I needed something to read over lunch today, so I cheated on my regular Wednesday shop and swung by the comic shop that’s closer to my workplace to pick something up. I settled on Daredevil: Dark Reign: The List #1 as 1) I am a Daredevil fan and reader and 2) its standalone nature suited my needs quite well.
I’m excited about the direction Daredevil is going. While the Bendis and Brubaker runs have been among my favorite comics ever, I felt like the series was getting a bit stale in its shift to focusing primarily on the personal life of Matt Murdock, of which the red costume was just a tiny part. I commented to Doom DeLuise about a year ago that if I were in charge of writing Daredevil, I’d shake things up by dropping a bit of the mopey gloom (even though that’s a great part of what makes Matt Murdock such a fantastic and well-defined character) and focusing on the spandex life of Daredevil the superhero. So I’m all about what appears to be just such a shift.
Here’s where I get annoyed. Daredevil #500 included a lengthy preview of Daredevil: Dark Reign: The List #1. I dug it, even with Billy Tan artwork. So I start reading this issue and it’s got a whole lot of pages I’ve already read. Fine. But then I get to the end of the new content, and there’s a big long preview of Daredevil #501 in the back. So basically, if you are already reading Daredevil, and you already bought #500 and were going to buy #501, you just spent four bucks on what amounts to about 10 unique pages. And in these 10 pages, you basically read Daredevil doing his best impression of Killing Joke / DKR Batman in which he beats himself up over not killing the Joker / Bullseye to prevent the hundreds of deaths that the Joker / Bullseye has since caused.
So it’s really quite a waste. It’s for $3.99 comics like this that I have largely given up all $3.99 comics. The subtext is just too often some variation of “Sucker — you just paid $4 for this.” And now I’m less excited about reading #501, which would have only cost me $2.99.
In some ways, I guess this special issue was like a metaphor for the optional deathblow that plagues Daredevil’s / Batman’s thoughts. As a reader, I had two choices — I could’ve decided not to buy this crappy comic book, in which case I would’ve likely continued to read Daredevil, someday looking back and thinking “Dang … I blew a lot of money on this book. Why didn’t I pull the plug sooner?” But by delivering the killstroke and purchasing this stinker $3.99 book, I’m saving all those $3 increments that I might have otherwise spent on a retread.
That was very clever, Andy Diggle!