'd expect, showing Wolvie and DD's different fighting styles, their different stances on killing, even the contrast between their attitudes in combat. I was surprised that Bullseye got away clean. The nameless thugs were more effective than I expected and actually stopped the costumed heroes. I think this has to go down as a loss for both of them.

Larry Hama pencils the issue and his work looks a lot like Frank Miller's. DD looks just like Miller's. Wolverine actually looks like a short guy, which was nice to see too, although his claws don't look quite as cool as later artists would draw them to be. Klaus Jansen inks the book, leaving little doubt why DD looks so on-model.


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