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Daredevil Vol. 4: The Man Without Fear, Underboss Paperback – September 16, 2002

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics (September 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785110240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785110248
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,069,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Using five minutes before, a week before inverse chronological style that made Memento such a heady pschological thriller, this collected storyline packs plenty of punches and twists, I had to go back three times while reading Underboss to see if indeed twists were hinted at. The gangland language is awesome or rather goombahrific, and the Kingpin as Julius Ceasar angle(though you know that Kingpin can't be killed off that easy, right ;) all makes for an entertaining read. My one qualm is the "silent" issue, where its all pics and no words(a string of these ran through all the Marvel Universe titles at the time) while still engaging, it was a let down compared to the rest of the stories since the dialogue in this book is so good. Bendis does a superb job fleshing out all the supporting DD characers like Ben Urich, Foggy and Kingpin's son and wife.
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I was never a huge Daredevil fan, for no reason in particular. With the recent attention from the feature film, and my appreciation for the writing of Brian Michael Bendis, I enthusiastically dove right into "Underboss". Bendis is remarkable, bringing the reader right in with Daredevil/Matt Murdock's thoughts and feelings. Maleev's art is perfect for the portrayal of the darkness and seedier side of Hell's Kitchen. The city lives and breathes around us as we follow Matt through his trials and tribulations.
As much as I enjoy traditional superhero stories, I'm even more impressed with Bendis' intention of making sure the reader knows all about the man behind the mask. By making us aware of Dardevil's internal struggles and imperfections, I was identifying and empathizing with him all the way. After a certain point, some costumed crusaders can lose the reader by being too invinceable, too invulnerable, too perfect. Matt Murdock is a human being, whether he's in costume or not.
Bendis and Maleev also give us a well developed plot and a diverse cast of supporting characters. It's easy to envision "Underboss" as a gripping thriller of a movie, or a page turner of a novel. Congratulations to Bendis and Maleev for giving us such enjoyable reading. I look forward to reading the next collection.
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In their first baby steps with the series, Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev waste no time in making a big impact; the first issue alone upsets the balance of power within the Kingpin's inner circle, introduces a new challenger to that throne, sets a bounty on Matt Murdock's head and bombs the scene of his latest trial. Although I'd later grew to love Ed Brubaker's take on Daredevil, it's easy to forget how gripping and simplistic Bendis's plots really are. His writing is easily approachable, unflinchingly direct and genuinely moving. It's a breeze to read but also much deeper than it appears. The focus of this arc for example, aspiring crime boss Mr. Silke, is charismatic, scheming and motivated. His dialog comes straight from the streets, but his aspirations are much loftier. That Silke's fate plays out without so much as a face-to-face with the red-garbed guardian of Hell's Kitchen speaks to both the immense depth of this book's supporting cast and Bendis's sharp, immediate understanding of it. Here he manages a fantastic balance of superheroics and dark, seedy noir, and while later arcs would dabble a bit more deeply in one direction or the other, in "Underboss" they're working in perfect harmony. Maleev's artwork is also something I'd grow to miss. His compositions throughout this arc are gorgeous, especially when he's playing with the masking effects of deep shadow and sharp contrast. Daredevil has never looked so sinister and menacing, stalking through the shadows and striking fear into the hearts of villains (and readers) throughout the city. Fantastic at the time it was published, in retrospect it's become even more impressive.
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Underboss is Bendis at his best. Here he writes grounded and realistic crime stories, even though the main character (to a certain extent) is a blind man in tights.

Underboss introduces Silke, a new player in the crime underworld, that will have a significant impact in Murdock's life by the time this story arc is over. Silke is a very interresting character, I only hope Bendis picks up on his storyline in the next arcs. The plot starts with Silke and some of the Kingpin's men betraying the blind Wilson Fisk Caesar style, while a reward is being offered to the man who kills Matt Murdock. What unfolds from the two plot lines is great and makes the reader want to read the whole thin in one go, I admit wanting to put it down, but not being able to.

Bendis makes this a realistic crime story, which is ultimately about betrayal. He focuses on Silke, Murdock, the death of Wilson Fisk and also has Vanessa Fisk playing a significant part in the story. Bendis writes some of the best dialogue in the industry, and his style of talking heads once again help the story a lot, since its mostly moved by dialogue. Bendis also jumps around a lot in time to tell this story and it works well, never leaving the reader confusued.

The art by Maleev is very good, his layouts are great and his pencils give the book a perfectly suited Noir feel.
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