Review: Shadowland #5

Published on December 6th, 2010

Shadowland has reached its finale with this last issue, it’s been a great story and I’m sad to see it end, for more than one reason. Obviously I’m sad to see it end because it was such a good story, but I’m also sad to see it end because I’m not looking forward to see The Black Panther take over as the “Man Without Fear.” Let’s not focus on that yet, let’s just take a look at Shadowland #5.

shadowland5At this point everything is going to Hell, the riots that were at first just in Hell’s Kitchen have extended to the rest of the city and the city’s best hope to stop the madness is Foggy Nelson who’s been climbing the wall of the Shadowland Fortress only to lose his grip and fall off the building. Thankfully we got Ghost Rider to catch the portly hero and get him to safety. Inside the fortress Daredevil has been completely taken over by the Beast and is killing his former friends. Here comes Ghost Rider again to save the day only to get his hellfire absorbed by Daredevil which puts him out of commission.

So now we’re back to Foggy who’s been brought to Lord Daredevil by The White Tiger who offers to slit his throat. Daredevil denies the request so that he can have the pleasure, but before Matt can go through with it Foggy uses the super power of friendship to briefly bring Matt back which gives Iron Fist the opportunity to use his Chi powers to wake the real Matt Murdock. Matt begs for Elektra to kill him, but instead she goes into his mind to help him face his inner demons and his fears. Matt then kills himself inside his own mind to expel the demon. Back on the streets everything starts to go back to normal and the riots stop without a demonic presence swaying people’s minds.

Inside the fortress the heroes try to figure out what happened only to realize Matt Murdock has disappeared. Later we find the Kingpin has come to take control of The Hand with Daredevil gone. Typhoid Mary tries tries to stop him, but Kingpin uses a trigger phrase that brings out a fourth personality she had that has been working as a spy for Kingpin the entire time (That’s a little convenient). The story ends with Matt entering a church where he meets a priest so that he can give a confession.

Well that’s it, no more Shadowland. Next week there’s a one-shot that will be an epilogue of sorts, but beyond that it’s all over and done with. I thought it was a great story, but I had a couple issues. This last issue felt very rushed to me, and came off somewhat anti-climactic; it felt that Daredevil should have ended up dead. I didn’t quite get how killing himself in his mind would have gotten rid of the demon, but it didn’t kill him. I wish they could have come up with an ending where Daredevil could have stopped the demon in a more direct way. I would have really liked to see Daredevil get some sort of victory out of all this, the guy has worse luck than Spider-Man. Think about all the bad shit he’s had to go through over the last ten years or so and it’s just really depressing.

Well next month Andy Diggle returns with Daredevil Reborn and I really hope Daredevil can pick up the pieces and redeem himself. And sadly as I mentioned earlier Black Panther will be taking over as the protector of Hell’s Kitchen, I haven’t been impressed by the previews they’ve been sticking in every Marvel Comic for the last month. I’ll still check out the first issue and see if it’s any good, maybe with my low expectations it will surprise me, but I doubt it. Fortunately we also have a new Heroes for Hire book to enjoy and a new series starring the new Power Man and our old pal Iron Fist entitled Power Man and Iron Fist, so it’s not all sad news.

Ken Zeider