Variant Covers: Matt Murdock Is Daredevil: The Man Without A Pulse.

Come one, come all. My name is Caffeine Powered. I am a slave to the various fixtures of modern civilization. Certain chemicals, namely trimethylxanthine. I have my infofeeds jacked into my skull. If not physically yet, they are essentially there. I like paper-based products that feature images and words. A lot. In fact, they may be my favorite medium. Spandex, speculations on the gravity of possessing great powers, marveling at the universe, narrative structures out the ass. They’re all here, in comic books.

In fact, I love them so much that I (keyboard) pen a weekly column. In this column, I give you the run down on the comic books that I plan on buying. But!, but there’s a tweak of the column’s nipple this week. I’m not giving you an entire rundown. I gotta keep this shit fresh for myself. If I don’t, laziness sets in. The mind numbs. The voices, they no longer speak to me. This week, I’m pruning the entire list to the three comic books I absolutely have to buy. You will note, readers the following: my taste is poor. This is not indicative of the most important comic books of the week, nor the best ones.

It is up to you to hit the comments box if you’re so inclined, with the three comic books you’d recommend. Do it. I dare you.


Baltimore: The Plague Ships #5
The tale of Lord Baltimore wraps up this week, and I’ll be sad to see it go. Mike Mignola, Chris Golden, and Ben Stenbeck have teamed up to give us fools a tight, light romp through a universe where World War I was interrupted by vampires and zombies. Yeah, I suppose that makes regular war’s horror seem mild at most, right? This fifth issue is the final, and I’m going to miss my monthly romp through the darkness with ole Peg Leg Baltimore and his busty female companion.

As I’ve blathered about previously in this column, there’s something to the simplicity of the storyline. There’s more than enough familiar tropes to crack open if you’re willing. Baltimore is a man plagued by a deep guilt at hurting a loved one, and sets about an errant quest to do the impossible – make it right. You can get into all the complexities of one’s desire to cleanse themselves of past sins. But if you’re like me? If you’re like me, you just want to see a guy stab vampires and wield a sweet ass bayonet. It works on a simple level. Kick up your feet after a long ass day and decompress to this comic.

If you like decompressing to rot and blood and pain and plague.

Like me.


Vertigo Resurrected: Winter’s Edge #1
So what if DC killed off the Wildstorm universe and folded stalwart Vertigo characters like Swamp Thing and Death back into their primary universe? They are not entirely without their dope maneuvers. On the top of the list of good ideas? DC’s decision to launch Vertigo Resurrected. It’s a line of one-shots that is driven at giving new readers the ability to indulge in classic, rare, or unpublished tales but a collection of heavy, heavy talent. They kicked things of in Vertigo Resurrected #1

Winter’s Edge brings tales from Gaiman, Ennis, and Brian K. Vaughn. If that isn’t enough to sell you, the artwork is being provided by Dave Gibbons, Sean Phillips, and Paul fucking Pope. It seems impossible for me to pass on. I only got three titles this week? This has got to be one of them. A collection of works by a bevy of my favorite talents in the industry? Sold. Sold, sold, sold.


Daredevil #512
The tea leaves are not panning out in Matt Murdock’s favor. Shadowland wraps up this week in its fifth issue, and I have all the feeling in the world that Murdock is about to die. For starters, there’s a comic book coming out in January titled Daredevil: Rebirth, and then there’s the fact that it’s been confirmed that Black Panther is taking over as the Man Without Fear.

But!, beyond that, the events in the comic have been piling up on one another for years. It’s been a hell of a ride for Daredevil. Somehow, despite creative change after creative change, those coming aboard were able to inherit the plummeting acrobat’s life and not switch courses. It doesn’t hurt when you have Bendis handing off to Brubaker handing off to Diggle. Not at all. But none of them swayed in their insistence on following through on Murdock’s crisis to its logical conclusion: consumption. Murdock would be utterly consumed by his guilt at his inability to protect his loved ones. Consumed by his desire to do whatever it took to protect his city. Consumed by his own egocentric insistence that he can solve everything. Himself.

And so he dies.

My only complaint is that Diggle took the storyline a bit too mystic for me. In what feels like (to me) a cop-out, Murdock’s final descent was not of his own choosing. At being in a vulnerable enough state, corrupted members of the Hand have allowed him to become possessed by some sort of fucking demon whose name escapes me. It seems cheap. I would much rather have had Murdock’s own psychosis fully claim him. By wrapping him up in some demon bedevilery, it makes his inevitable redemption all that much easier.

Sorry guys! Wasn’t me that killed Bullseye. ‘Twas the demon.



Even with that in mind, Murdock (I assume) dying is going to be the end of an era. For countless years, the writers on the book have not flinched. They’ve continue to escalate Murdock’s situation, never stopping to take a breath. Never stopping to allow a glimmer of hope. On and on and on he fell, with no rescue in sight. With his Rebirth coming up in January, it seems clear that finally his darkest days are behind him. It’s a shame in the sense that it would have been all the more poignant if Murdock died. Just died. A man consumed, who suffered the ultimate penalty. Such is not the way of the funny book, where there are dollars to be made, franchises to be perpetuated.

Still though, when you look back upon the Bendis/Brubaker/Diggle (was there some Mack in there? I forget) run on the character in ten years, it’s going to be epic. Quintessential reading. Years upon years charging in one brilliant direction.


Those are my three books. Play the game with me. What’re you buying?