Comics : Daredevil (Vol.3) #22

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This review was first published on: Jan 2013.

Background...

Matt Murdoch has been having his head mucked around with by the villain Coyote the last few issues. His law partner and confidant, Foggy Nelson, worried at Matt's peculiar behavior, drunkenly confessed to assistant D.A. (and love interest to Matt) Kirsten McDuffie that Murdoch as Daredevil may be out of control. She's approached Spider-man to bring him in. Unbeknownst to all, this Spider-man is Superior (that is, Otto Octavius in Peter Parker's body).

In Detail...

"Doc Ock Dead"
Daredevil (Vol.3) #22
Mar 2013 : SM Guest
Summary: Superior Spider-man appears, vs Stilt-Man
Writer:  Mark Waid
Artist:  Chris Samnee
Cover Art:  Paolo Rivera
Lettering:  VC's Joe Caramagna
Colorist:  Javier Rodriguez
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alonso
Editor:  Stephen Wacker
Assistant Editor:  Ellie Pyle
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Review

The story opens with an interesting question: how do the blind handle their paper money (I feel like this was already addressed in this series at some point, or somewhere else)? The process of how Matt folds different currency is shown. But Murdoch also uses an electronic debit bank card. At his ATM, he finds that he is down to his last twenty dollars. Having left his law firm with Nelson, Murdoch is broke and unemployed.

He manages to get a free meal at an Italian restaurant due to his reputation. Afterwards, out in the street during the day, he is accosted by Spider-man, who calls him out. Jumping into an alley, Murdoch changes to Daredevil. Matt can tell something is off about Spider-man--there's no constant barrage of jokes from him, for one thing.

Their fight is interrupted by Stilt-Man, who's trying to heist some bonds from a passing helicopter ("the only enemy I have who'd build a ten million dollar suit to steal a half-million in bonds" Murdoch remarks). Stilt-Man says he's upgraded since their last encounter (DD #17). Otto-as-Spidey says he recognizes the craftsmanship, and almost lets slip that Stilt-Man repurposed some of his (Dr. Octopus') arms into his hydraulics. As Stilt-Man and Spidey tangle, Daredevil hones in on the perfect point to strike, and takes out Stilt-Man's central control unit.

Afterwards, Daredevil proffers a quick explanation as to why Kirsten and Foggy would think he's acting weird. Matt then asks if there's anything Spider-man wants to tell him, that Spidey didn't seem like himself earlier. Spidey says he's fine.

Later, Murdoch makes up with Foggy Nelson, and they agree to resume their law partnership. Matt senses something is amiss with Foggy, though, who reveals that doctors are running tests on him for cancer.

In General...

The fight between Daredevil and Octo-Spidey is brief, typical and just what you'd expect from this type of story. Luckily, artist Chris Samnee injects plenty of dynamism into the panels of their short brawl. It doesn't make much sense, on Otto's part, that he would agree to bring in Daredevil for Kirsten. Seems like it would raise too much suspicion. It appears that Octavius doesn't care if his scheme of hijacking Parker's life and body is uncovered, going by the uncharacteristic way he acts as Spider-man. It appears that we're being led down the path by the writers that it'll be Otto's raging ego that will end up undoing him as Spider-man.

Overall Rating...

A story with an overly tidy resolution, perhaps, but there's lots of good plotting and character work here by Mark Waid, which makes this still one of the best comics Marvel produces. The cover by Paolo Rivera is brilliant--his interior art on this title is sorely missed, but Samnee is doing a pretty good job on that himself.