Daredevil: End Of Days could be seen as Brian Michael Bendis firing on all cylinders, although I’m quick to wonder how much of what makes this book so good is Bendis alone or his co-writer David Mack. Regardless, the two have come together to begin a masterpiece. I realize that’s a bold statement with this only being issue #2, but I have faith that Bendis and Mack understand how good this book is and won’t blow it.
I usually reserve my art comments until the end, but the opening two-page spread is so brilliant I have to shout it from the rooftops. The combination of pencils from Klaus Janson and finished art & paintings from comic icon Bill Sienkiewicz gives Daredevil: End Of Days an opening shot that sets up everything you need to know about the story. An old and broken Ben Urich standing in Times Square, which is presented as rainy and dirty, covered in the bright signs declaring how the superheroes of yesterday have cashed in (including Hulk: The Musical). It’s the perfect visual to the trials of Urich attempting to find out what Daredevil’s final word “Mapone” actually meant.
So much is packed into End Of Days #2 that sifting through it would do the story an injustice. Suffice it to say that Bendis and Mack lead Urich all around in his pursuit of the truth. The Avengers building, which is now an automated nightmare, a dirty bar with an aged Nick Fury, Matt Murdock’s ex-wife and her adorable red headed son. Even Elektra makes an appearance, and she is absolutely badass. By the end of issue #2, Bendis and Mack have opened up the sordid failure of modern superheroes and deepened the mystery surrounding “Mapone.” End Of Days reads more like a crime novel and that breath of fresh air helps draw you into the story. If Bendis and Mack can hold on to this kind of storytelling through issue #5, we’ll have the best series of 2013 all wrapped up.
As I said before, the art from Janson and Sienkiewicz is staggeringly exciting. The jagged lines and harsh shadows give a strong sense of desperation to Urich’s search, and it also makes the world seem darker, as though losing faith in their heroes has tainted this world. The panel placement is really interesting and every panel in this book is a small work of art.
Daredevil: End Of Days is about as good as comic books get.
(5 Story, 5 Art)