Review: Shadowland #2

Published on August 8th, 2010

So Daredevil has become the leader of The Hand, he’s got an army of ninjas that he’s used to create a police-state, and he’s built a giant castle in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen. If that wasn’t crazy enough Daredevil, who has sworn never to kill, has actually killed Bullseye by stabbing him through the chest. When I saw that at the end of the first issue of Shadowland I was stunned. It would be like Batman shooting the Joker in the head, everyone believes it to be the only logical end, but nobody actually wants to see that line crossed.

shadowland2This issue starts with an incognito Moon Knight driving a cab into Hell’s Kitchen, he gets out of the cab and starts beating it with a baseball bat in hopes of getting captured by The Hand and brought to the prisons of Shadowland so he can rescue the police officers who have already been apprehended. The story then cuts to Luke Cage and Iron Fist working in a Soup Kitchen while trying to figure out what to do about Daredevil when The Kingpin shows up to say that eventually they’re going to have to take down Daredevil to save Hell’s Kitchen.

Now we finally see Daredevil for the first time since he killed Bullseye. He’s in his throne room (That’s right Matt Murdock has a full blown thrown room) talking with Black Tarantula who tells him he shouldn’t feel guilty about killing Bullseye, Matt responds by saying, “I don’t feel guilty. I don’t feel… anything.” He then goes on to say they need reinforcements to expand, and that he will offer any costumed vigilante the opportunity to join him, but anyone who doesn’t is against him.

Things start to heat up when Luke Cage and his pals show up at Shadowland to give Daredevil a chance to talk, unfortunately the talk doesn’t go well. If it wasn’t obvious before that Daredevil went off the deep end, it is now, he sounds more like a James Bond villain than a superhero lawyer. The next scene is Moon Knight still out of costume, in the dungeon of Shadowland using his lock picks he smuggled in to break out of his cell. But before he can get any of the other prisoners out, the big surprise of this issue bursts onto the scene as Ghostrider rides through the prison in his usual fiery fashion. This causes Daredevil to just lose it. He starts yelling about how his friends have betrayed him, and now he’s unleashing his ninja army to take down his former friends.

At first I was really confused with the Shadowland storyline, and the more I read the more confused I get. It seemed like Daredevil was in complete control and he could actually use an army of ninja assassin’s for good, and then he just loses it completely. While reading this you question everything Matt does, and when you see Luke Cage and Iron Fist asking the same questions it really draws you into the story. Nobody wants to see their hero become the villain, but it’s the old saying that power corrupts and even Daredevil is susceptible to this. I’m still hoping that at some point Daredevil is gonna yell “Just kidding!” and everything will go back to normal, but the farther we get into this story the less it seems likely he’ll come out as a hero. Then again, does anybody really want to see Nova as The Man Without Fear?

Ken Zeider
Ken@ComicImpact.com