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Review: Daredevil: Dark Nights #2, Swamp Thing #22

Daredevil: Dark Nights #2

I praised Lee Weeksfirst issue in this new Daredevil anthology rather highly, and mhkythe second issue, Daredevil: Dark Nights #2 did not at all disappointed, another great and brilliant addition to the legacy of the Man without Fear’s saga, which includes the very fight-to-the-end and never-give-up take on Daredevil that makes comics great. This is the stuff of superhero legends which we hear creators and geniuses across the world talk about when they say that comics inspired them to do great things.

As a refresher, Weeks’ story is not about a criminal verses a hero, but about a hero near his worst trying to help a dying girl. In this issue, Daredevil takes one step forward, but gets knocked two steps back. And, it’s looking as though a criminal—the Kingpin, I’ll wager—just might be caught up in this intricate web of heroism after all.

Weeks’ writing reminds me of Alan Moore on Watchmen, a book just filled with dialogue, internal and external, soundly written, compelling, easy to follow, and, most importantly, telling a damn good story along the wordy way. Weeks leaves no character hidden in the background, telling the story of each person even slightly involved in the narrative of Hannah’s lost heart.

The art in this book is not to be missed; Samnee may do an absolutely unforgettable rendition of Daredevil, but Weeks challenges the Daredevil world to be bolder, realistic, and noir. And Weeks simultaneously challenges mainstream artists to make quality books and to capture the heart and soul of each character, rather than simply put lines to paper.

This is a book about hope, and when I read it, I can’t help but feel that with writers and artists of Lee Weeks’ caliber, the comics industry certainly won’t fail to provide the world with incredible, compelling, and memorable stories not to be tossed aside as tales, but to be remembered as myths of our age.

Story: Lee Weeks  Art: Lee Weeks
Story: 9  Art: 9  Overall: 9  Recommendation: Buy

Swamp Thing #22

swamp_thing_22Swamp Thing and Constantine just finished up working together during Swamp Thing’s recent cameo in Justice League Dark, so it’s no surprise that Constantine’s returning the cameo favor, as Charles Soule writes and Kano draws him into Swamp Thing #22. This is the first issue to tackle the new enemy to the Green, the Seeder, a man who seems to have good intentions but is nonetheless causing devastation, both to the Green and the humans.

Soule’s story is both funny and telling, with a whiskey tree involved. But things take a turn for the dark, and themes of capitalism’s effect on economic rejects are highlighted, along with Constantine pointing out to Swamp Thing that problems affecting the Green can be solved so that a balance might be achieved between the good for humanity and the good for the Green. The only odd bit about the narrative is the lack of Capucine, a seemingly-major character introduced in Swamp Thing #21. But I think her absence is merely odd, and not a detractor, especially given a twist in which Constantine isn’t all her seems…

Kano’s illustrations continue to capture the particularities of Swamp Thing as a book, especially following on the tale of Yannick Paquette. Especially impressive is the eerie presentation of—in fact, the first real look at—the Seeder, and even more so that orange-tinted violence in later panels which capture the effects of the Seeder’s whiskey tree on the local Scottish populace. The final, full-page panel is enough to make me buy this book: it’s a complex panoramic view of people gone mad, Constantine leading them all, and Swamp Thing in dire trouble.

As a team, Soule and Kano are bringing back the classic, edgy feel of horror comics from the 1970s and the ‘dark ages’ of the 1980s, while also giving a softer side to the Swamp Thing. This is one of DC’s more compelling and moralistic books; it makes you think, that’s its nature. Swamp Thing #22 does not disappoint in terms of art or literary value.

Story: Charles Soule  Art: Kano
Story: 8  Art: 8.5  Overall: 8  Recommendation: Buy