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Shadowlands #1 Review

After a lot of discussion and marketing, Marvel's Shadowland finally begins. Since the beginning of Daredevil's re-launch, the title has a proverbial arms race for creators each trying to one-up the previous writer of the franchise. Since then Matt Murdock's life has pretty much been a living hell. He's lost practically everyone he's loved; he's been ousted as a Super-Hero in the media, he's been the Kingpin of New York and now is the leader of the ninja clan, the Hand.

Shadowland begins with Murdock's return to Hell's Kitchen after completing his transition into the Hand's leader. Now Murdock has built a huge temple on the site that was bombed by Bullseye (disguised as Hawkeye), referred to as Shadowland. We then find Bullseye on a plane being escorted by the two dumbest guards in the service of the US of A, to the Raft. The Raft is the maximum security prison that all the baddies get round up in (Think Arkham Asylum but bigger and not DC). Along the way he manages to fool the guards into believing the Sentry had returned. Hijinks ensue and Bullseye earns his freedom and three more deaths are on his hands.

https://www.entertainmentfuse.com/images/Shadowlands Daredevil.jpgBullseye, being the fun seeking lad he is, just wants a night out on the town. So he puts on his old costume and heads to the Shadowland to mess with Daredevil. Meanwhile the Avengers and New Avengers hold a meeting together. They're concerned about Murdock, the Shadowland and the Hand being in Hell's Kitchen. It's decided that Luke Cage and Iron Fist will pay Daredevil a visit and find out what's happening.

Their timing couldn't be better, just as Cage and Iron Fist arrive; they come across the Hand and Bullseye fighting. They offer their assistance, but Daredevil would rather them swear allegiances to the Hand. They decline his offer and he declines theirs. Bullseye continues living it up, killing ninja Hand members like there's no tomorrow until the big man gets himself involved. As Bullseye and Daredevil go hand to hand (pun intended), Bullseye can't help but notice that DD's changed. It all ends with Bullseye receiving poetic justice as Daredevil runs him through with his own sai.

Really there are only two issues with this book. The first is the fact that Marvel ruined the ending of this issue but releases the image as a part of the marketing for the series. This completely deflated the impact and shock the last page was supposed to have. Instead of being flabbergasted by the fact of Daredevil killing Bullseye finally, it leaves the reader disappointed and un-amazed. This should have been a big deal. It should have been Punisher the List big deal and it wasn't. Instead it was just a finally page that everyone should have seen coming.

The second thing I take issue with is all the time spent with Bullseye. Not only does he come off like an idiot the entire time, but everyone he's dealing with does to. As a reader, seeing Bullseye incarcerated is nothing new, but it's always interesting to see how he'll escape. Convince the two biggest idiots in the Marvel Universe that the Sentry's back and faking a cardiac arrest so they'll free him was ridiculous. There should be a manual on biggest cons pulled by villains to escape that every guard in the Marvel U is forced to read.

The issue is otherwise really enjoyable and a solid read. Andy Diggle (Losers, Green Arrow: Year One) does a great job with the dialog and the setup of the series. Bullseye's dialog isn't the best but everyone else is pretty spot on.

Billy Tan is an amazing talent and a perfect fit for the series. He captures the look and essence of each character with his distinct style. Daredevil's redesigned costume is very cool looking and gives the reader a visual cue that the character has changed.

The beginning of the storyline is pretty interesting and I think it will leave a lot of people wanting more. Unfortunately I think the Marvel hype machine may end up damaging this otherwise good series. Hopefully they put a little trust into Diggle and team to pull of the next "one up" in the Daredevil franchise.

Story – 8.0

Plot – 7.5

Art – 9.0

Color – 7.5

Overall – 8.0

So far Diggle at Marvel hasn't been that great, I really wish Marvel would cut the ropes and let him run wild. There could be some amazing stories to come out of it. Follow Dustin on Twitter.



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