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'Daredevil Epic Collection: Dead Man's Hand' review
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Daredevil Epic Collection: Dead Man’s Hand’ review

Daredevil comics in 1992 and 1993 were more about the villains than anything else.

A new Daredevil Epic Collection is out this week, collecting stories from 1992 to 1993. This was an era where Daredevil fought street-level supervillains at night, but generally had lower amounts of drama in his daily life. It was also an era of some sanity before things got very weird in the mid to late ’90s. This 16th Epic Collection is notable for its villains and for an epic Punisher War Journal story arc.

This collection is written by D.G. Chichester, Gregory Wright, Fabian Nicieza, Chuk Dizon and Glenn Herdling, with art by M.C. Wyman, Ron Garney, Scott McDaniel, Pat Olliffe, John Hebert, Dan Panosian, Larry Alexander, June Brigman, and Tom Grindberg. Elements that permeate this era of Daredevil include prevalent cocaine use and plenty of outrageous storylines. One of the craziest ends of the book is where Daredevil faces off against his Infinity War doppelganger.

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This book opens with a multi-issue story involving Leland Owlsley. He’s changed physically quite a bit since we last saw him due to surgeries he had after his flying potion damaged him. We’re talking crazy eyes, hollow bones, and melting ears. The guy is basically a full-on owl now, which is explained well enough.

Immediately after that Daredevil and Spider-Man team up against Surgeon General, a severely underused villain who also makes her debut in this collection. Aside from the name that tells you all that you need to know, it’s a fun caper as Spider-Man can fully admit Daredevil’s villains are far more dangerous to those around the hero than his own.

'Daredevil Epic Collection: Dead Man's Hand' review

Witness the new eyes of Owl!
Credit: Marvel

There’s a flair for the dramatic from this villain and all the rest in this collection, which actually overshadows Daredevil for much of this collection. Bushwacker, for instance, comes in blasting, has plenty of insane lines of dialogue, and is more dramatic than he is realistic. It’s an interesting choice since Daredevil is generally realistically depicted and fights in the city streets. Tombstone might be the most realistic character that pops up, but he does so a little late.

About halfway through the book, Daredevil makes an exit and Nomad enters, drawing the attention of Bushwacker, Punisher, and even Deadpool. It’s the start of the multi-issue story called “Dead Man’s Hand.” Part of the problem with its entry here is that Daredevil doesn’t show up till later in the story, well after Punisher has point-blank murdered a few people and Chainsaw has gotten his gang hot and bothered. Daredevil finally enters the story in part five, but even then, Punisher is the main focus. Given this is a reprinting of Punisher: War Journal, it’s not a big surprise, but it is odd that it’s collected here.

Daredevil Epic Collection: Dead Man’s Hand is a reminder that the title character had some rough years in the early ’90s. Pick this one up to read about The Owl and his horrific surgeries, but overall this era didn’t add much to the Daredevil character or his mythos.

'Daredevil Epic Collection: Dead Man's Hand' review
‘Daredevil Epic Collection: Dead Man’s Hand’ review
Daredevil Epic Collection: Dead Man's Hand
Daredevil Epic Collection: Dead Man's Hand is a reminder that the title character had some rough years in the early '90s. Pick this one up to read about The Owl and his horrific surgeries, but overall this era didn't add much to the Daredevil character or his mythos.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
The Owl's new twisted turn is compelling
The villains are way over the top in most cases...
...overshadowing an underwritten Daredevil
A Punisher: War Journal arc takes up much of the book which doesn't even have Daredevil in most of it
4
Meh

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