Graphic Novel Review: Shadowland

(Panini)

URBAN crimefighter Matt (Daredevil) Murdock has not had a good couple of years. The blind lawyer may have been gifted with heightened senses and a mysterious “radar sense” which allows him to perceive objects around him, but even these special powers have not prevented him from falling victim to various human failings.

After being outed as Daredevil in the media, jailed for obstructing justice, seeing his wife rendered insane by the machinations of an old enemy, and being targeted by ninja assassin group The Hand as a potential new leader, it seemed as though things couldn’t get any worse for ol’ hornhead. How wrong could he be?

This is the story of the fall of Matt Murdock and the end of his Daredevil identity, perhaps forever. His soul twisted and corrupted by The Hand’s dark magicks, Murdock ends years of revenge grudge matches by killing old adversary Bullseye, before going to war with New York’s other urban crimefighters, including Iron Fist, Moon Knight and Spider-Man. With the Kingpin pulling strings in the background, and The Hand’s ultimate schemes coming to fruition, it seems as though Murdock is finally running out of options…

The culmination of writer Andy Diggle’s Daredevil run, this should have been a no-holds-barred exploration of how even the best of us can succumb to temptation and corruption, but instead what we’re left with is a supernaturally-charged romp which lacks any real depth or substance.


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Diggle’s predecessor on the series, the acclaimed Ed Brubaker, was certainly a hard act to follow, but judging from this volume alone, Diggle simply wasn’t up to the task, and failed to get a grip on Daredevil or his world. A disappointment.

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