Issue(s): Daredevil #291
...is a character that is as interesting as Nocenti's other major contribution to Daredevil's mythos, Typhoid Mary. And i'd say he's more interesting than Blackheart. But Bullet will get used a lot less than those other characters after Nocenti leaves.
Reporter Ben Urich is working on two stories for the Daily Bugle. The first is a story about how, with a ban on cigarette advertisements on television, tobacco companies have switched to sponsoring sports events like auto racing. Urich is pleased when the race car a tobacco company ("Bullboro") is sponsoring gets into an accident, so that their product can continue to get associated with death. The second story is about a proposed highway that will cause a lot of homes to get torn down. Bullet is sent by the Kingpin to prevent Urich's contact from giving him a map that shows the proposed highway's route.
Daredevil, meanwhile, has "my mind back" and is making plans to topple the Kingpin. He's also dealing with the fact that the public doesn't like him after Bullseye ruined his reputation in the previous arc. DD hears from Urich about the highway story, and goes after Bullet.
Luckily, the locals hear exactly what they are fighting about, so this fight serves to restore Daredevil's reputation.
Bullet is out of shape.
One theme of this story is the corruption of the press. We see that in part with the Kingpin continuing to work towards buying a news agency of his own, a plot that will continue when D.G. Chichester begins writing next issue. But it's also there with J. Jonah Jameson. Urich is worried that JJ won't publish his tobacco story because tobacco companies advertise in the Bugle. JJ at first seems to show integrity, willing to go forward with that story.
But he later edits the story down and cuts the photo, making a straight minor news piece instead of an indictment of the industry.
One final event in this issue, which can be seen as Nocenti putting her toys away: Foggy and Matt get back together.
I expected more from the Bullet fight, frankly. The character has been depicted in the past as, if not exactly sympathetic, at least complicated. But in this issue he's a villain to be (easily) beaten up. Beyond that, this story is striking for being very straightforward, not at all the surreal madness of a typical Nocenti book. Definitely some politics involved, but everyone's motivations are clear and people even talk like regular human beings. In retrospect it does seem to confirm that Nocenti was deliberately writing in a more surreal style because Daredevil was out of his mind for the majority of her run.
This issue also sees the return of Lee Weeks, who becomes the regular penciler going forward.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
In an interview in Comics Journal #163, Nocenti said that she was hired at Marvel when she answered an ad for editorial staff in the Village Voice(which she claimed Marvel was embarrassed about doing). She had no knowledge about comics before that; he career then was painting and scientific technical writing, with one horror novel as her only fiction work. She said "...I tried to shove social issues into a superhero comic and it never really worked" and said she did that because it was the only way she could "stand" doing it. She left comics completely after leaving Daredevil, and didn't come back until she was asked to write DC/Vertigo's "Kid Eternity", which turned out to be Vertigo's first cancellation.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 15, 2015 11:31 AM
Nocenti has (had?) been rather prolific in the "New 52". Not bad at all for someone who couldn't "stand" comics. Also the criticism for Nocenti having "never really worked" is usually based more on being insufferably surreal and uncomphrensible than on the "shoving of sicial issues."
Posted by: Jon Dubya | November 25, 2016 1:21 AM
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