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'Danger Street' #9 is a compelling parable between two warriors
DC

Comic Books

‘Danger Street’ #9 is a compelling parable between two warriors

A duel between Manhunter and Codename: Assassin is fought with swords and words.

Danger Street has been a perfect blend of the fantastical and the ordinary. While the narrative has reached the New Gods, the latest issue is about assassins fighting on one for one entire issue. Taking place apart from the main story, this story explores two calculated killers who find some mutual respect through dialogue as they try to kill each other.

Danger Street #9 is not an easy issue to get through. I say this respectfully, as Tom King certainly has a way with words, but this is far from a traditional superhero comic. Saying earlier in this review that this is taking place apart from the main story is somewhat misguided since whoever wins the battle between Manhunter and Codename: Assassin could move the plot forward. That said, to focus exclusively on a single sword fight–which devolves into a parley on the edge of a skyscraper–is largely an aside. In fact, the way this paragraph was constructed is exactly how Danger Street #9 plays out.

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Let me explain.

King plays with language heavily in this issue. One character in this duel will make a claim, the other will refute it, and then a volley back and forth will commence as they work out what is being said or any hidden meanings or motivations behind it. There seems to be a recurring theme of explaining, reassessing what is said, and saying it again. There’s a push and pull through the dialogue that mimics the battle. As a swordsman will parry, so do these characters with their tongues. That’s pretty neat since Jorge Fornés keeps us invested with a nine-panel grid from cover to cover.

DC Preview: Danger Street #9

Credit: DC Comics

Given how strong each panel is, Fornés keeps you on the edge of your seat for most of it. I can admit I felt frustrated with the almost circular arguments, but I also respect the craftmanship taking place linguistically and visually. Part of the problem is how both characters are bonafide enigmas in this series, so my investment in either was very low. That said, Fornés makes you believe in both as truly matched warriors who take their craft of killing seriously.

I can’t say every line of dialogue is riveting, although this comic begs to be reread a few times. Frankly, I reread word balloons a few times to try to follow the thought processes of each character and still found myself lost as far as the point. I can see some being frustrated with that kind of reading experience–I certainly was at times–but by the end, I felt rewarded by what these two fighters went through and, ultimately, resolved. The issue comes together in the final quarter, paying off the gamble characters make and their point about winning and being remembered for all time.

There’s something beautiful about Danger Street #9 that’s straight out of the Seventh Seal. If it wasn’t obvious yet, Danger Street is an impressively made parable for modern times utilizing modern superhero sensibilities. This issue does try your patience, but feels rewarding all the same.

'Danger Street' #9 is a compelling parable between two warriors
‘Danger Street’ #9 is a compelling parable between two warriors
Danger Street #9
There's something beautiful about Danger Street #9 that's straight out of the Seventh Seal. If it wasn't obvious yet, Danger Street is an impressively made parable for modern times utilizing modern superhero sensibilities. This issue does try your patience, but feels rewarding all the same.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
A compelling use of dialogue and 9-panel layouts through and through
Feels rewarding by the end between two evenly matched warriors
Dialogue can feel too circular and almost pointless in a frustrating sort of way
8.5
Great
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