The disaster that is Shadowland and Daredevil, Osborn is one bad mutha' and neither the Punisher, Ghost Rider, or Iron Fist appear in a comic that specifically advertises them.
Heroes for Hire #1
Seriously, look at this cover:
We clearly see Elecktra, Moon Knight, Iron Fist, Ghost Rider, and the Punisher. The last three fellows don't even appear in this comic. I'm used to a cover showing two heroes who actually don't fight in comic fighting, or a comic cover showing someone who doesn't appear until the last page of an issue, but not having them show up at all? Not having them even be mentioned? That's just annoying. That complaint aside, this was a fun comic full of heroes who deserve more attention then they get (The Falcon is here!) with good art, and an interesting story with a twist that while confusing, shows this comic has some promise.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
Shadowland #5 of 5
I think I can pinpoint the exact moment this comic stopped being fun for me and became more of an exercise in eye-rolling. When it was revealed that Daredevil was actually under the control of an evil spirit known unimaginatively as, "The Beast," who was making him be so evil. Really Marvel comics? You're gonna do me like that? This is a street-level hero, he faces street level threats. There is a reason Daredevil himself has said he would feel out of place with a group like the Avengers--he isn't the kind of guy who flies in space or faces cosmic-level threats. Brian Michael Bendis knew this when he did his amazing run on Daredevil, having him face thugs and the mafia and yes, people with powers, but ones that didn't seem too far-fetched. Having Daredevil be possessed by some evil spirit for this mini-series/event is just silly. It's not like you have Spider-Man making deals with the devil to....oh. Even putting that aside this comic is still pretty miserable. There is the over-done metaphor of the hero being trapped in their mind as a child fighting off their fears, the Kingpin's secret ace-in-the-hole he had on Mudock just seems trite. The art is passable but not much more. No, just no.
1.5 stars out of 5
Imagine if the comic Shadowland #5 was a movie you really didn't like. Now imagine that Daredevil #512 is the spin-off to that movie that focuses on some of the aftermath, but also spends a ton of time featuring characters who weren't important enough to even be in the miserable first movie. This comic closes out the long run Daredevil has enjoyed from Kevin Smith, to Bendis, to Brubaker, to Diggle, and instead of ending with a bang it's just a whimper. True, the comic will technically be continuing with issue 513 and a new name to go with protagonist Black Panther, but for all intent and purposes this is the end of an era. Is it a good comic? The art is fine, and loose ends are wrapped up, but the whole thing feels more like the epilogue to Shadowland and set-up for the new comics spinning out of this. If the goal is to make me want to buy "After the Fall", "Daredevil: Reborn", and "Black Panther", well it didn't succeed as I am not buying the first two and already was curious enough about Panther that I will be reading the series. This whole thing is just barely acceptable, a weak way to end the series. Oh well.
2 out of 5 stars.
Osborn #1 of 5
Damn, that was a good comic. I make no secret of the fact that I love Osborn when he is written well, and Ms. DeConnick definitely has a good handle on how Osborn thinks from the little we see of him. That's right, for a comic about the title character he gets very little "screen-time" with the reader instead being treated to political intrigue as those in power debate what exactly to do with Osborn, a priest who is seemingly annoyingly sweet but much more interesting than I thought, and some new villains who are quite strange. I like the art, although it isn't always clear what's happening--for example some of the locked-up villains are drawn so outlandishly I can't quite make out what they are really supposed to look like--but is otherwise quite solid. Plus, one of my favorite authors, Warren Ellis, stops by with Jamie McKelvie of Phonogram fame to write a great back-up. I had high hopes for this comic for some reason and am happy to say those hopes were met. Even if you didn't follow much of Dark Reign or got sick of seeing Osborn all the time while it occurred, pick up this comic. If you don't enjoy it I'll personally refund the cost.*
*I actually won't.
4.5 out of 5 stars.