5 out of 5
…And in the middle of the weep-a-thon that was Ed Brubaker’s run on Daredevil, he was joined by Greg Rucka, grounding Brube’s pulpier dialogue and, perhaps, giving him the good ol’ “I’ve worked every job under the sun” Rucka experience to inform a fantastic law and order procedural.
Mark Waid’s run started with some tried and true detectivin’ by the man without fear, and it was equally fantastic, leaning more into Waid’s comic pop style. So why is it so hard to consistently deliver such arcs? Well, sure: it doesn’t lend itself to a lot of spandex – DD only really gets into a legit brawl in the third issue of the arc, though I’d argue that it’s awesome because of how it’s built up to (and because the team of Michael Lark and Stephen Gaudiano on art are perfection) – but I’m also sure that it’s difficult to plot these dryer, more technical affairs.
Anyhow: Matt’s whining about his wife’s incarceration is put on hold by Luke Cage and Dakota North, requesting for Matt’s assistance in convincing death row inmate Ben Donovan to stop pleading guilty for a horrible triple murder… because they all suspect he’s innocent. The ploy to re-motivate Matt works, and it’s a joy to suddenly see him care once more, and to do the needful lawyerin’ and investigatin’ and not just beat people up. Rucka and Brubaker have the case expand in various exciting ways, and take key moments to up the stakes with threats to all involved.
It’s all wrapped up neat and clean so that Brubaker could get back to punishing Matt, but the four-issue pause was a perfect breath of fresh air for readers in the midst of a lot of gloom, and allowed the classic team-up of writers (see: Gotham Central) to prove how much entertainment they can provide when allowed to craft something that can exist in isolation from larger Marvel events.