Issue(s): Daredevil #271, Daredevil #272, Daredevil #273
We start with the factory farm argument.
So far, it's a pretty normal modern farm. The owner is worried about profits and animal rights activists. He's callous, but he seems like a normal farm owner.
But it turns out that underneath, there's a genetic research facility. And the farm owner is the boss
That's kinda weird. But then it gets really weird.
And for some reason, in addition to making these women docile and beautiful, they're also making them indestructible.
And the owner gets more and more unstable with every panel.
Meanwhile, we find Daredevil peeking in (or the blind equivalent) at an acrobatic woman at a different farm.
It turns out that she is Brandy, the daughter of the drug courier that Daredevil pulled from a burning plane a few issues back in Daredevil #267. There are no signs of any Gently Killed Chickens.
So Brandy's father, Skip, is a drug courier and a factory farm owner and the head of a genetic research facility working on both bigger chicken wings and indestructible Barbie doll women. I should note that the Barbie dolls weren't grown in the lab; they are real people that responded to ads saying that they would make them better.
Brandy, on the other hand, is an animal liberation activist, and she intends to strike against her father's farm. She has no idea about the other stuff her father does, though.
Daredevil follows her, but she spots him and they fight for a bit. But Daredevil decides to let her go and follow along with her. He's sympathetic to her protest but wants to make sure it doesn't go too far.
Brandy's goal is to cause an explosion that a friend is filming from a helicopter. The idea is to get something sensational to the news media so that it will expose the unsanitary and cruel factory farm conditions.
To be clear, Brandy isn't a vegetarian and has no problem with traditional (what we'd call "free range") livestock farming. She's protesting the cramped cages and such. Daredevil, however, completely misses the point, and he keeps saying things like "Der, these pigs have lived in captivity all their lives. What are they going to do when you 'free' them?". Brandy has to keep telling him, "That's not the point, you nitwit.", but he doesn't get it.
Anyway, the Barbie doll room is also caught in the explosion that Brandy causes, and one of the women, "Number Nine", wakes up and sees Daredevil.
It's said that Daredevil is imprinted in her brain the way a newly hatched duck latches on to its mother. As Brandy and Daredevil are fleeing the scene, Number Nine starts following them. She gets shot down by the police, but after they escape, she pops awake just fine.
Daredevil is just sort of barely aware that there's anything weird about all of this.
Ha, ha, that scamp Number Nine. What a mind of her own, always burning her hands on the stove!
In fact, Daredevil is ready to just straight up and leave while Number Nine is chopping up a storm and going crazy.
It's just amazing that he's leaving. He's completely dysfunctional.
Brandy's father, meanwhile, starts looking into who is responsible for the attack (i love that chicken. Nocenti has a weird sense of humor).
And he brings in a guy named Shotgun, outfitted with the latest in high tech shotguns.
So when Daredevil leaves, he's attacked by Shotgun.
Shotgun was expecting to fight hippies, not super-heroes.
Notice Shotgun saying that Number Nine is government property. We did hear in Skip Ash's first appearance that the government was aware of his drug running.
At least now Daredevil decides to return to the two ladies, and help them fortify themselves against a second attack from Shotgun.
There's conflict between Brandy and Number Nine, with Brandy's modern sensibilities getting agitated by Nine's brainwashing.
Meanwhile, Shotgun is given some kind of tank thing.
I'll remind you that this started off as a story about factory farming.
Shotgun attacks, and Daredevil and friends ready their defenses.
In the end, though, it comes down to punching.
Shotgun crashes his tank into a tree during the fight, ending his threat.
And our final page.
Also in these issues, in what occurs to me is also a story prompted by a genetic council, Gorgon is drunk and rowdy.
And Medusa is depressed.
What are the Inhumans doing in a Daredevil book? Well, Ann Nocenti wrote a graphic novel starring them which left some significant unfinished plot threads, and Ann Nocenti isn't writing any other books, so where else would they appear? Besides, this book has already seen Mephisto and his son Blackheart added to the cast, so why not some Inhumans, too? And someone has to be around for when Daredevil fights Ultron during Acts of Vengeance.
For now, though, the Inhuman scenes are just about getting them to Earth (and showing Nocenti's weird interpretation of Gorgon).
I don't know, it's all so hypnotically weird. Again, i'm probably giving more leeway than i should because the characters are all so mentally messed up that their dreamlike conversations and weird motivations make sense in context. But there's still something genuinely cool about these stories, especially with John Romita's art. I always walk away from Nocenti's Daredevil's going "Whaa-aaat? Reaaally?, but i still find them engaging.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBlack Bolt, Brandy Ash, Daredevil, Gorgon, Karnak, Medusa, Number Nine, Shotgun (Mercenary), Skip Ash
Just imagine how awful this would be if the artists was Al Milgrom. It'd be unreadable, but because JRJr is drawing it it is passable.
I really have to admit that a quality artists is much more important than a quality writer. A bad writer can't ruin great art. A bad artist can ruin a great writer.
Posted by: Chris | October 23, 2014 9:46 PM
From these scans Number 9 kind of reminds me of 60s Sue Storm...and Janet...and Marvel Girl...and...
Posted by: davidbanes | October 23, 2014 10:35 PM
I actually enjoyed this issue. I'm not a fan of Nocenti, sometimes I find her writing pretentious but this one was good although, I'm not sure how we ended up from the genetic engineering of chickens to genetic engineering of humans.
Posted by: JSfan | October 24, 2014 7:18 AM
Brandy Ash aka Ann Nocenti.
Posted by: alloyd | February 7, 2016 10:01 AM
"A bad writer can't ruin great art."
I don't know. Ever heard of Neal Adams' 'Skateman'?
Posted by: Oliver_C | May 18, 2016 9:16 AM
Comments are now closed.
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